Omar Khadr has still not received his justice

Gerald Caplan is a rare Canadian journalist who tried to hold the government accountable for their treatment of Omar during the long years of his terrible journey.

Mr. Caplan’s latest column encourages people to participate in the Free Omar Letter Writing Campaign for the settlement of Omar’s 2004 civil suit: “Now I hope thousands of Canadians go to www.freeOmar.ca and demand that their government offer Mr. Khadr the justice he deserves for the many years of his life that they wickedly stole from him.”

 Read full article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/…/omar-khad…/article29668916

Letter Writing Campaign: https://freeomar.ca/2016/04/04/letter-writing-campaign/ 

Our obligation to Omar Khadr

Our obligation to Omar KhadrThe federal government recently announced they would not proceed with the Conservative government’s appeal of Omar Khadr’s release on bail. There was a collective sigh of relief from those who have followed his tragic case.

Although Omar is no longer in prison, Canadians cannot be complacent. We must question how we allowed such a gross travesty of justice to occur; how, for over a decade, we sanctioned or acquiesced to the most serious violation of a citizen’s rights and to the torture and abuse of a child.

A letter writing campaign launched by the Free Omar Khadr Committee calls on the Canadian government to finally address our obligation to Omar.

Our individual liberties and equality before the law depend on the universal enforcement of rights and remedies for violations. Violations of those rights must be remedied; otherwise rights protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international treaties are meaningless.

In 2004 a civil claim was filed against the Canadian government seeking compensation for the violations of Omar’s protected rights due to the actions of Canadian authorities and the participation of Canadian officials in his torture and abuse in the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Rather than accepting the conclusion of the Supreme Court that Canadian officials were complicit in the human rights violations suffered while Omar was detained in Guantánamo, the Canadian government, at taxpayer’s expense, persistently has fought Omar’s legal team at every level of court — only to lose each and every time.

A settlement of the civil suit is long overdue. It is urgent that our government provide redress to Omar for the 13 years of suffering caused to him by Canada.
Canada must also launch a commission of inquiry into the actions of Canadian authorities in the human rights abuses Omar suffered during his illegitimate imprisonment by the U.S.

A series of Canadian governments (both Liberal and Conservative) from 2002-2016 stand accused of being complicit in the violation of virtually all Omar’s Charter rights and have contravened Canada’s duty to protect rights under the Convention against Torture, the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Successful court challenges launched by Omar’s legal team in both Canadian and U.S. courts reveal the scope of the injustice:

    • the U.S. Supreme Court (2006) ruled that the U.S. Pentagon military commissions which “charged” and “sentenced” Omar were unconstitutional;
    • the Supreme Court of Canada (2008) ruled that the conduct of Canadian interrogators violated Omar’s fundamental human rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and principles of fundamental justice;
    • the Federal Court ruled (2005) that Canadian agencies (including CSIS) had violated Omar’s Charter rights by turning information obtained by torture over to his U.S. captors to be used against him in his “trial”;
    • the Federal Court of Appeal ordered (2009) Canada to arrange for Omar’s immediate return (an order ignored by the federal government);
    • the Alberta Appeal Court ruled (2015) that Omar should not have been placed in a federal penitentiary upon his repatriation to Canada. Furthermore, the judgment highlighted the illegitimacy of the Guantánamo military tribunal, stating “…the evidence against [Khadr] would have been excluded in a Canadian court. The legal process under which [Khadr] was held and the evidence elicited from him have been found to have violated both the Charter and international human rights law…”.

The United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT) recommended in July 2012 that Canada “ensure that [Omar Khadr] receives appropriate redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.”

The remedial action required has been outlined by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LWRC) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group in their 2012 report to the UNCAT on the Omar Khadr case in which the numerous contraventions of obligations by Canada were identified.

LRWC identified Canada’s duties under the Convention against Torture to: fullyinvestigate the torture and ill-treatment of Omar Khadr; punish those responsible; and adopt effective measures to prevent further occurrences. According to LRWC: “The continuing failure to prevent, investigate and punish the torture and ill-treatment in the Omar Khadr case not only constitutes a continuing violation of the rights of Omar Khadr, but also encourages and enhances the danger of torture by state and non-state actors alike.”

The UN Committee Against Torture has posed the question: “Has Omar Khadr received appropriate redress for the human rights violations that he suffered, as ruled by the Canadian Supreme Court?” Until our government takes that responsibility, our obligation to Omar must continue.


