Habeas corpus

It’s hard to believe that beef and softwood lumber dominate the disourse on Canada-US relations, while the story of Omar Khadr remains low-priority news.

Khadr, a Canadian citizen born in Toronto, was taken into custody by the US military over three years ago at the age of 15, following a firefight in which a US soldier was killed by a grenade thrown by Khadr. He has been held at Guatanamo Bay, allegedly subjected to inhumane treatment, and provided with very limited access to legal counsel or consular services. He now faces a military tribunal and the possibility of the death penalty.

The Canadian government has been silent on this issue. There is no doubt that the Khadr’s family are closely linked to Al-Qaeda. Why go to bat to defend the human rights of someone so objectionable?

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3 Comments

  1. Gauntlet said,

    Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 10:55 pm

    Here here.

    But frankly, the fact he has a Canadian citizenship is weak reason to make his case more important than the rest. If you believe in Human Rights and Dignity, as our government claims to, you cannot stand idly by while those rights and dignity are trampled upon.

  2. Gnomes said,

    Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 1:00 pm

    I agree that his citizenship shouldn’t affect whether or not he is accorded basic human rights, or whether anyone will for him if he is denied them. Seeing US citizens get free passes out of Guantanamo into the US Justice system and receive constitutional protections is almost as repugnant as the unlawful nature of the prison in the first place.

    Practically, though, our citizens are the particular business of our government.

  3. Manatee said,

    Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 2:19 pm

    I’m glad to hear the news today that Omar will not be subject to the death penalty if found guilty.

    It would be nice to have a government willing to speak out about draconian policies wherever they occur. Let’s not forget that we have our own dirty laundry:

    http://www.amnesty.ca/take_action/actions/canada_certificates.php


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