Please Donate to Help Challenge Bill-24

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyers and Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers are taking the federal government to court (pro bono) to challenge Bill-24.

End Second-Class Citizenship.


Critics of the bill see it as another vindictive action by Harper which particularly targets Omar. The bill (came into law in June) allows the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens and those who are eligible for dual citizenship. Since Omar’s father was Egyptian, he is eligible. The bill creates a 2 tier Canadian citizenship system and needs strong opposition. Please sign the BCCLA petition and contribute to their fundraising campaign. They have supported various speaking events we have had in Vancouver for Omar and would appreciate our help!

To see how you can help and donate please click the link: http://equalcitizens.nationbuilder.com/#video


GUANTANAMO’S CHILD: OMAR KHADR | Trailer World Première, Toronto Film Festival 2015

The Untold Story Of Omar Khadr – documentary (80 min.)


Omar Khadr is finally free, though on strict bail conditions while an appeal of his US military commission conviction is underway. He has been behind bars for the last 13 years, without any evidence of guilt. Many human rights issues in the case remain unresolved.
a short history 
  • Omar (now 28) was born in Toronto.
  • In his youth, the family moved back and forth between Canada and Afghanistan, where his father worked as an aid worker,
  • On July 27, 2002, the house where his father had left Omar as a translator, was heavily bombed by U.S. forces. When found, barely alive under rubble, Omar was shot in the back and captured.
  • Months of brutal interrogations and torture followed during his captivity in Bagram.  Fifteen-year-old Omar was falsely accused and forced to confess to the killing of a U.S. soldier who fell during the battle.
  • October 2002, just 16, he was sent to Guantanamo, where he spent the next decade – often in solitary confinement.
  • On October 30, 2010, he was forced to plead guilty before a U.S. military commission in Guantanamo. He knew his only chance of getting out of there was to ‘confess’. The Guantanamo paradox: you had to lose to win. Those lucky enough to get charged and convicted got out.
  • The “crimes” he had to plead guilty to did not exist under Canadian, U.S. or international law. The Guantanamo court is not a real court as it is not internationally recognized. 
  • As a result, Omar is the only child ever convicted of a war crime and the only person convicted for any of the 7,000+ American casualties in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
  • On September 26, 2012, he was repatriated to Canada and placed in a maximum security prison.
  • On May 7, 2015, after almost 13 years of wrongful imprisonment, he was finally released on bail, pending the appeal of his Guantanamo ‘conviction’.

Excerpt from Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows – the 40 min. version of the documentary.


2015 05 07 Omar Khadr 28

Canada: Justice Still Denied in Case of Omar Khadr

Amnesty Petition, July 2015


canada_omar_khadr_july_2015Dear Prime Minister Harper,

Omar Khadr is finally out on strict bail conditions while an appeal of his US military commission conviction is underway. Many human rights issues in the case remain unresolved. I urge the government of Canada to:

  • Investigate the credible and troubling allegations of torture and ill-treatment while Omar Khadr was detained in Bagram and Guantánamo Bay;
  • Recognize Omar Khadr as a child soldier in line with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict;
  • Acknowledge the grave human rights violations associated with the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, including the fact that the military commissions fall far short of international standards for fair trials;
  • Provide a remedy as required by the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision, particularly with a view to ensuring non-repetition of the human rights violations experienced by Omar Khadr;
  • Ensure that the Correctional Service of Canada is able to manage Omar Khadr’s case without political interference.

Sincerely,

—————


Please submit petition by December 2015 to:
Amnesty International Canada
312 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9

Contact: hhomes@amnesty.ca


pdf of the Amnesty Petition: http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/canada_omar_khadr_july_2015.pdf


The Free Omar Khadr Now legal fund campaign

At long last we are celebrating Omar’s release on bail, after 13 years of unlawful imprisonment! However, there are still legal battles ahead. The Free Omar Khadr Now campaign will continue its fight until Omar is completely free to come and go where he wants, and until he is acquitted of all the baseless charges applied by the illegitimate Guantánamo commission. The violation of Omar’s rights must be properly remedied.

We will continue to support Omar’s pro bono lawyers with their mounting costs. (Read below the upcoming court challenges).

2015 Free Omar Khadr Now logo

Upcoming court challenges are:

  • September 2015 – Federal government’s appeal of Judge Ross’ decision to grant bail to Omar;
  • Appeal to the Court of Military Commission Review in the U.S. to vacate all Omar’s Guantanamo Bay ‘convictions’;
  • Civil lawsuit against the Canadian government for complicity in his arbitrary detention and cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of the United States.

We continue to need your help and ask you to support the Free Omar Khadr 2015 Fundraising campaign which has a goal of $80,000. This money goes directly to Omar’s defence with no administration fees.

Your contribution makes his defence possible and brings Omar’s case closer to justice.

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2015-free-omar-fund_60KTO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FREE OMAR KHADR NOW 2015 FUND, you have the following options

  • 2) By Cheque, you can send to: Free Omar Khadr Now Committee; P.O. Box 57112 RPO; East Hastings Street, Vancouver; V5K 1Z0 B.C.; Canada. (Please enclose your email address)
  • 3) By Bank Deposit/Interac e-transfer: Free Omar Khadr Now Committee; VanCity Credit Union, Branch 13; Account number: 531590; FreeOmar.ca@gmail.com

.

Thank you..


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Omar Khadr’s appeal of war crimes convictions gets help from U.S. court ruling on other Gitmo case

Originally posted on National Post:

TORONTO — An American court decision in the case of an alleged al-Qaida recruiter Friday has cast further doubt on the war crimes convictions of Canada’s Omar Khadr.

