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Omar Khadr Still Waiting in Guantanamo for Canadian Government to Act

Omar Khadr Still Waiting in Guantanamo for Canadian Government to Act

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, recognized internationally as a child soldier, who has been held in Guantanamo Bay for 10 years. He was 15 years old when he was taken into custody. In 2010, he pled guilty to war crimes as part of a plea agreement which included eligibility to serve part of his sentence in his home country.

In February of 2010, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the government’s inaction on the Khadr file was a breach of the boy’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The government, having sought their own legal opinion, decided not to listen to the Supreme Court ruling.

The government abruptly changed its position in November of 2010, with then Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon saying they would honor the request of the American government “Our friend and closest ally.”

In April of this year, U.S. officials approved Khadr’s transfer to Canada and now his file sits on the desk of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews waiting for some kind of action. American ambassador David Jacobson is keeping the situation cordial, saying that there is a process that will be respected.

Meanwhile, Khadr’s legal team held a press conference on June 21 in Ottawa telling the national media that Ottawa has had plenty of time to act on the file. At the beginning of June, the UN Committee Against Torture has reviewed Canada’s response to Khadr’s case and found that the federal government (Liberals before 2006 and Conservatives since) were complicit in his torture.

In the House of Commons, the government has repeated the same lines every time Khadr has come up that he committed a very serious crime, reacting as though the opposition was suggesting that Khadr be repatriated and set loose, rather than transferred to a Canadian prison.

Whether Canadian voters are paying real attention to the Khadr case remains to be seen, but it is a case that should have send a chill through the spines of all Canadian citizens. You are only worthy of help, you are only allowed your Charter rights, if the government decides you are, even if you were born in this country.

Related Stories:

Canadian Child Soldier Applies to Leave Gitmo

Ten Years of Guantanamo: What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew

Obama, Congress Clash Over Guantanamo

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31 comments

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8:50AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

What do you expect with a Harper Conservative government? If the GOP thugs steal the 2012 elections with KOCHroach money and RobMe/ Ryan get into the White House, there will be a rapid demise of our civil liberties and individual freedom. The rabid neo-con right-wing Tp have turned sharply to the right into insanity. Women's rights will be curtailed, the working poor will be criminalized, students will lose their Pell grants, food stamps will disappear. Next, Social Security, Medicare will be eliminated. The super-rich CEO and Wall street crooks will be rewarded along with their Corporate Masters.

3:57PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Regrettably, many of the comments on here make me feel physically sick.
You people are making Omar Khadr out to be some sort of angel, when in fact, he is nothing but a muslim terrorist who's one aim in life is to help destroy the western civilisation, culture and heritage and everything that is good in this world. He and his fellow muslims wish to replace it with an evil regime called Islam, complete with sharia law. It is a regime that has a total disrespect and disregard for both human and animal life, as no concept of democracy, abuses and kills women, and abhors the idea that anyone might think for themselves, follow a different belief system, have an alternative life style, dress code or sexual orientation.
Omar Khadr is the son of man who was a senior al-Qaeda member and funded terrorist training camps and who's family have openly stated that they hate the western life style and are happy to kill western people. Omar is a known murderer of westerners, and self confessed maker of bombs used to kill NATO troops.
The only way he should be repatriated anywhere, is in a body bag and that should be sent to Pakistan, accompanied by all the rest of his family.

11:52AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Ernest, I agree on some points & realize Omar was Canadian born but have you ever heard his family interviewed? Perhaps you have but when a family living off the taxpayers states that they absolutely hate us, what am I to think? If your loyalties are elswhere, that is where you should be. They should "put your money (or should I say person) where your mouth is". I think they should STRONGLY be encouraged to return to the land they support. This is not a soccer match where you remain loyal to a team in your new land. This boy, sure he was a boy, laughed about killing western troops. Sure he was indoctrinated but I feel he will always be dangerous & disrespectful to Canada. Meanwhile his brother was sending money to terrorists & his father & brother fighting there. We infidels in Canada are good enough to care for his brother thus crippled. I believe the west shouldn't even be in Afghanistan & have made matters worse by increasing the Taliban's power so they have a right to fight us but not to run back to Canada for care, shelter & sustenance while they call us infidels & pigs. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

11:08AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Repatriate and rehabilitate Omar Khadr. It is the right thing to do.

Please sign my petition on Change.org and encourage others to also sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/government-of-canada-repatriate-toronto-born-omar-khadr-to-canada-and-rehabilitate-him-2?share_id=OaGgLiInix

Thank you.

11:05AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Repatriate and rehabilitate Omar Khadr. It is the right thing to do.

Please sign my petition on Change.org and encourage others to also sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/government-of-canada-repatriate-toronto-born-omar-khadr-to-canada-and-rehabilitate-him-2?share_id=OaGgLiInix

Thank you.

11:01AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Repatriate and rehabilitate Omar Khadr. It is the right thing to do.

Please sign my petition on Change.org and encourage others to also sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/government-of-canada-repatriate-toronto-born-omar-khadr-to-canada-and-rehabilitate-him-2?share_id=OaGgLiInix

Thank you.

3:05PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

@ Linda M. Omar’s family is not in Gitmo, Omar is, and it is an injustice to abuse him because you don’t like his family. Only the worst of the worst dictatorships do that. If you disapprove of them, take it up with your representative. .Canada is filling up with leeches and criminals who find Canada an easy place to be accepted and get away with criminal behaviour. All of our governments have let them in for the votes to the detriment of the country. Omar is a Canadian citizen and entitled to what any other Canadian citizens are entitled to. I don’t think you want what he has taken. @ Kasia V He is still alive because US forces patched him up to be strong enough to be tortured. Aren’t you familiar with the case? Btw, I would vote for an end to all Muslim immigration to Canada. @ Fred K. “Any member of a mujadeen terrorist group deserves a speedy trial and swift execution.” Are you implying that Khader is such a member and have you decided to convict him without evidence ? I would also vote for your expulsion from Canada. You make me sick.




4:54AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

sad

2:35PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

I know many here disagree but I think Khadr should be repatriated BUT to Afghanistan along with his entire family because they have ALL proven and repeatedly STATED ALOUD that that's where their loyalties lie and they hate Canada because it is full of "homosexuals and perverts and infidels"...their words, not mine. Listen to an interview of the mother and sister and that's what they have said. Why are they in Canada then? Freebies and the freedom they didn't have in Afghanistan. I'm sure Afghanistan would welcome them back with open arms. I don't want ANY of his family leeching off our good graces. They've never contributed either, only taken. Meanwhile natives of Canada are having pensions cut and services reduced to pay for creeps like the brother's health care...his crippling while acting as a "patriot" in Afghanistan. Fine, if he's a patriot to his own country, let them take care of him. I understand why they're fighting in their country but why are they here then?

1:22PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

*Shudder* That poor soul! I really hope he sees justice occur!

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