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‘He was tortured… Full stop’


 

James Morton on Omar Khadr.

Mr. Justice Richard Mosley of the Federal Court of Canada has already determined that Omar Khadr was tortured at Guantanamo Bay. He held last year that what happened to Mr. Khadr there constituted a breach of both the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention against Torture, adding that Canada was a party to the mistreatment, albeit after the fact. His Honour wrote:

“The practice described to the Canadian [Foreign Affairs] official in March 2004 was, in my view, a breach of international human rights law respecting the treatment of detainees. … Canada became implicated in the violation when the official was provided with the redacted information and chose to proceed with the interview.”

The Canadian government did not attempt to appeal this decision.


 

‘He was tortured… Full stop’

  1. I’ll go to the barricades for Morton.

  2. Aaaron I wanted to give you a heart fell thanks for your Omar Khadr posts. By providing “one-stop shopping” of coverage on Omar Khadr, you have been instrumental in keeping me informed on this very tragic situation and important public debate.

  3. Sorry for the typo.

  4. “The Canadian government did not attempt to appeal this decision.”

    And yet they still argue the merits of leaving him under the watchful care of his torturers.

  5. What, they asked him too many questions? The Citizen article fails to mention exactly what is considered “torture”.

    The court document references the “United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”

    It states:

    “The practice described to the Canadian official in March 2004 was, in my view, a breach of international human rights law respecting the treatment of detainees under UNCAT and the 1949 Geneva Conventions”

    As far as I know, the judge is talking about the released video tapes, which we have seen, and which show Khadr complaining that nobody cares about him.

    Well, if that is torture, then so is reading this blog.

  6. Actually, the judge’s musings about what is, or is not, torture aren’t germane to the case at bar. The case is about access to information. The judge could have said that all CSIS agents were one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eaters and the Crown wouldn’t have been able to appeal that part of the decision either. In legal terms its called “obiter dicta” (Words of an opinion entirely unnecessary for the decision of the case – according to Blacks). As a lawyer James Morton knows this, and also knows that his statement “The Canadian government did not attempt to appeal this decision.” is just so much legal hockum. He’s making a political argument and he knows it, otherwise he would be petitioning the Federal Court for a “writ of mandamus” ordering the government to bring young Khadr from his Caribbean paradise.

    All the judge was saying in the decision was that as DFAIT had taken an active part in young Khadr’s interrogation, it couldn’t claim priviledge with respect to the videos and transcripts that came out of said sessions (as it could have if they were diplomatic correspondence). The rest is, legally speaking, bunk; the opinion of an individual, not legally tested evidence of torture. If a lawyer brought this to the Federal Court for a decision its pretty much certain tht he would be wasting his filing fee.

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