In its split ruling, the appeals court set aside the military commission conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, a Guantanamo Bay detainee who did media relations for terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

In essence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the conspiracy case against al-Bahlul was legally flawed because conspiracy is not a war crime — similar to arguments Khadr has made. The commission only had jurisdiction to try internationally recognized war crimes, the court said.

Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer was not immediately available to comment, but one of his Canadian lawyers said the decision undermines Khadr’s conviction and his appeal should now be allowed.

“By implication, (the ruling) pretty much seals the deal with respect to…

View original 375 more words

Donate to Omar’s Legal Fund



TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FREE OMAR KHADR NOW 2015 FUND, you have the following options   

2015-free-omar-fund_60K

  • 2) By Cheque, you can send to: 
    Free Omar Khadr Now Committee; 
    Box 57112 
    R.P.O. East Hastings Street, 
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Canada
    V5K 1Z0

    (Please enclose your email address)

  • 3) By Bank Deposit/Interac e-transfer: Free Omar Khadr Now Committee; VanCity Credit Union, Branch 13; Account number: 531590; FreeOmar.ca@gmail.com

At long last we are celebrating Omar’s release from prison! However, there are still legal battles ahead and the violation of Omar’s rights must be properly remedied. Our focus now must be on helping Omar’s lawyers with their mounting costs. Upcoming court challenges are:   
 1. September 2015 – Federal government’s appeal of Judge Ross’ decision to grant bail to Omar; 
 
 2. Appeal to the Court of Military Commission Review in U.S. to vacate all Guantanamo Bay ‘convictions’
 
 3. Civil lawsuit against the Canadian government for complicity in his arbitrary detention and cruel and inhuman treatment at the hands of the Americans.
 
We continue to need your help and ask you to support the Free Omar Khadr 2015 fundraising campaign which has a goal of $80,000. This money goes directly to Omar’s defence with no administration fees.
Your contribution makes his defence possible and brings Omar’s case closer to justice.

2015 05 07 Omar Khadr 28

Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows | CBC Doc – May 28, 9:00 PM EST

The CBC recently completed the documentary on Omar by adding the long awaited exclusive interview with him, recorded shortly after his release on May 7. The CBC Doc ‘Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows’ is directed by Patrick Reed (White Pine Pictures) and co-directed by Michelle Shephard (Toronto Star).
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 CBC promo:
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Omar Khadr Out of the Shadows


“In His Own Words: Omar Khadr | “I just wish for people to give me a chance”, by Michelle Shephard: http://projects.thestar.com/omar-khadr-in-his-own-words/index.html 

On CBC Radio, Anna Maria Tremonti from The Current speaks with Michelle Shephard about Omar’s first interview after his release on bail: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/omar-khadr-shares-his-story-in-out-of-the-shadows-documentary-may-28-2015-1.3090666?autoplay=true

Omar Khadr 3 – 0 Harper


Today the Supreme Court of Canada sided once again with Omar Khadr, in a unamimous ruling.
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By Hazel Gabe, Free Omar Khadr Now member, on location.
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In a rare quick decision from the bench, the supreme court confirmed the earlier order of the Alberta Court of Appeal that Omar should have been classified as a juvenile thereby serving his sentence in a provincial facility. The court went on to say that Omar should never have been treated as an adult or placed in a federal penitentiary. According to the ruling, Ottawa has made a grave mistake in its interpretation of the International Transfer of Offenders Act and should never have treated Omar thus.
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Omar’s ‘sentence’ in 2010, by an extrajudicial U.S. military commission at Guantanamo Bay, was widely denounced by legal experts and human rights organizations worldwide. However the sentence itself it was not under question today. The topic before the Supreme Court was how Omar should have been classified upon his return to Canada in 2012.
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The practical application of the ruling has to do with whether Omar’s sentence should have been served out in a federal prison, as the crown maintained, or in a provincial facility. An adult sentence would have meant that, if Omar were to return to prison, it would be to a federal penitentiary. Prior to being released on Bail, Omar was being held in a provincial facility outside Edmonton. But, initially Ottawa had placed him in a federal penitentiary-for several months in solitary confinement. It took a legal challenge of his adult classification status to seek transfer to a provincial facility, where he was able to access educational programs and opportunities.
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The International Transfer of Offenders Act and other treaties govern the transfer of prisoners between countries like the United States and Canada, so that sentences can be served out in a prisoner’s home country even if a sentence was administered abroad. This is the basis under which Canada continues to enforce the sentence imposed by the United States. Omar is currently challenging the charges against him in US courts. Other ex-Guantanamo prisoners have successfully challenged their charges in US civilian courts.
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Lawyers for the crown argued that Omar’s sentence should be considered adult, despite the fact that Omar was 15 at the time of the offences. But the court agreed with defense lawyers who stated that as Omar’s eight-year sentence falls under the maximum of life imprisonment for adults in Canada, it must be considered a juvenile sentence in this country.
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The ruling has no immediate effect on Omar as he is currently free on bail. However, it would be an important consideration if he were to return to prison. With this ruling he would be returned to a provincial prison as before, with access to rehabilitative programs. A lawyer for Amnesty International, who spoke at today’s hearing, pointed out that the more lenient route is congruent with international law, which makes special provision for children and children involved in armed conflict and stresses rehabilitation.
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Omar received his Guantanamo Bay sentence as part of a plea deal that would allow him to return to Canada. After 11 years in US custody, subjected to ongoing human rights abuses including torture, he was offered the deal as the only escape from indefinite imprisonment. The United States maintains the right to keep prisoners at Guantanamo Bay irrespective of rulings of innocence or guilt. Although the Military Commissions process does not follow basic legal principles, allows evidence obtained under torture and is not  legally comptenent to determine innocence or guilt, Omar has been forced to wrangle his way through Canadian courts for justice.
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This is Omar’s third victory in the Supreme Court, which has consistently ruled in his favour.
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