Kathleen Copps is a retired B.C. teacher and member of the Free Omar Khadr Committee.
Photo: Free Omar Khadr Committee


 

Publication on Rabble.ca: http://rabble.ca/news/2016/04/our-obligation-to-omar-khadr


 

 

 

In Loving Memory of Afroze Ali


The Free Omar committee is grieved to share the news of the passing of our dear friend, Afroze Ali, who left us on Sunday, April 10, in Toronto.

It is a great loss to her family and all who knew and loved her and a difficult time for those of us who worked so closely with Afroze in pursuit of justice for Omar.

With her strong spirit, and passion for righteousness, rectitude and truth, she worked tirelessly for the Free Omar campaign, never wavering in her dedication, even as her health deteriorated. She contributed essentially to its progress over the years.

Her loss is felt in waves across the globe and her friends are in deep mourning for her family’s beloved member. Free Omar would like to personally offer condolences to her parents and two sons, whom she spoke of with great love always.

Rest in peace dearest Afroze.

 

Your Free Omar friends

 


 

Our obligation to Omar Khadr

Our obligation to Omar KhadrThe federal government recently announced they would not proceed with the Conservative government’s appeal of Omar Khadr’s release on bail. There was a collective sigh of relief from those who have followed his tragic case.

Although Omar is no longer in prison, Canadians cannot be complacent. We must question how we allowed such a gross travesty of justice to occur; how, for over a decade, we sanctioned or acquiesced to the most serious violation of a citizen’s rights and to the torture and abuse of a child.

A letter writing campaign launched by the Free Omar Khadr Committee calls on the Canadian government to finally address our obligation to Omar.

Our individual liberties and equality before the law depend on the universal enforcement of rights and remedies for violations. Violations of those rights must be remedied; otherwise rights protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international treaties are meaningless.

In 2004 a civil claim was filed against the Canadian government seeking compensation for the violations of Omar’s protected rights due to the actions of Canadian authorities and the participation of Canadian officials in his torture and abuse in the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Rather than accepting the conclusion of the Supreme Court that Canadian officials were complicit in the human rights violations suffered while Omar was detained in Guantánamo, the Canadian government, at taxpayer’s expense, persistently has fought Omar’s legal team at every level of court — only to lose each and every time.

A settlement of the civil suit is long overdue. It is urgent that our government provide redress to Omar for the 13 years of suffering caused to him by Canada.
Canada must also launch a commission of inquiry into the actions of Canadian authorities in the human rights abuses Omar suffered during his illegitimate imprisonment by the U.S.

A series of Canadian governments (both Liberal and Conservative) from 2002-2016 stand accused of being complicit in the violation of virtually all Omar’s Charter rights and have contravened Canada’s duty to protect rights under the Convention against Torture, the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Successful court challenges launched by Omar’s legal team in both Canadian and U.S. courts reveal the scope of the injustice:

    • the U.S. Supreme Court (2006) ruled that the U.S. Pentagon military commissions which “charged” and “sentenced” Omar were unconstitutional;
    • the Supreme Court of Canada (2008) ruled that the conduct of Canadian interrogators violated Omar’s fundamental human rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and principles of fundamental justice;
    • the Federal Court ruled (2005) that Canadian agencies (including CSIS) had violated Omar’s Charter rights by turning information obtained by torture over to his U.S. captors to be used against him in his “trial”;
    • the Federal Court of Appeal ordered (2009) Canada to arrange for Omar’s immediate return (an order ignored by the federal government);
    • the Alberta Appeal Court ruled (2015) that Omar should not have been placed in a federal penitentiary upon his repatriation to Canada. Furthermore, the judgment highlighted the illegitimacy of the Guantánamo military tribunal, stating “…the evidence against [Khadr] would have been excluded in a Canadian court. The legal process under which [Khadr] was held and the evidence elicited from him have been found to have violated both the Charter and international human rights law…”.

The United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT) recommended in July 2012 that Canada “ensure that [Omar Khadr] receives appropriate redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.”

The remedial action required has been outlined by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LWRC) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group in their 2012 report to the UNCAT on the Omar Khadr case in which the numerous contraventions of obligations by Canada were identified.

