Canadian citizen Omar Khadr was picked up in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15
June 28, 2010
Peter B Collins speaks with Prof. Lisa Hajjar who was at Guantanamo for a recent session of the infamous military commissions for Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was picked up in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15. Prof. Hajjar is a sociologist from UC Santa Barbara and an editor of Middle East Report who details the Khadr case, the flimsy evidence (including torture-induced false confessions) and the remarkable competence displayed by the now-23-year-old as he has fired lawyers, demanded to represent himself, and threatened to boycott the proceedings. The American military lawyers assigned to represent him show remarkable courage in denouncing a rigged system. Prof. Hajjar also comments on the recent Supreme Court denial of an appeal from another Canadian brutalized by the US, Maher Arar. Her detailed article is here, and adds important new details and context to the Arar case. Two other Canadians were also held in Syria, where they were tortured and interrogated at the same time as Arar; one was a friend from Toronto who was the original focus of investigators. While a Canadian commission fully investigated the Arar case and delivered a formal apology and $10.5 million settlement to Arar, the US courts have consistently blocked his access to justice.
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