Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    05 Jul '17 18:551 edit

    "Canada to pay $10.5m to youngest Guantanamo inmate, convicted of killing US soldier."

    "The Canadian government is going to apologise and give millions to a
    former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing a US soldier
    in Afghanistan when he was 15, with Canada’s supreme court later ruling
    that officials had interrogated him under “oppressive circumstances”.

    An official familiar with the deal said on Tuesday that Omar Khadr will receive
    10.5 million Canadian dollars (US$8 million). The official was not authorized
    to discuss the deal publicly before the announcement and spoke on condition of
    anonymity. The government and Khadr’s lawyers negotiated the deal last month.

    The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops following
    a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in
    the death of an American special forces medic, US army Sgt Christopher Speer.

    Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken
    to Guantanamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.
    He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentenced
    to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He returned to
    Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released in
    May 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea, which he said was made under duress."

    "His lawyers filed a $20 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the
    Canadian government, arguing the government violated international law
    by not protecting its own citizen and conspired with the US in its abuse of Khadr."

    "Guantánamo film shows plight of Canadian national detained at 15"

    "As far as the Pentagon is concerned, Khadr's case is closed. But a film
    about his interrogation, released in the UK this week, raises a series of
    deeply troubling questions. Firstly, it asks, why did the US try a child,
    captured in Afghanistan aged 15, when UN treaties decree underage
    combatants be treated as victims? How reliable was a confession Khadr says
    was extracted under torture and, it emerged later, tacit threats of gang rape?

    The film, Four Days Inside Guantánamo, is released in the UK on Friday.
    It even casts doubt on the Pentagon's claims that Khadr was responsible
    for killing a US solder, the incident for which he was tried."

    "According to US military prosecutors, a grenade thrown by Khadr fatally
    injured an American sergeant, Christopher Speer. But photographs which
    emerged in 2009 appear to show the boy lying unconscious in the compound
    at the time he supposedly committed the act. He was partly blinded and
    suffered severe back and shoulder injuries in the battle. He was taken first
    to the Bagram airbase, where interrogation commenced, and then Guantánamo.

    The four days of questioning by Canadian intelligence officials feature
    heavily in the film and show a traumatised Khadr initially admitting to having
    met Osama bin Laden before saying he made this up as he feared more torture.
    Several times he breaks down in sobs, at one point seemingly calling for his mother."

    "This is despite the repeated insistence of Unicef that the only people
    guilty of war crimes were the adults who coerced a boy into fighting."