CIPS Working Paper, November 2010

  • Omar Khadr, the only Canadian citizen still being held in the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, has been dragged through a blatantly unfair trial process, during the final days of which he agreed to plead guilty. It is a process that refused at every turn to give serious attention to pressing human rights concerns.
  • Ignored were the facts that he was a 15‐year old child when he was arrested, and that he had long before been propelled into a world of extremism and violence by his fanatical father.
  • It is staggering to see the unrelenting determination of both the US and Canadian governments to go out of their way to pretend that binding international human rights standards dealing with the protection and rehabilitation of child soldiers are not relevant to his case.

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Alex Neve is Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and was one of the few international human rights lawyers allowed to observe the proceedings against Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen.