Call for Fair Reporting on the Omar Khadr case!

One of the main goals of the Free Omar Khadr Now-campaign is to hold the media accountable for proper coverage of all aspects of Omar’s case. While there has been significant improvement in the way the mainstream media covers the story, misinformation, inaccuracies and lies continue to be printed!

Below the usual falsehoods that Canadian media imposes on us and our call for factual, fair reporting, voiced by Gail Davidson of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada:
Juridical Facts in Omar Khadr's case

Misinformation, inaccuracies and lies continue to be printed by the mainstram media in their covering of the Omar Khadr story. Their legally and factually wrong reporting is dangerously misleading.

Mr. Khadr cannot reasonably (or legally) be considered to have ‘admitted’ to the U.S. accusations against him. In October 2010 Mr. Khadr had been arbitrarily (i.e. without legal justification and without access to judicial oversight to determine the illegality of his detention or his treatment) for over 8 years.

Throughout that 8+ year period Mr. Khadr was subjected to a variety of torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment and treatment, first at the notorious Bagram prison and then at the extra-legal Guantanamo Bay prisons. His treatment throughout is prohibited by U.S., Canadian and international law binding on the U.S. and Canada. In advance of his October 2010 scheduled appearance before the Guantanamo Bay tribunal, it was known by all that this process –the Gitmo tribunal– would not result in Mr. Khadr gaining his freedom. In August 2010, the White House had issued a public statement confirming the U.S. intention to continue to hold Guantanamo Bay prisoners indefinitely, irrespective of a finding of not guilty by the Guantanamo Bay tribunals. Mr. Khadr’s acceptance in October 2010 of the ‘get out of jail in eight years and go back to Canada in one year’ plea bargain offered by the U.S. would not be considered by any properly constituted court in Canada as an ‘admission’ that could be used or relied upon, to establish guilt.

Having been obtained by torture and other impermissible coercion, Mr. Khadr’s acceptance of the plea bargain is not and cannot be considered, an admission of guilt. This is a principle of law well understood by the public. The mainstream media’s insistence on referring to Omar Khadr as a convicted murderer invites listeners/readers to assume that the media knows of factors unknown to listeners/readers, that render the wholly illegal capture, detention, treatment and extraction of statements through the use of torture, the charging and ‘conviction’ of Omar Khadr, as somehow (exceptionally) legal and justified.

For several years, Canadian mainstream media has persisted in parroting the erroneous pronouncements of the very governments implicated in the horrific and illegal maltreatment of Omar Khadr.

Gail Davidson
Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada – LRWC
3220 West 13th Avenue
Vancouver, BC CANADA, V6K 2V5
Tel: +1-604 736-1175
Fax: +1-604 736-1170
Skype: gail.davidson.lrwc
Email: lrwc@portal.ca
Website: http://www.lrwc.org


Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally by protecting advocacy rights. LRWC campaigns for advocates in danger because of their human rights advocacy, engages in research and education and works in cooperation with other human rights organizations. LRWC has Special Consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.


Medic meme


Pending the Bail Decision: Canada shouts for Justice for Omar Khadr


NEWSLETTER Free Omar Khadr Now  –  BAIL OMAR KHADR  –  MARCH 2015



Why Omar Khadr Deserves Bail – Editorial Globe and Mail 

| March 25, 2015

…. Mr. Khadr was not tried in anything resembling a normal, First World legal process. He pleaded guilty under duress: He faced indefinite incarceration without trial unless he pled guilty. The crimes themselves were invented retroactively. The court did not follow normal American domestic or military law, and it denied standard legal protections to the accused, who was a child when he was captured.

Bail Omar - G&M

Continue reading  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/why-omar-khadr-deserves-bail/article23620688/


Time to Set Omar Khadr Free – Editorial Toronto Star

| March 26, 2015

“But one thing is clear: Khadr has done more than enough time. He presents no credible threat to Canadian society and should be set free to take up an offer to live with the family of his longtime Edmonton lawyer, attend a Christian university there and rebuild his life”

Bail Omar - Editorial Toronto Star

Continue reading  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/03/26/time-to-set-omar-khadr-free-editorial.html?referrer=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FkxmweDFTZx


