Repatriate Omar Khadr

On July 27th, 2002, Omar Khadr, a 15 year old Canadian citizen was taken into custody by US forces. He remains to this day detained in a legal black hole where his human rights are continuously violated.Deemed a global leader with respect to upholding international law regarding children, Canada’s handling of Omar Khadr’s case is incongruent with the reputation it holds. In the recent case of Canada v. Khadr (2008) SCC 28 , the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that theCanadian authorities participation in the GuantanamoBay process violatedCanada’s international human rights obligations. The aforementioned process was subject to scrutiny in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 126 S. Ct. 2749 (2006). The United States Supreme Court was unanimous in holding that, in the circumstances, the deviations from the Geneva Conventions were sufficiently significant to deprive the military commissions of the status of “a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples”, as required by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Despite the conclusions of the United States Supreme Court, Guantanamo remains in operation and Omar Khadr’s fate in Limbo. Consequently, the Canadian government must make up for its past failures and ensure that Omar Khadr be tried before a regular criminal court where these judicial guarantees may be provided.The Government of Canada should therefore secure the release of Omar Khadr from GuantanamoBay and repatriate him to Canada where he may be tried as a juvenile before a Canadian criminal court.


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