Omar Khadr to spend New Year in Guantanamo, again

Lone Canadian convict remains at Guantanamo Bay, despite being eligible for repatriation


Omar Khadr will spend his tenth New Year in Guantanamo Bay prison, according to the Globe and Mail. He remains the only Canadian citizen in the U.S. run facility. Khadr, son of a family supportive of al-Queda, was born in Toronto, raised in Pakistan, and captured in a battle with U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002 at the age of 15. Khadr pleaded guilty in October of 2010 to murder, spying, and terrorism. Khadr, whom many see as a child soldier rather than a murderer, was eligible three months ago for repatriation, but a series of bureaucratic issues remains. The Canadian government has not sought his return. A member of Khadr’s legal team, John Norris, says they “have received no word about a transfer date.”

Globe and Mail

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Omar Khadr to spend New Year in Guantanamo, again

  1. So, his family is supportive of al-Queda,he pled guilty to murder, spying and terrorism and you wonder why he is not released? Maybe his captors know that there is a very good chance that he will end up back in Pakistan so he can resume his murdering, spying and terrorist activities. He can thank Allah that he is being held by the US military and not in a prison in say Texas where capital punishment is dealt with effectively as it should be

  2. boo hoo, piss on him and his traitor family.

  3. Khadr wasn’t just “seen as a child soldier by many”.   Contrary to what Harper said, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children involved in armed conflict (nicknamed the Child Soldier Law) applies to all minors under 18 who are recruited by any kind of group into any kind of war. 

    Most of them are recruited by unlawful groups, as opposed to militaries, because it’s illegal to recruit them.  Canada and US both adopted this law into their own laws and have never said it should apply to everybody except one person.
    Khadr was sent on a mission by his father and was involved in the insurgency by the head of a Lybian faction.  He was involved in combat between fighters and the US military, involving a gun and grenade fight and a bombing by US planes.  That was armed conflict.  He was 15.
    His status as a “child soldier” was confirmed by the head of the UN program and the Gtmo judge did not say he didn’t qualify.  The Military Commissions Act, invented years after the fact, superseded it.  So, the law was simply ignored when the decision to prosecute was made.
    “Murder” meant possibly throwing a grenade at a soldier who was one of a group looking for insurgents in order to capture or kill them.  He was acting as a soldier, not a medic.  “Spying” meant observing military vehicles.  “Terrorism” meant fighting the US military, not what it normally means, i.e. intentionally killing civilians.  This is under the MCA, not the normal international laws of war, that we know.

    Khadr shouldn’t have been prosecuted at all.  The “child soldier law” should have been applied, meaning an emphasis on rehabilitation rather than prosecution.  It would have been better from a security point of view.  The US or Canada could have detained him under the laws of war until it was considered safe to release him, treated him properly, and ensured his safe release with appropriate security measures.  This would have been far easier and safer than just turning him loose after seven years from now, having spent the last 10 years mistreating him and dealing with him illegally.

    • I personally detest Khadr and his entire family… but you are absolutely correct, he is a child soldier very clear cut, and if we (Canadians) truly value the international agreements that we have signed and incorporated into our justice system then the correct thing would be to repatriate him… as unpleasant as that is.

  4. It’s not true that “the family” was supportive of Al Qaeda.  Some were and some weren’t, e.g. the brother who informed, and some were too young to know if they were.

    It’s misleading to leave out the fact that he pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain.  It’s not as if he just decided to confess, and the US government was under no obligation to offer a bargain.  If they thought he was dangerous they could have kept him indefinitely with or without a trial, and regardless of the results, under the A.U.M.F.  They obviously didn’t.  There was no way the military commission wasn’t going to convict and give a long sentence.  It was set up that way, and they could have let it do so.

    So, why did they offer a plea bargain?  Because the original “confession” was coerced under a system declared illegal, at the time, by the US Supreme Court, not to mention in a process declared illegal by the Canadian Supreme Court.  That strongly suggests it wouldn’t have stood up to an appeal in the regular courts, although the case would have taken years to get through the military system and to the Supreme Court.  Part of the bargain was that, in return for an 8 year sentence, 7 to be served here, he gave up the right to appeal, and the right to sue the US government for illegal treatment, also the right to ever tell his story for money, and they don’t want the publicity that would bring.

    In other words, the US government knew this case was immoral and illegal.  They couldn’t drop it for political reasons.  So, they went for the plea bargain.  It’s also possible somebody in the Administration has a conscience, or knows how much this case discredits the US, just as it does Canada.

    I assume the Harper Government, also fearing a law suit for millions, after spending a million or so fighting the courts, pointlessly, decided to finally do the right thing, although they didn’t want to, and agreed to “look favourably” on a transfer request, whatever that means.

    The suggestion below that his captors suddenly decided after all this, and after having him there for over 9 years, that he is dangerous, seems absurd, unless, of course, they’ve finally managed to drive him completely mad, having locked him up in solitary confinement for a year.  The excuse for that?  Because the Geneva Conventions, of which they have made a complete mockery, says you can’t keep convicted detainees with non-convicted detainees.  The majority are non-convicted because they’ve never been tried. 

  5. He’s a convicted terrorist, who hates Canada!!  What is wrong with you, Globe & Mail?  He’s not Christian and rejects our infidel holiday.  Change your tune, Globe and Mail or I will change my viewing of your media.

  6. Omar Khadr was only 15 when his family sent him to fight the Americans in Afghanistan. The true criminals are his parents who sent him and it isn’t fair to prosecute him for the crimes of his parents. If the rest of his family were better at public relations and his female relatives didn’t appear in public with their faces completely veiled, peoples’ negative prejudices about him might not have prevailed.

  7. US Medic to spend New Year in his grave, again.

  8. Wha!!!!whaa!!!!  Stop your whning …..Play with murderers…end up in an  infidel’s  jail…thats what my mom always told me

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