Handle with care - Macleans.ca

Handle with care

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Ronald Crelinsten says Omar Khadr must be handled with care. Postmedia talks to War Child’s Samantha Nutt. Sheema Khan says Omar Khadr will be a test of our ability to rehabilitate child soldiers.

Omar was incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay as its youngest inmate, subjected to torture, mind games and denied counsel for his first two years of detention. Ten years later, he is back in Canada after the grudging acceptance of a plea deal by our government. Omar is also the last Western detainee to be repatriated (all of whom have a 0 per cent recidivism rate). By all accounts, Omar fits the description of a child soldier, as defined by the Optional Protocol. Why have Canada and the U.S. ignored their treaty obligations?

Once a terrorist, always a terrorist, some believe. In their minds, Omar is a traitor who cannot change. They are willfully blind to successful rehabilitation programs of child soldiers.