“Hypocritical blather on Khadr” – Letters to the Editor, Toronto Star 

By Chris McNaught, Ottawa lawyer | March 27, 2015

What hypocritical blather from two federal puppets. First, from federal lawyer Bruce Hughson in opposing Omar Khadr’s bail application: “It’s critically important that Canada meet its international obligations” — you mean, by recognizing Khadr’s clear status as a “child soldier” under the UN protocol originally championed by Canada? Or, by formally condemning — it never has — the perversion of international law through torture, abuse and other crimes at Guantanamo, in whose tenure, by way specifically of our off-loading of Khadr, Canada is complicit? Second, from Jeremy Laurin (Minister Steven Blaney’s press conduit): “Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes . . .” — any criminal lawyer with a pulse understands the plea was made to avoid Khadr spending his entire life in either Guantanamo or a U.S. prison. No allegations were ever proven by trial and tested evidence, and there is no legitimate international law providing a charge of “murder” against a soldier in any armed conflict defending himself against an enemy assault.

Bail Omar - Letter Toronto Star

Continue reading http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2015/03/27/hypocritical-blather-on-khadr.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed


Misleading headlines – Letters to the Editor, Edmonton Journal

By Helen Sadowski, Edmonton

All stories on the Edmonton Journal’s website that carried news about Omar Khadr’s bail hearing included in the headline “convicted terrorist.” That phrase, so emotionally charged and misleading, should have had a huge asterisk beside it. Omar Khadr was put before a military tribunal that was outside the American legal system and Geneva Conventions. The main evidence against him was a confession obtained through torture and illegal interrogation methods.

Bail Omar Edmonton Journal

It’s time to use another headline.

Continue reading http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Friday+letters+create+true+justice/10923656/story.html


In room 317, with Omar Khadr’s Edmonton ‘family’ – Metro News 

By Omar Mouallem | March 30, 2015

… Khadr, in blue jeans and a white polo, sat in a box off to the side. He could spot the orange ribbons and friendly faces in the courtroom, thanks to corrective eye surgery last month, repairing his right eye from the shrapnel that blinded his other eye. So when they smiled and waved, he was able to smile and wave back.

Continue reading → http://metronews.ca/voices/footnotes/1326440/in-room-317-with-omar-khadrs-edmonton-family/



OMAR KHADR’S LONG MARCH TOWARDS JUSTICE | VANCOUVER EVENT


SORRY, TICKETS NO LONGER AVAILABLE – SOLD OUT.


Attention Free Omar supporters in B.C.’s lower mainland: An opportunity to meet Dennis Edney, lawyer for Omar Khadr, share a meal and help cover Omar’s upcoming legal costs.

Wednesday April 8th 6:30 p.m. Tamam Restaurant 2616 E Hastings St. Vancouver, B.C.

$45 (pay at the door) Limited seating so be sure to contact freeomar.ca@gmail.com for reservations.


An Open Letter to the World | Omar Khadr

By Hazel Gabe

Everyone, Omar Khadr has been in prison for THIRTEEN YEARS. Since he was FIFTEEN. Now he’s twenty-eight. And not just prison. Illegal black hole detention with no rights, and people torturing him, and, for years on end, no end in sight, no knowledge of if it would ever stop. Since he was FIFTEEN. Ten years in Guantanamo Bay.

Who is Omar Khadr, you might ask? He’s an innocent young man whose story proves what happens when racism and Islamophobia is used by powerful, cowardly governments that want a scapegoat. Let me tell you about him. He is important.

He’s a Canadian citizen. He was born in Toronto. He grew up in Toronto and Pakistan. When he was fifteen, his dad left him with some men in Afghanistan, telling him to translate for them, since he spoke several languages. His father was supposed to come back to get him, but he never did. Omar was stuck there. If he’d run away, it would have shamed his father, and he might have been killed. The men were Taliban fighters.

While he was there, Americans attacked. First they bombed the house. Bombed it with 500-pound bombs. It was reduced to rubble. Then they stormed it. Eighty feet from the entrance, in a small alley, a special forces soldier recalls seeing Omar face down in rubble, screaming from the shrapnel wounds from the bombing, which had pierced his eyes and all over this body. The soldier shot him twice in the back. (This was a war crime.)

