UPDATE: Omar Khadr Still Waiting in Guantanamo to Be Released to Canada
Omar Khadr never had a chance. When he was 9 years old his father, an extremist, moved him to Afghanistan from Canada, where he was born. He was only 15 when he was taken into custody by American soldiers and sent to Guantanamo Bay.
He was in Guantanamo for eight years before his trial and has since been convicted of war crimes. His sentence required that he spend one more year in Gitmo but gave him the possibility of serving the rest of his sentence in Canada. Now that his one year has passed, American officials have requested that Canada take him into custody. Canadian officials have said they will move through that process. It seems to be taking a long time.
So long, in fact, that Khadr’s lawyers have filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Canada to review the Harper Government’s failure to move on the transfer. This October, it will have been a year since the first request was made by the U.S. government.
Before moving to the court, they had tried a media campaign, including Senator Romeo Dallaire, who is an activist for child soldiers. (Dallaire is best known for being a UN soldier in Rwanda during the genocide and acting against his superiors to take action). When that didn’t work, Khadr’s lawyer says, they had no choice but to go back to court.
Photo Credit: Howl Arts Collective