Canada to redact more than 5,000 records from questionnaire asking Muslim asylum seekers about religion

The RCMP announced Monday it will expunge any data on religious and cultural practices collected from Muslim refugee claimants who had crossed the U.S. border at a popular informal crossing in Quebec. The move follows a Star story last month that highlighted the federal police force?s line of questioning.

The data had been obtained using an interview guide that included questions specifically targeting Muslims. The RCMP stopped using the questionnaire after the Star brought it to the attention of the force?s national headquarters.

The information, which includes operational files as well as any audio recordings on DVD,? will be held in sealed envelopes for the two years the force is required to keep the information due to privacy legislation, the RCMP wrote.

In total, the RCMP said it collected 5,438 files containing a completed questionnaire or references to one. Those records will be permanently redacted? from electronic databases, and sealed recordings will be retained for two years after its last use for an administrative purpose? and then destroyed, the RCMP wrote in a statement to the Star.

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