Khadr refuses to go to court

Canadian held on murder and terror charges is absent for the second day in a row

Omar Khadr, the Canadian held in Guantanamo Bay on murder and terrorism charges for a crime he allegedly committed while he was only 15, is refusing to attend court hearings because of what he says are unnecessary and humiliating searches and transportation procedures. He initially refused to attend his pre-trial hearing on Thursday because of a requirement to wear sensory-depriving goggles and earmuffs while in transport, and on Friday he was absent from the court room because he wouldn’t allow guards to search his waistband. The Military Judge, Col Patrick Parrish, says Khadr is rejecting a “reasonable security measure,” and that the trial will proceed without him. Col. Parrish has also refused to give Khadr medical treatment, saying he didn’t want to “second guess” the care provided by Guantanamo’s guards, and has also refused defence requests that a doctor be allowed to testify about the seriousness of Khadr’s health problems, which are caused by shrapnel shards in both of his eyes. The doctor says Khadr’s condition requires urgent treatment, and the military says a prison physician is attending to the prisoner, but that there is no ophthalmologist on base.

The Globe and Mail

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