Omar was taken to a place called Bagram. He was unconscious for a week. When he woke up, his suffering had only just begun. Soldiers there told him he had killed an American soldier. They tortured him. He was still wounded from the shrapnel and the gunshot wounds and the head trauma from the bombs. He didn’t know anyone there and he was a fifteen year old kid. They shackled him in painful positions to make his wounds hurt, they hung him by his wrists, they threatened him with rape. They waterboarded him. They made him confess to anything they wanted. He confessed to killing an American soldier.

They didn’t bring him consular officials from Canada, they didn’t let him talk to a lawyer. They didn’t have someone there who was on his side (International law forbids the lengthly incarceration of children, stipulates that they must be provided education and must have access to adult advocates. International law forbids torture).

They asked Canada if it was ok they were treating a Canadian citizen like this. Canada said we don’t care. Canada said let us prove our loyalty to the United States by sacrificing one of our own. Let us help you torture him.

They brought him to Guantanamo Bay. They didn’t charge him with anything. They just held him there, for years. Sixteen, seventeen. Most kids are in high school. He had no schooling opportunities, no books. He was tortured with cells that are constantly kept freezing cold, no blankets, lights that never turn off. Sleep deprivation. Stress positions. Other things, no doubt worse.

Canadian officials came to visit him, but they were only there to ask him more questions. He cried for his mother when he realized they weren’t going to help him.

Finally they charged him with something. It wasn’t a crime. It was a fake crime they invented. War crimes are things that exist in international law, because wars are things that happen between countries. The Geneva conventions tell us what are and are not war crimes. War crimes include things like killing a medic, killing a prisoner, or torturing a prisoner of war. Omar did not commit any war crimes. Even if he had thrown a grenade that killed an American soldier, it would not have been a war crime. The soldier would have been a war casualty, and Omar would have been a child soldier, protected under international law because child soldiers are vulnerable and not held responsible.

So the US invented some new “crimes”. They called them war crimes, even though they couldn’t be, because no one country can unilaterally decide that they’ve changed the rules of war without consulting with the rest of the world. That way lies no laws at all. But this is what the Americans did.

Then they “tried” him in something that looked like a court, but wasn’t. It had the judge and the lawyers, but it didn’t have fairness, what’s called due process. He wasn’t allowed to see the evidence. He wasn’t allowed to choose his lawyers. He wasn’t allowed to bring witnesses for the defence, such as psychologists who knew him and could attest that he was a good person who was remarkably peaceful and generous and kind and without hate, amazingly, a person who spoke of peace and not a radicalized jihadist.

This false court allowed the confessions. The confessions that had been made by a fifteen-year-old who was being tortured, who was concussed and injured and bleeding, and had never been told that anything he said could be used against him in a court of law. Indeed it could not have been used in a real court. But this wasn’t a real court.

He was twenty-three by the time it went to “trial.” He was told that the trial wouldn’t change anything. Even if he was ruled innocent, they could keep him there forever.

Or he could plead guilty. Then he’d have a chance of going back to Canada.

He had no choice.

Canada let him come home, a year late. Age twenty-six. The government officials labelled him a dangerous terrorist, and stuck him in solitary. The first time he was allowed out, he was attacked by one of the violent criminals in the max security prison. At Guantanamo he had been considered minimum risk.

Government officials call him a terrorist. Newspapers call him a terrorist. And they keep him locked up, even though the Guantanamo Bay “court” wasn’t a real “court.” Australia and Great Britain protected their citizens from the flagrant abuse of their rights by taking them out of there as soon as possible. Canada abandoned a child there.

Canada continues to pretend Omar is guilty. It continues to pin its hatred of immigrants, its hatred of Muslims, and its hatred of people it sees as interlopers who come and take advantage of our “freedoms,” on Omar. It continues to abuse him and pick and choose what citizens it wants to uphold and what citizens it wants to abuse. The government continues to break the law by keeping him in prison.

Finally Omar is in a medium security prison, has friends in the nearby city of Edmonton who visit him, and teachers who have been supporting him from a nearby college. All faciliated by his Canadian lawyer and other supporters. His lawyer has worked without pay for him for over ten years, almost bankrupting himself in the process.

Omar Khadr has just applied for Bail. He’s in court this week. If he gets it, he could be free!! Free for the first time in thirteen years!!!

Pray for him. Pray for freedom for Omar.
Even if he gains freedom, Omar’s still got a long fight ahead of him to clear his name in the American courts and the Canadian courts.

