Canada's Child Soldier, Omar Khadr, Finally Returns to Canada After a Decade of Abuse in GITMO

Teenager Omar Khadr displaying his torture scars during an interrogation by CSIS and RCMP members while in GITMO

Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured, held illegally in violation of US law, international law and the Geneva Conventions, in the rubble of a bombed-out compound near Khost, Afghanistan. After reading his biography at Wikipedia just now it was impossible not to be moved by the story of this young man who was formally identified as a child soldier by the head of the United Nations child soldier program in a letter to the US Military at GITMO.

During his illegal and immoral detention Khadr's lawyers won 5 cases in the Supreme Courts - 3 in the US, 2 in Canada, all in one way or another agreeing that Canada and the US signed a treaty, The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which clearly says "all children under the age of 18 captured while fighting in wars are to be offered “special protection” and treated as victims, not as combatants.  “Khadr never should have been brought to Guantanamo. He was a child of fifteen at the time he was captured, and his subsequent detention and prosecution for purported war crimes was unlawful, as was his torture by U.S. officials,” The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy said, calling Khadr’s case “one of the ugliest chapters in the decade-long history of Guantanamo.”

Regardless of the court rulings, America, Canada, and NATO  believe they have the right to invade any country they want, and expect the inhabitants to roll over and do nothing. If anyone actually fights back, they arrest them, torture them, then charge them with terrorism. Omar Kadhr, after eight years of psychological and physical torture, pled guilty at the Guantanamo military commission. Eight years of hell for allegedly defending himself from US soldiers who were doing their best to kill Afghan civilians.

Every Canadian and American should realize they have the same rights as Omar Khadr, none. Rights, constitutional rights, aren't just for when it's convenient, it's when times get tough that Canadians and Americans like to think they have 'rights' to support them. They don't. The sad and embarrassing case of Omar Khadr is probably not over yet for the Canadian government. Omar Khadr, like Maher Arar, has the right to sue Canada for damages because of its complicity in his detention and torture. He has the right to demand immediate release because the GITMO military kangaroo court that sentenced him was/is totally illegal by all international conventions.

Omar Khadr will be a free man soon. Hopefully, because he was a child soldier, Canada will fulfill its obligation to provide the rehabilitation and counselling due to him under international. law. WELCOME BACK [Omar] KHADR!!