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‘This young man in an unfortunate situation’


 

Tuesday will mark ten years since this question was asked, seemingly the first time Omar Khadr was reference in the House of Commons.

Svend Robinson. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Last July, Omar Khadr, a 15-year-old Canadian citizen, was arrested by the U.S. army in Afghanistan. To date, the U.S. has allowed the Red Cross access but has refused all Canadian consular access, in blatant violation of international law. I want to ask the minister this. What action is the government taking to ensure that this teenager will not be held at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely, tried before a secret military tribunal and possibly sentenced to death? What is Canada doing to defend the rights of this young Canadian citizen from this abuse of U.S. power?

Bill Graham. Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite, who is very familiar with international law, will know that he is wrong in qualifying the right to consular access in these cases. This young man in an unfortunate situation was arrested in the course of having been accused of killing an American serviceman in the course of a conflict. There is no consular access in the course of conflicts or we would have had consular access to all of our prisoners during the second world war. We have access. We have requested to the United States to have access and it has assured us that we will have access. The Red Cross has assured us that the young man’s health is in good condition. We continue to press the United States to ensure that his rights will be protected, but I want to assure the House–


 

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