You can donate to his legal fund here: https://freeomar.ca/donate/donate/

Join Bail Hearing Omar Khadr, March 24, 2015


On the morning of Tuesday, March 24, Omar will be back in court at the Court of Queen’s Bench Alberta. His lawyers will present arguments that, if successful, will lead to his release on bail pending the result of the appeal in the United States of his Guantanamo Military Commission conviction. Public and media interest will be very high and we hope to clearly communicate to Canadians that Omar has strong support within the community from a diverse group of Edmontonians. Please join us at the courthouse on Tuesday morning to get that message across!

08:30 – Assemble at the Three Bananas Café on Churchill Square. We will have Orange Ribbons available for all to show solidarity.
08:55 – Process as a group to the Court of Queen’s Bench.
09:00 – Brief assembly in front of the Court. This is the key media moment.
10:00 – Expected time for the bail hearing to begin. Courtroom # to be determined.

Our key focus is to get the largest possible group out for the Tuesday morning procession and assembly. If we can amass a large number of supporters to fill the courtyard out front, it sends a strong positive message to Canadians who will watch this on the evening news. For those with interest and time, the hearings will probably run all day Tuesday and again on Wednesday. If you are approached by media at this event, there are two key messages we would like to communicate to Canadians:

  • Omar deserves true justice. None of us would be content to have our family members subjected to the injustices that are inherent in the Guantanamo Military Commissions that ‘convicted’ Omar.
  • Omar is welcome here. We are here to let Edmontonians know that there are many reasonable, intelligent people here today who know Omar personally; all are convinced that he will make a very valuable contribution to our community.

Please confirm your attendance [via this link] so we can plan to have enough Orange Ribbons ready AND so we can advise the court if an overflow crowd is expected.


For more insight into Omar’s legal odyssey, his journey of life and his personal character see: [Fact Sheet Omar Khadr]


Romeo Dallaire on Omar Khadr and the Shameful & Cowardly Canadian Government


On March 10th, 2015, LGen Romeo Dallaire gave a talk in Halifax titled “Ending the Use of Children as Weapons of War: General Dallaire’s Ultimate Mission”. Before the event the organizers reached out to youth and individuals on Facebook to submit questions of which 3 would be posed to LGen Dallaire.

Colene Evans-Allen asks:

On the issue of Omar Khadr, we have been very divided over his case as a country, with some stating he is a child soldier and others stating he is a criminal. The overall issue of how Canada goes forward both legislatively and judicially to determine how to handle cases like Omar Khadr’s is an area that deserves to be in discussion. What legislation and legal mechanisms would you like to see Canada put in place to deal with cases such as Omar Khadr’s?

Here is LGen Romeo Dallaire’s clear response:


 

 

US Ruling Could Help Omar Khadr Successfully Appeal his Guantanamo ‘Conviction’

The US Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) made an important decision that acknowledged its illegitimacy in convicting on charges of providing material support for terrorism. The CMCR decision follows on the ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court (Al Bahlul v. United States), which held that material support for terrorism is not an offense that the military commission could try.

David Hicks, a former Guantanamo prisoner was convicted by the military commission of this offense but now that conviction has been quashed. He is innocent. His lawyer Stephen Kenny said that the decision confirms that Mr Hicks’ actions were not illegal. “He wasn’t doing anything that was a breach of Australian, international or US law. US civilian courts have ruled that the charge of providing material support for terrorism cannot be considered a war crime in cases that were brought for actions before 2006, when new laws were adopted.”

US civilian courts have ruled that the charge of providing material support for terrorism cannot be considered a war crime in cases that were brought for actions before 2006, when new laws were adopted.”

Omar Khadr was also ‘convicted’ of providing material support, and like David HIcks was told that he had no appeal rights as part of the plea deal. Now it’s clear that appeal rights have not been extinguished, rather they continue to exist.

Nate Whitling, Omar’s lawyer suggested that the ruling could help Omar’s U.S. appeal and stated that “(The) decision in the David Hicks case is important to Omar Khadr’s appeal before the same court. Essentially, it confirms that the form of waiver signed by Omar as part of his plea deal is invalid, and that he may appeal all five of his ‘convictions’.”

Sam Morison, Pentagon appointed lawyer is currently appealing all of Omar’s ‘convictions‘. This challenge has been delayed by other appeals in the system, nevertheless we are hopeful that Omar’s innocence will also be established.