LRWC identified Canada’s duties under the Convention against Torture to: fullyinvestigate the torture and ill-treatment of Omar Khadr; punish those responsible; and adopt effective measures to prevent further occurrences. According to LRWC: “The continuing failure to prevent, investigate and punish the torture and ill-treatment in the Omar Khadr case not only constitutes a continuing violation of the rights of Omar Khadr, but also encourages and enhances the danger of torture by state and non-state actors alike.”

The UN Committee Against Torture has posed the question: “Has Omar Khadr received appropriate redress for the human rights violations that he suffered, as ruled by the Canadian Supreme Court?” Until our government takes that responsibility, our obligation to Omar must continue.


Kathleen Copps is a retired B.C. teacher and member of the Free Omar Khadr Committee.
Photo: Free Omar Khadr Committee


 

Publication on Rabble.ca: http://rabble.ca/news/2016/04/our-obligation-to-omar-khadr


 

 

 

Omar Khadr May 2015

Letter Writing Campaign | Justice For Omar Khadr – Your Support Needed!

Dear Supporters of Justice for Omar Khadr,

As you are aware Omar has endured years of suffering and abuse due to the Canadian government’s refusal to award protection guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and international conventions.

In 2004 a civil claim was filed against the Canadian government seeking compensation for the violations of Omar’s fundamental rights, including the participation of Canadian officials in his torture and abuse in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Over the past 13 years the Canadian government has persistently fought Omar’s legal team at every level of court, all at the tax payers expense; only to lose each and every time. It is time for this government to be accountable for its actions.

History tells us that: “Some cases enshrine the defining moments of their time. Omar Khadr’s case is one. Future generations will rightly judge our shocking dereliction of responsibility in this matter and our collective failure to extend justice and humanity”. – Constance Backhouse, Distinguished Professor of Law.

Urgent action is required to settle the civil suit. Please use the template letter provided here [PDF and Word format], or choose your own message to write (no postage required), email or fax Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Justice Jodi Wilson-Raybould and your Member of Parliament. Encourage them to provide a positive and immediate resolution for Omar. (See contact information following the letter.)

Thank you,

The Free Omar Campaign


TEMPLATE LETTER

Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

Member of Parliament  _____________

Date:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Member of Parliament _____________ :

Canada has a legal and moral responsibility to offer Omar Khadr remedy for the suffering and denial of justice he has incurred since his capture by U.S. forces in 2002.

On May 7, 2015, after a 13 year imprisonment, Omar Khadr was finally freed on bail. His ordeal is far from over.

If fundamental principles of justice and international protocols had been honoured, Omar Khadr – a 15-year-old, wounded and captured in Afghanistan – would have been returned to Canada immediately; not abandoned and subjected to more than a decade of torture and abuse in the notorious prison camps Bagram and Guantanamo Bay.

The Canadian government (first the Liberal, then the Conservative) has a 13 year record of flouting Omar’s rights. Our obligation to ensure fair treatment and to provide protection accorded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights treaties, was consistently ignored.The settlement of a civil suit launched in 2004 to address these violations is long over due.

Rights to equality before the law, and equal access to legal remedies are fundamental guarantees of democratic nations. Our individual liberty and access to fair treatment before the courts depend on the maintenance of our Charter rights, their universal application and enforcement. Violations of those rights must be remedied otherwise our entire legal system is in jeopardy.

The UN Committee Against Torture has called on Canada to honour its legal obligation to ensure that Omar receives redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.

It is time for the government to settle the lawsuit and award remedy for the violation of Omar’s rights.

I thereby call on the Canadian government to:

  • Immediately settle the civil suit launched in 2004;
  • Establish an inquiry to fully investigate and hold accountable the Canadian officials deemed by the Supreme Court and Federal Court to have violated Omar’s fundamental and Charter rights;
  • Facilitate the annulment of Omar’s illegitimate Guantanamo ‘conviction’ now before the U.S. Military Commission Court of Review.

Sincerely,

Name:
Address:


MAILING INFORMATION: If you address your letter to MP and indicate a Canadian return address, you don’t need a stamp!

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTER, EMAIL OR FAX TO:
Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca
Fax: 613-941-6900

Please send your letter to:
Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Telephone: 613-992-1416
Fax: 613-992-1460

Your Member of Parliament: http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/compilations/houseofcommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

BACKGROUND: For more information on Omar’s story, how to support him and donate to the Free Omar legal fund, please go to http://FreeOmar.ca


In solidarity,

The Free Omar Campaign

2015 06 - fokn new logo