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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Canadian in Gitmo Demands Repatriation

(CN) - Emboldened by a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada, Omar Khadr, the lone Canadian imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, is taking the Prime Minister of Canada to Federal Court to try to compel the government to demand his repatriation after 8 years of imprisonment and mistreatment by the United States.

Khadr was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 and accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier.

His Edmonton-based legal team filed two applications in the federal court of Canada last week after the Canadian Supreme Court acknowledged that his constitutional rights had been violated when Canadian officials participated in interrogations, knowing that he had been mistreated while imprisoned.

"The interrogation of a youth detained without access to counsel, to elicit statements about serious criminal charges while knowing that the youth had been subjected to sleep deprivation and while knowing that the fruits of the interrogations would be shared with the prosecutors, offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects," the ruling states.

The nine-judge panel stopped short of ordering the government to demand his repatriation. It found that the "appropriate remedy in this case is to declare that [Khadr's] Charter rights were violated, leaving it to the government to decide how best to respond in light of current information, its responsibility over foreign affairs, and the Charter."

The two applications both seek to compel the Canadian government to demand his repatriation. One relies upon the recent Supreme Court decision, the other upon the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The Applicant is a Canadian citizen and has been held in unlawful detention by U.S. forces since July 27, 2002, when he was 15 years old," the applications state. "The Respondents' policy and decisions with respect to the Applicant are patently unreasonable and perverse, and were formulated in bad faith."

Khadr is represented by Nathan J. Whitling with Parlee McLaws.

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