Continuing Efforts to Bring Omar Khadr Home

Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is the only Western national left in Guantánamo Bay. Khadr and fellow detainee Mohammed Jawad are believed to be the first child combatants ever to face prosecution of alleged “war crimes”. Khadr was only 15 years old when he was captured by US forces in Afghanistan and later transported to the infamous US detention centre where he has now spent more than a quarter of his life. Khadr faces trial by US military commission. The military commissions fall so far short of international human rights standards that it is impossible for Khadr to receive a fair trial at Guantánamo. (from: Statement of Unity, Bring Omar Khadr Back to Canada)

The video lecture Canada’s Duty to Protect Human Rights: the case of Omar Khadr below was given to Pasifik.ca on October 9, 2008 by Gail Davidson, LLB Chair of Lawyers Against the War, and Founder and Executive Director of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada. She maintains that Canadian lawyers have an obligation to secure Omar Khadr’s release from Guantánamo Bay prison and repatriation to Canada. She says:

Commit to doing good rather than making good as lawyers.

Canada’s Duty to Protect Human Rights: the case of Omar Khadr (42 minutes)

I originally found the video through the website Bring Omar Khadr Back to Canada, a site bringing a number of human rights groups together in an effort to have Khadr repatriated to Canada. Their “call to action” leads to the Amnesty International Canada webpage No Security Without Human Rights. Action by the Lawyers Rights Watch Canada is traced on their Campaign Page for Omar Khadr. Previous posts on Slaw.ca about Omar Khadr are here.

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Comments

  1. If there is any such thing as humanity left, then Omar Kadr should not ONLY be released and returned to Canada BUT he should be given a chance to rehabilitate and reintegrate.

  2. Khadr absolutely SHOULD be returned to Canada. But he has to be handled carefully upon his return.

    One has to remember that Khadr was indoctrinated into Islamic militant ideology. If he won’t renounce that philosophy so that he even can be rehabilitated, then he should be stripped of his citizenship and deported along with the rest of his family (most of whom should have been deported long ago).

    As a Canadian citizen, Khadr deserves the opportunity to be handled justly. But he is not owed the opportunity to be unconditionally set loose where he may well be dangerous.

    We don’t have to like it, but we do have to be realistic about this.