Ottawa (AFP) - The Canadian military objected to the use of torture as an interrogation technique Thursday after US President Donald Trump said he thinks it works against the Islamic State jihadist group.
"That is against what the Canadian Armed Forces believes and against our direction, so we will not be going into any type of activity like that," Brigadier-General Shane Brennan, commander of Canadian troops in Iraq, told a briefing.
"Torture is against the Canadian Armed Forces conduct," he said. "It's against the Geneva Convention."
Canada's military and security services work closely with their US counterparts, which has led to a handful of post-9/11 rendition and torture controversies.
A Canadian engineer was arrested by US officials in 2002 on a tip-off from Canadian federal police and sent to Syria and tortured for one year, before being cleared.
Three other Canadians suspected of Al-Qaeda links also claimed to have been tortured by Syrian military intelligence during trips abroad from 2001 to 2004, saying that Canadian security officials had supplied their captors with intelligence and questions to pose to the detainees.
Trump voiced support for torture in a television interview Wednesday with ABC News, saying it was necessary to "fight fire with fire" in the face of the beheadings of Americans and other atrocities by Islamic State militants.
But he added he would defer to the advice of Pentagon chief James Mattis and Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo.
Mattis and Pompeo have voiced support of current US rules banning the use of torture in prisoner interrogations.
The previous Canadian administration ordered a stop to the use of foreign intelligence that may have been derived from the use of torture, after a public outcry, but an exception was made in cases of imminent threats.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is currently reviewing those security protocols.