A sincere thank you to Rudy Wiebe for endorsing our petition.
Mr. Wiebe (Professor Emeritus University of Alberta Department of English 1967-92, and Officer of the Order of Canada) is one of Canada’s most respected and prolific writers and recipient of many prestigious literary awards including the Governor General’s award for fiction (twice) and the Charles Taylor Prize for Literay Non-fiction.
“I support, as strongly as I am able, this petition regarding Omar Khadr. Like most Canadians, I had followed Omar’s sad history in the media since 2002, but I first “met” him in 2013 when he wrote me a personal letter from Guantanamo Prison after reading my novel Peace Shall Destroy Many (1962) as part of his Alberta high school English course. During Omar’s imprisonment in Alberta we met five times for 2-3 hours each visit,
In January 2015, I provided a statement to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench offering my unreserved support for Omar’s bail application and included the following observations:
‘…I have never heard Omar say one bitter or furious word about anyone or anything that was done to him. Rather, he insists there is enough badness in his past: he wants to focus on the present and possibilities for the future. So we discuss ordinary human things: our family histories (he’s as curious about my Mennonite history as I am about his Islamic heritage); Canada: driving to the hospital on Edmonton streets fills him with happiness at the ordinary life he sees. He would love to come to my church, and meet my friends around Christmas turkey dinner. When I probe more, I find him an insightful thinker, quick to laugh and highly intelligent, open to a great range of ideas, eager to ponder human complexity. He says, “I have to feed my mind and imagination.” And again: “A merciful Creator is watching over us, taking care of us all.”
In my long lifetime, I have visited dozens of prison inmates (Note: the book Yvonne Johnson and I wrote together: Stolen Life: the Journey of a Cree Woman, 1998.) In all that time, I have not met an inmate more emotionally balanced, more intelligently sensible and warmly humane than Omar Khadr. I would be overjoyed to introduce him to my friends, my church, to have him come and stay in my home. ‘
Omar was released on bail 2 years ago. Now I urge the Canadian government as strongly as I can to fulfill our moral and legal obligation to award him remedy.”
Please sign the petition and remind the federal government of Canada’s moral and legal obligation to offer redress for the atrocious violations of Omar Khadr’s rights.
Thank you for your commitment!
The Free Omar Khadr Now Committee