In light of this US appeal and other decisions which have successfully negated the legitimacy of the military commission, Omar’s lawyers have requested bail. The bail hearing is set for March 24-25 in Edmonton. Let’s hope that justice and fairness will prevail for Omar.


Here is a listing of media articles as well as the Hicks decision:

 


 

2015 | Message from Dennis Edney Lawyer for Omar Khadr


A MESSAGE FROM DENNIS EDNEY Q.C., Lawyer for Omar Khadr | February 2015 Omar is now 28 years old and July 2015 will mark the 13th anniversary of his imprisonment. In 2014 we were successful in persuading the Alberta Court of Appeal that Omar’s U.S. sentence was a juvenile sentence, and therefore he should be transferred to a provincial institution where he can access the benefits of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The Conservative government appealed the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal. In doing so, it continued a pattern of challenging every decision favourable to Omar Khadr over the past ten years which resulted in millions of dollars in costs at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. The Supreme Court will hear the appeal on May 14, 2015.

On March 24 and 25, 2015 a two day bail application will be heard by the Queen’s Bench of Alberta. We are requesting Omar be released pending the outcome of his appeal in the United States. This application is opposed by the Conservative government on the basis Canadian courts lack jurisdiction.

In June 2015, we will be applying for Omar’s parole. We have formally put the warden on notice that he is obligated under the Act to make a security assessment of Omar. Refusal to do so makes Omar’s chances of parole somewhat grim. Both the Corrections ombudsman and Omar’s parole officer have recommended he be classified as a minimum risk. In the event Omar’s parole is denied, we will file for a judicial review of its decision.

In addition to the above work, we continue to publicize Omar’s plight while fighting for his rights within the prison. Omar remains in the Bowden Institution, a medium security prison in Innisfail, Alberta. He is going blind from lack of treatment in Canadian detention. The U.S. attack in 2002 left Omar blind in his left eye and with shrapnel lodged in his right eye. While in U.S. detention he was not provided treatment to save his sight. Now the vision in his right eye is rapidly deteriorating and without treatment, permanent blindness is inevitable. Within days of filing a court application requesting that Omar receive immediate medical treatment for his right eye, we were informed that an appointment had been set up for Omar to see a specialist. We continue to need your help and ask you to support the Free Omar Khadr 2015 fundraising campaign which has a goal of $50,000. This money goes directly to Omar’s defence with no administration fees. Your contribution makes his defence possible.   With warm regards from Omar and myself, Dennis Edney Q.C.


TO 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; freeomarkhadrnow@gmail.com.

 


Photograph by Richard K. Wolff


The Omar Khadr case | The worst thing is that we bequeath this legacy to our children

By Hazel Gabe, member Free Omar Khadr Now – Committee | February 2015


Canada has “fallen into lawlessness,” says Omar Khadr’s lawyer. And we are all culpable.

At a talk at Carleton University on Feb. 4th 2015, renowned human rights lawyer Dennis Edney gave a call to action against what he described as Canada’s descent beyond the rule of law. The treatment of Omar Khadr by the Canadian government is not only about the torture and abuse of one young

Canadian – as if this were not bad enough. It is also an abuse of our collective rights – and the foundations of our society.

Omar Khadr was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay at fifteen years old. He spent a decade in Guantanamo before facing the US Military Commission’s spurious kangaroo court process, which allowed evidence obtained under torture and retroactively applied crimes, thus failing the most basic tests of a fair court. The charges themselves were not legally recognized war crimes, but rather were crimes invented by the US government. Yet Canada continues to imprison Khadr based on this process.

Speaking to a full house of students, faculty and members of the public, Edney made an entreaty for Canadians to speak up against the erosion of the rule of law in this country. He spoke, he said, not only as a lawyer, but as a father who had been profoundly changed by what he witnessed at Guantanamo.

Omar Khadr is a native of Toronto and was in Afghanistan with his family in 2002, aged fifteen, when the compound he had been left at by his father was attacked by US forces.

Omar was severely wounded in the air bombardment, riddled with shrapnel and blinded in one eye. While he was in this condition, a US Special Forces soldier shot him twice in the back – a war crime in itself under the Geneva Conventions. Within days of being shot, while still in critical condition and bleeding from gaping bullet wounds in his chest, he was subject to torture by US military personnel. It was at this point he was accused of having killed an American soldier. Interrogators tied him in painful stress positions to aggravate his wounds, hung him by his wrists for hours on end, and subjected him to a litany of other cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment.

