For Immediate Release Friday, June 01, 2012
Omar Khadr: U.N. Committee against Torture recommends transfer to Canada and redress for human rights violations
The Committee against Torture (Committee) issued its Concluding Observations on Canada on May 31. The hearing on Canada was held in Geneva May 21-22. Among the issues the Committee reviewed was Canada’s treatment of Canadian Omar Khadr during his ongoing detention at Guantánamo prison. Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, captured in at age 15 in Afghanistan by the US in 2002 and imprisoned since in Bagram and Guantánamo Bay prisons.
In its May 2012 “shadow report” to the Committee, LRWC and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (CLMG) had recommended that Canada immediately repatriate Khadr and remedy the violations against him. The Committee agreed. The Committee’s Concluding Observations urge Canada “to promptly approve Omar Khadr’s transfer application and to ensure that he receives appropriate redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.”
The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed in 2010 that Khadr’s s. 7 Charter rights to liberty and security of the person had been violated by Canadian and US officials. In 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that participation by Canadian officials in the Guantánamo Bay process—which violated the Geneva Conventions—was contrary to Canada’s binding international obligations.
The Committee also recommended that Canada raise awareness of Convention against Torture (Convention) requirements amongst judges and members of the public.
All reports are available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats48.htm
A webcast of the Committee’s review of Canada, which took place May 21-22 in Geneva, will be posted in the archives at: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/
For interviews or more information, contact:
| Gail Davidson, LRWC
Tel: +1-604 738-0338
Fax: +1-604 736-1175
| Gavin Magrath
Magrath O’Connor LLP
302-326 Richmond St. West, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5V 1X2
Email: gavin at agrathoconnor.com