November 12, 2008
The group that oversees Ontario’s lawyers is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ask the U.S. to return Omar Khadr to Canada.
Khadr, the only Canadian citizen being held in Guantanamo Bay, is due to stand trial Jan. 26 for war crimes.
The U.S. accuses him of throwing a hand grenade that killed an American army medic following a fierce four-hour firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002.
Derry Miller, treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, says the group believes Khadr, now 22, should be returned to Canada and put on trial here.
In a Nov. 6 letter to Harper, Miller notes that U.S. president-elect Barack Obama is on the record as being opposed to the operation of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Miller says the law society believes this makes it an opportune time to raise the issue with the U.S.
“The Law Society of Upper Canada regards adherence to the rule of law and due process as fundamental principles that are the right of every Canadian citizen, regardless of the character or circumstances of the citizen,” Miller writes.
Khadr should be “returned to Canada, where he can be tried by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees recognized” by the Geneva Conventions,” the letter states.
Harper has repeatedly said he would not interfere.
The Canadian government has also maintained the Americans have reassured Ottawa of Khadr’s humane treatment.
Khadr, who was 15 at the time he was captured, was badly wounded and near death when he was captured.
Ottawa has said it pressed the Americans to ensure his proper medical care, to take his age into account, and to allow him access to Canadian lawyers.
In a May 2008 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada said there have been “clear” violations of fundamental human rights in the Khadr case.
And in July 2008, documents revealed Khadr was deprived of sleep for weeks to soften him up for interrogation.
Department of Foreign Affairs reports say Canadian official Jim Gould visited Khadr in Guantanamo Bay in 2004 and was told by the American military that measures were taken to make the then-17-year-old more pliable for interviews.
U.S. altered evidence in Khadr case: lawyers
March 13, 2008
The lawyer, Navy Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, made the allegation at a pretrial hearing as he argued for access to the officer, identified only as “Col. W,” as well as details about interrogations that he said might help clear his client of war-crimes charges.
The U.S. military has charged Omar Khadr with murder for throwing a grenade that killed Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer during a U.S. military raid on July 27, 2002, on an al-Qaeda compound in eastern Afghanistan. Mr. Khadr’s case is on track to be the first to go to trial under a military tribunal system at this U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
The military commander’s official report the day after the raid originally said the assailant who threw the grenade was killed, which would rule out Mr. Khadr as the suspect. But the report was revised months later, under the same date, to say a U.S. fighter had only “engaged” the assailant, according to Cdr. Kuebler, who said the later version was presented to him by prosecutors as an “updated” document.
Prosecutors did not contest Cmdr. Kuebler’s account in court and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Khadr, who was captured when he was 15, is among roughly 80 detainees the Pentagon plans to prosecute at Guantanamo. So far, roughly a dozen of the 275 men held at Guantanamo have been charged with war crimes.
Cmdr. Kuebler said the trial will likely hinge on statements that Mr. Khadr made to interrogators when he was held at a military prison at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The lawyer asked to be provided with the names of the interrogators as well as what techniques they used.
His interrogators included members of a unit implicated in the December 2002 beating deaths of two Afghan detainees, named Dilawar and Habibullah, Cmdr. Kuebler said.
Mr. Kuebler showed the judge a photograph of Mr. Khadr after his capture, with two gaping exit wounds in his chest from gunshots to his back, and said he would have been particularly vulnerable to coercion when he arrived at Bagram.
“We’re not talking about an adult of able physical and mental condition,” he said.
The lead prosecutor, Marine Corps Maj. Jeffrey Groharing, said defence lawyers have not demonstrated that speaking with individual interrogators would benefit their case. He said the government already has provided typewritten summaries of the Bagram interrogations.
Cmdr. Kuebler bristled at the prosecutor’s decision to withhold information it does not consider relevant to the case.
“What does he know about our case … and what might help us prepare for trial?” he asked.
The judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback, scolded both sides for not co-operating more closely on evidence-related issues that could delay the trial, currently scheduled for May. He said he would rule on most of the defence motions by late Friday.
Judge Brownback also ordered prosecutors to provide the defence with official correspondence regarding the case between the U.S. and Canadian governments.
Also Thursday, a separate military tribunal arraigned a Saudi detainee, Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi, who is accused of plotting in 2001-2002 to attack a ship in the Strait of Hormuz or off the coast of Yemen as a member of al-Qaida. He did not enter a plea to charges that include supporting terrorism.
Break Them Down: Systematic Use of “Psychological Torture” by U.S. Forces
The report is the first comprehensive review of the use of “psychological torture” by US forces, examining the devastating health consequences of psychological coercion and explaining how a regime of psychological torture was put into place in the U.S. “war on terror”.
Techniques of psychological torture used have included sensory deprivation, isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, the use of military working dogs to instill fear, cultural and sexual humiliation, mock executions, and the threat of violence or death toward detainees or their loved ones. There is strong evidence that psychological torture remains in use today.
May 2005, Report in PDF 135 pages
Anything this child or anyone else for that matter, would have said to the interrogators would be to say the least invalid. Torture renders any confession useless.
Well if you have the inclination.
One could drop Stephen a line or give him a call.
A little encouragement may help Stephen do something to help a child who has been tortured, among other things.
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900