Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon acknowledged Nov. 16 while speaking to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that the US has held 12 juveniles at the Guantánamo Bay prison. The announcement came in response to a study released last week by the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA). In May, the US reported to the CRC that only eight juveniles were detained in the prison. The study was based on information available through the US military and diplomatic sources. Other sources, including former detainees, the Red Cross and international sources, indicated to the CSHRA that the number of juveniles could potentially be higher. Eight of the 12 juveniles listed in the study have been released from the prison.
Included in the study was Omar Khadr, the 21-year-old Canadian, who has admitted to being trained by al-Qaeda and killing a US solider in Afghanistan. Khadr was detained by US forces in 2002 as a 15-year-old. In 2007, Khadr was formally charged with supporting terrorism, conspiracy, and spying in “violation of the law of war.” Khadr has filed an affidavit saying he was threatened and abused as an inmate. (Jurist, AP, Nov. 17)
See our last post on the Guantánamo Bay.