Tag Archive: Omar Khadr

Aug 12 2010

The Travesty of Omar Khadr

Carolyn Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, reporting from Guantanamo on the trial of Oamar Kadr the “child soldier” captured in Afghanistan Tweets

Omar Khadr’s military judge just ruled that ALL of his confessions from Afghanistan to #Guantanamo will go to trial. None suppressed.


If you haven’t heard of Omar Kadr, he is a Canadian citizen and the youngest prisoner held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by the United States, has been frequently referred to as a child soldier and the only Western citizen remaining in Guantanamo. The Canadian Government has refused to seek extradition or repatriation despite the urgings of Amnesty International, UNICEF, the Canadian Bar Association and other prominent organizations. In 2009, it was revealed that the Canadian government had spent over $1.3 million to ensure Khadr remained in Guantanamo. Canada failed Kadr by refusing to admit that he was a juvenile and his repeated claims that he was abused. n April 2009, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms made it obligatory for the government to immediately demand Khadr’s return. After a hearing before the Court of Appeals produced the same result, the government announced they would argue their case before the Supreme Court of Canada. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that Khadr’s constitutional rights had clearly been violated, but it stopped short of ordering the government to seek his return to Canada.

Khadr was the only person charged under the 2006 Military Commissions Act who did not boycott the Guantanamo proceedings. Canadian authorities also determined that Khadr had little knowledge of his father’s alleged activities, since “he was out playing or simply not interested”.

Jeralyn E. Merritt at TalkLeft has been following Omar’s tragic incarceration most extensively since 2006.

Up Date: Adam Serwer at The American Prospect commented on the The Weirdness Of The Charges Against Omar Khadr:

side from the obvious moral issues with trying someone for an alleged crime committed on a battlefield when they weren’t old enough to drive, vote, drink alcohol, or consent to sex in the United States, there’s the additional weirdness of trying the killing as a “war crime.” Human-rights groups say  no one has ever before been tried for a war crime merely for the act of killing the other side’s soldiers in combat, but the government maintains that Khadr is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent,” so the charge is appropriate.

It’s a really weird argument. By trying Khadr in a military commission, they’re essentially making him a soldier, but they’re saying the reason his alleged killing of Speer was a war crime is because he’s not a soldier. If Khadr killed Speer, that’s certainly a crime. But a war crime?

(emphasis mine)