Gail Davidson endorses our Petition! – ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’


Gail Davidson – executive director Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada​ endorses our petition.

​From the very early days of Omar’s capture and illegal detainment in notorious U.S. military prisons Bagram and Guantanamo, Gail Davidson and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada ​were critical of Canadian government policy and advocated for Omar’s immediate repatriation. For many years Gail and LRWC have worked with the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group to hold Canada accountable regarding our obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and ongoing violations in the case of Omar Khadr. Another contribution from Gail has been her critical examination of the mainstream media which provided biased and inaccurate information about the case:

​”​Omar Khadr did not “plead guilty”, was not charged with crimes or “war crimes” and was not sentenced. The terms, plead guilty, crimes and sentenced are all words understood to refer to known concepts within our criminal law system. Crimes are violations of statutory penal law; war crimes are serious violations of international humanitarian law; a guilty plea is the accused’s freely and voluntarily given confession in open court to the crime(s) with which he has been charged; statements not made voluntarily are inadmissible; sentencing is the judgement made by a court after an accused is convicted according to law. Imposition of sentence, as done by the Guantanamo Bay military tribunal, “without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people” is a gave breach (i.e. a crime) of the Geneva Conventions and a crime in Canada. In the Omar Khadr case there were no war crimes and no guilty plea and the imposition of sentence was itself a crime against the Geneva Conventions.

These terms invite readers to accept falsehoods which in turn legitimize atrocious violations of Omar Khadr’s rights, prevent the remediation recommended by the United Nations Committee against Torture and shield state authorities from accountability.​”​

​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.

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Thank you!

The Free Omar Khadr Now Committee


Nancy Huston endorses our Petition! – ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’

A sincere thank you to Nancy Huston for endorsing our petition!

Ms. Huston, a Calgary-born author and essayist, winner of Governor General Award for French language fiction, officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and chevalier of l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France believes Canada has an obligation to remedy Omar for the suffering he endured:

“Omar Khadr is one of several people whose stories have shocked me to the core.
I’ll mention just two other examples – Mourad Benchellali, also mired down in a legal morass after having been unjustly detained for yearsat Guantanamo (see his “Le piège de l’aventure”, Editions Laffont,Paris, 2016), and Maher Arar, a Canadian national arrested, detained and tortured simply for having travelled to see family in Syria (seehis wife Monia Mazigh’s book “Hope and Despair”, McClelland& Stewart,Toronto, 2008).

We teach our children to apologize when they make mistakes that have harmful effects on others. Apparently, we’re not supposed to make the same demands for basic morality on our political & legal systems as on our kids.

The miracle is the beautiful light in Omar Khadr’s face.I don’t know who lit the fire of intelligence and compassion that burns there, but it’s obvious that this young man’s energies could find a better outlet than fighting endless legal battles to be acknowledged as the innocent person he is.We can never right the wrongs that were done Omar Khadr … what we can do is clear the way to give this amazing man the future he deserves.”

Please sign and share our petition. Call on the federal government to write the wrongs that were done Omar Khadr.

 

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The Free Omar Khadr Now Committee


Roger Waters endorses our Petition! – ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’


Roger Waters endorses our petition!

Roger Waters, is not only former lead singer, bassist and ​songwriter for the iconic English rock bank Pink Floyd, he ​is also a ​active​ supporter of Palestinian ​human rights and ​outspoken critic of Guantanamo U.S. military prison.

As co-founder​ of the London-based Close Guantanamo Campaign Roger is aware of the monumental abuse the U.S. military has inflicted on former detainees, our obligation to redress the violation of their rights, and the need to free those who are still languishing in Guantanamo prison.

Although our petition is only open to Canadians, Roger joins our call on the Canadian government to fulfill our moral and legal obligation to Omar.
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Roger’s latest tour Us + Them begins May 27th. Check the schedule​ ​for concerts in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton​, final performance in Vancouver-and cities all over the U.S..

Come out and thank him for his dedication and commitment to justice-and great music!


Join our action! Please sign and help distribute our petition.

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Thank you!

The Free Omar Khadr Now Committee


Elizabeth May endorses our Petition ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’


Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, endorses our petition ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’ and calls on our government  to provide a sincere apology to Omar and offer a just remedy for the monstrous injustice he suffered.

Ms May’s support for Omar goes back to the struggle for his repatriation. In 2013, two years before Omar’s release from an Alberta prison, the Green Party issued a press release:
‘Omar an A​buse of Human Rights and International Law’:
“…T​he Canadian courts have, over the years, been reliable in ruling in Omar’s favour in various challenges highlighting human rights concerns in his case, including two Supreme Court judgments. Canada’s Federal Court found on 23 April 2009 that “Mr. Khadr’s detention in Guantanamo Bay was illegal under both U.S. and international law.”
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On 14 August 2009, the Federal Court of Appeal found his treatment to be: “…a breach of international human rights law respecting the treatment of detainees under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.” The denial of a fair trial violates the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Canada’s Geneva Convention Act, and Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.​…”​


Please sign and help distribute our petition.

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Gar Pardy endorses our Petition – ‘Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr’


Former Director General of Canadian Consular Services says the government of Canada acted maliciously toward Omar Khadr and owes him an apology and compensation.

