Thursday, June 26, 2008

Canadian Judge: U.S. Violated International Law in Khadr Case

A judge for a Federal Court in Canada has ruled, according to a report, that videotapes made of interviews with Omar Khadr at Guantanamo over four years ago must be released to Khadr's attorneys. It's believed that these videos show Khadr crying and begging Canadian officials to help him, in addition to making charges of torture, and showing these same officials physical marks said to stem from this torture.

The judge, Richard Mosley, said in his ruling that the videos "may tend to support the applicant's allegations". He also apparently stated that U.S. treatment of Omar Khadr -- a then-15-year-old teenager captured in Afghanistan during fighting back in 2002, who is accused of throwing a grenade at U.S. forces and killing one soldier -- violated international laws against torture. He also stated that the Canadian government was "implicated" in the maltreatment. Khadr, now 21 years old, remains imprisoned at the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Last March, it was discovered that the U.S. government had been sitting on evidence that was exculpatory for Mr. Khadr. In his affidavit, Khadr describes abusive treatment by the American first at Baghram Air Force Base, and later at Guantanamo. He accused Canadian interrogators at Guantanamo of failing to stop the abuse, as they appeared single-minded in their determination to get him to implicate Canadian rendition torture victim, Maher Arar. Arar was a totally innocent man, kidnapped by U.S. forces from JFK airport in New York, flown to Syria and tortured there, until later released. A Canadian Commissioner of Inquiry later cleared Mr. Arar of all charges.

(H/T to Chaucounne at Daily Kos)

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