The BCCLA demanded immediate action from the Prime Minister’s office for the immediate repatriation of child-soldier Omar Khadr in wake of a Federal Court decision released today.
“The Federal Court has made the only decision that could be made under the Charter,” says Robert Holmes, President of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. “This matter is an ongoing embarrassment to the Canadian public and the Canadian government. We demand immediate action from the Prime Minister’s office to bring Mr. Khadr home.”
The decision finds Mr. Khadr’s detention in Guantanamo Bay is illegal under both U.S. and international law. It questions the appropriateness of Canada’s knowing involvement in the mistreatment of Mr. Khadr, including the use of such tactics as sleep deprivation.
“People are measured by how they treat the least among us. Omar Khadr has been caught up in wretched conditions in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Yet he is one of our own and, as the judge has just ruled, is owed a duty of protection by our government. The government has not fulfilled its responsibilities here for one of Canada’s children. Instead, Mr. Khadr has been subjected to mistreatment and illegal detention in another country,” said Holmes. “Canada’s violations of its international and domestic legal commitments to Mr. Khadr must come to an end.”
The BCCLA congratulates Mr. Khadr’s Canadian counsel, Denis Edney and Nathan Whitling, for their committed work to bring this case forward to the Federal Court.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Robert Holmes, President, 604-681-1310