Supreme Court of Canada rules that Guantanamo Bay is illegal: update on Omar Khadr

On Friday May 23, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a judgment stating that Guantanamo Bay was an illegal operation and ordered “the Canadian government to hand over interrogation documents to Omar Khadr's defence lawyers.”

Omar Khadr is the Canadian child soldier that the United States government has been holding captive in Guantanamo Bay for the last six years.

If the Bush administration has its way, Khadr will be the first person put on trial anywhere in the world for “war crimes” allegedly committed when he was a juvenile. Keep in mind that in addition to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the Guantanamo Bay trials are illegal, the United States Supreme Court has also ruled that Guantanamo trials violate U.S. and global laws.

As Disobedia points out: “The Supreme Court defines our laws through their rulings. Just like in the US. They have declared that, because the detention and interrogation of Omar Khadr was illegal, Canada participated in an illegal activity by aiding the US government. This is HUGE, people!!!”

It is absolutely amazing that we, the citizens of Canada and the United States, are allowing our governments to commit war crimes, which is essentially what the Supreme Court rulings are implying.

To sum up the story so far.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, born 19 September 1986 in Ottawa Canada. He “has been detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps since he was captured at the age of 15 following a 2002 firefight between American troops and militants in Afghanistan.”

When the US military entered the village where Khadr was living, he was caught in the firefight, and while on his knees shot twice in the back. At some point before this, US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer was killed by what may have been friendly fire. The United States lied about its evidence against Khadr, he was charged as an enemy combatant responsible for the death of Sgt. Speer, and sent to Guantanamo Bay where he has spent the last 6 years of his life being tortured.

In the summer of 2007 all charges were dropped against Khadr but he was not released. Then in March 2008 it was revealed that US military command had altered the report on the firefight in Afghanistan to cast blame on Khadr - originally the reported had stated “the assailant who threw the grenade was killed.” Then we learned that the Canadian government was refusing to hand over evidence to the defense, in violation of court orders.

The above explains why Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian Senator, humanitarian, author, retired general, and one of the most respected people in Canada, “told MPs that Mr. Khadr is a victim, a child soldier who should be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society and not tried before what he calls an illegal court.” He believes that “the Khadr case points out a moral equivalence among Canada, the United States and al-Qaeda.”

Posted in Submitted by chycho on Fri, 2008-05-30 06:50.
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