Gar Pardy, a former Canadian ambassador and former Director General of Canadian Consular Services (1992-2003) endorses our petition.  Mr. Pardy has first hand information of the details of Omar’s case and has been outspoken about the misrepresentation Omar and his family received from successive Canadian governments. For a critical understanding of the case read Mr. Pardy’s “The Long Way Home: the Omar Khadr Saga” in the remarkable 2012 anthology: Omar Khadr, Oh Canada (edited by Janice Williamson). 

Gar Pardy:

“I have been assisting Omar Khadr and other members of his family since 1996.  In the intervening years Omar and other members of his family have encountered overt discriminatory actions by Canadian governments based on erroneous and malevolently interpreted information. Omar has been the most seriously affected by these actions and in the fifteen years since his imprisonment in Afghanistan and subsequent transfer to the American prison at Guantanamo Bay he was abused and tortured by the government of the United States.  In this the government of Canada acted maliciously, denying him the assistance he had every right to expect.  An  apology and compensation is long overdue and it is to be hoped that both will occur in the coming days.”

Please sign and help distribute our petition.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “The case of Omar Khadr is an example of horrible injustice in a modern democratic state”


In May 2014, a year before Omar was released on bail from an Alberta prison, he received a phone call from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu is a vocal critic of Guantanamo and the U.S. military commission which ‘convicted” Omar. Tutu compares it to similar practices of detention without trial in South Africa under apartheid: “Many people were incarcerated for endless periods, held in solitary confinement simply on the say so of some lackey of an unjust and oppressive system.”

Regarding Omar’s case, Archbishop Tutu later stated:

“The case of Omar Khadr is an example of horrible injustice in a modern democratic state. Omar Khadr was not even tried in an open court, and this is apart from the fact that when he was arrested, he was only 15 years of age-a minor by every credible assessment. It is unconscionable that following a travesty of a trial, where he was treated as adult in a vicious kangaroo court, his own country was an accomplice in holding him in prison.

It has been galling in the extreme to discover that those in other countries, who even helped us overthrow our oppressive system of apartheid, should have no qualms, it seems, to employ the same discredited methods as those of a system they purported to oppose.”

Desmond Tutu recognises that Omar Khadr suffered a horrible injustice by Canada, a modern democratic state.

Call on the federal government to fulfill our legal and moral obligation to Omar.

Please sign and share our petition:

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Thank you!

The Free Omar Khadr Now campaign


 

A reminder message – Omar Khadr needs your signature!


text petition

Dear Supporters of Justice for Omar,

We are counting on you! Please sign and share our petition. Help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures by reaching out to as many Canadians as possible.

Noam Chomsky endorses our petition, as does Stephen Lewis, Monia Mazigh, Maher Arar, Michel Tremblay, Nancy Huston, Monique Proulx and other prominent Canadians.​

We have an obligation to seek an apology for the ​monstrous injustice Omar has endured.

Noam Chomsky: “The imprisonment and shocking treatment of Omar Khadr has been a scandal from the first moment, running right through the disgraceful trial and his subsequent detention.  The crime should be ended at once, with sincere apology and compensation. I hope someone is compiling a full record of this story, not only out of respect for Omar, but also to reveal the utter savagery of our culture, both the monstrous acts of the USG and the craven cowardice of Canada – and the fact that so few cared.”

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The petition is open to Canadian citizens. Only the Parliamentary Clerk of Petitions will have access to your information which will not be made public.


​​Please see www.freeomar.ca for updated statements of endorsement.

For more information on the Omar Khadr case, see the following links.


Omar river2

Watch interview with Dennis Edney about Omar Khadr


Please watch this remarkable interview with Dennis Edney (Radio-Canada). http://ici.radio-canada.ca/audio-video/media-7714298/la-bataille-domar-khadr

For an update on the civil suit, Dennis’ faith that Prime Minister Trudeau will take appropriate action and Omar’s current challenges and progress.

(Please notice: this video is only available in Canada)


Stephen Lewis endorses our Petition – Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr


Stephen Lewis, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., and one of Canada’s most highly-regarded citizens, was one of earliest endorsers of our petition.

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Lewis has supported justice for Omar. In 2009, he joined 185 Canadian organizations and public figures in signing a letter to then Prime Minister Harper calling for Omar’s repatriation. As we know, Harper chose instead to abandon Omar to a corrupt military tribunal, another 3 years in Guantanamo followed by 3 years in the Canadian prison system.

Canada owes Omar a formal apology and redress for the shocking abuse and denial of fundamental justice he suffered.

Please sign and help distribute our petition.

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Background to the PETITION – CANADA’S OBLIGATION TO OMAR KHADR


Maher Arer endorses our Petition – Canada’s Obligation to Omar Khadr


The Free Omar campaign is grateful to Maher Arar for endorsing our petition calling on the federal government to fulfill our moral and legal obligation to Omar Khadr.

Canadians are likely familiar with the case of Mr. Arar, a Syrian-Canadian who in 2008, after a formal inquiry, received compensation and a formal government apology for the shocking role of Canadian officials in his 2002 rendition and year of captivity and torture in Syria. While the pain and suffering caused to Maher Arar and his family can never be fully remedied, as in Omar’s case, Canada had an obligation to award redress. Canada must respect our international obligation to oppose torture in all instances.

We thank Maher Arer for his support. We hope he inspires you to sign our petition.

Please sign and share the petition; support justice for Omar!

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Background to the PETITION – CANADA’S OBLIGATION TO OMAR KHADR