TORONTO (CN) – Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for a decade – since he was 15 – claims Canada is dragging its feet on deciding the fate of his request for transfer to a Canadian prison.
Attorneys for Omar Ahmed Khadr filed a notice of application in Federal Court, seeking an order to compel Canada’s Minister of Public Safety to render a decision on Khadr’s request.
Khadr’s attorneys claim the Supreme Court of Canada has dealt a series of rebukes to the Canadian government for its handling of Khadr’s case.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has held that Canada’s interrogation of a youth, in the circumstances under which it occurred, offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects,” the complaint states.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has held that Canada actively participated in what was, at least at one time, an illegal regime.”
Khadr admitted participating in a 2002 battle in Afghanistan, in which he tossed a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier. He entered a plea agreement and the Canadian and U.S. governments agreed that the bulk of his sentence could be served in Canada, according to the legal filing.
The U.S. government approved his request for transfer in April this year, but the Canadian government has ignored it, failing to acknowledge receipt of the request in a “timely way,” according to the complaint.
Khadr was sentenced to 8 years, not including the time he was held without charge, and was required to serve a year in Guantanamo Bay, which expired in October 2011. Khadr claims the delay in deciding his fate is unreasonable and is causing an “ongoing breach” of his constitutional rights.
He is represented by John Norris and Brydie Bethell, with Simcoe Chambers in Toronto.