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16 December 2021

Complaint submitted to the RCMP regarding the torture of Jack Letts

2 mins

A complaint has been filed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), against the Kurdish authorities for the torture of Canadian citizen, Jack Letts.

Jack has been imprisoned without charge in a Kurdish-run detention facility in Northern Syria since May 2017. He has had no access to a lawyer, nor any form of consular assistance from the Canadian government since his imprisonment.

Yesterday, the RCMP was presented with a dossier of evidence, including transcripts of Jack’s contact with Global Affairs Canada and his family, which allege torture by the Kurdish authorities. In the last message his mother received from him in July 2017, Jack said:

I’m scared of electricity. It’s one of my fears. I’ve actually been tortured…

During their last exchange in 2017, Jack also informed his parents that he had been denied food, interrogated and held for extended periods in solitary confinement, which led to him attempting to take his own life. Jack’s parents, John and Sally, have not heard directly from Jack since, and are unsure as to whether he is even still alive.

According to the Canadian Criminal Code, torture is a crime, and the RCMP has the authority to investigate allegations of torture that are committed in countries outside of Canada, if the case relates to a Canadian citizen, like Jack.

Our International Law team submitted a complaint to the UN in May this year against the Canadian government, highlighting its inaction in this case, which has amounted to a violation of Jacks’ right to life.

Read more about the RCMP torture complaint here.

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