Canadian case demands intervention for Omar Khadr

Canadian lawyers for Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr filed suit with the Federal Court of Canada Aug. 8 demanding that Prime Minister Stephen Harper intervene on behalf of the 22-year-old Canadian citizen, who has spent the past six years at the military camp. Lawyers are asking the court to require that Harper demand Khadr’s release before his military tribunal begins in October. Khadr was 15 when he was captured in a 2002 Afghan firefight. He is alleged to have thrown a grenade during that battle that fatally wounded a US soldier.

The attorney wrote in a statement: “[Notwithstanding] its affirmative obligation to co-operate in reintegration efforts, Canada (the first country to ratify the Child Soldier Protocol and leader in international efforts to protect children involved in armed conflict) has done nothing except hide behind vague assurances that Omar is being treated ‘humanely’—assurances the Canadian government has known for years to be absolutely false…. It is time for Prime Minister Harper to stand up for the rights of a Canadian citizen.”(Globe & Mail, Aug. 9)

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