Omar’s torture is now a matter of public record, Edney pointed out on Wednesday, citing legal documents such as Omar’s affidavit, the testimony of Omar’s interrogators themselves and of other prisoners held with him. Omar’s chief interrogator, Sgt. Joshua Claus, later pled guilty to crippling two prisoners and murdering two others who died after his interrogations. Edney described that in his own personal interviews with Claus, the man confessed that he had never been harder on anyone than he was on Omar.

It is under these conditions that Omar made his “confession.” This was the only evidence against him, and to this day he is still imprisoned in Canada based on it.

Omar’s decade of imprisonment and torture in Guantanamo was illegal under international and Canadian laws, but was allowed to continue by the Canadian government. The first duty of a government is to the safety of its citizens, and especially its children. But instead of providing consular assistance and requesting his repatriation, as did all other Western democracies for their citizens at “Gitmo,” the Canadian government actively took advantage of Omar’s situation to contribute to his further torture and indefinite detention.

During his talk, Edney described the Military Commission Process at Guantanamo as a “pantomime court.” It is widely known in Canada that Omar was offered a plea deal. It was one he was coerced by circumstances to take. “He didn’t want to plead guilty,” says Edney. “He didn’t want to go back to Canada as a ‘terrorist’.”

Had he not signed, according to the Pentagon, even if the commission ruled him innocent he could still have faced a lifetime of imprisonment at Guantanamo.

Make no mistake that the Canadian government knows all the details of Khadr’s torture and abuses, Edney says. The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed. On the two occasions it’s seen the case, in 2008, and again in 2010, it ruled that the Canadian Government was complicit in the violations of Omar’s Geneva and Charter rights.

Yet Omar remains imprisoned. Since coming to Canada, he has spent months in solitary confinement, or in danger from the prisoners around him thanks to having been classified a maximum security risk by the Canadian government, against the advice of American officials. He has not had access to the medical care he needs, and is currently losing the vision in his remaining eye.

All this speaks to the abandoning of fundamental principles of justice that have been in place since the 1700s – the right to habeas corpus, to escape guilt and fear by association – as well as principles enshrined in the Geneva conventions, the declaration of human rights, and the declaration on the rights of the child. It is this that Mr. Edney referred to in decrying the failure of the rule of law in this country.

“There is no greater betrayal of Canada than for our government to be implicated in the torture of a Canadian citizen,” Edney said. He placed the burden on all Canadians for failing to make their government take responsibility. His talk could have been called “the evils of apathy,” he said, urging the audience to speak up about the injustices and not to settle for a society that makes decisions based on fear.

“When we are ruled by fear in society, it is then that we fall into lawlessness… [and it is] precisely one of the aims of terrorism to create a climate of fear.”

Edney continued that if this can happen to one young boy, who should have been guaranteed all sorts of protections, protections as a citizen, and child, it can happen to any of us.

The rule of law must be applied to everyone or it means nothing. This is the foundation of our society. And if the rule of law means nothing, none of us are safe.

“Worse, far worse,” said Edney, “we bequeath this social legacy to our children.”

 


To support Dennis Edney in the legal challenges to Free Omar Khadr, please go to: FREE OMAR KHADR NOW FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN


also read: Omar Khadr, The Inconvenient Truth, by John Osborn, Dean of Cartleton University

 

 

 

 

Newsletter Free Omar Khadr Now | Jan – Feb 2015


Recent 2015 articles in the media about Omar :


Christian university in Edmonton offers spot to Omar Khadr | CBC As it Happens, with Carol Off & Jeff Douglas, Feb 5, 2015Melanie Humphries

Listen to radio interview here →

“We seek to serve community and society to bring about reconcilation,” university president Melanie Humphries tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch. “We really feel that society increasingly has become about retribution and fear.” She adds that about 30 per cent of the university’s students don’t identify as Christian.

Humphries, who has spent time with Khadr, says he has been wrongly portrayed in the media — and by the federal government — as a terrorist and a jihadist. “My impression of him is that he’s an articulate, thoughtful, non-radicalized individual,” she says.

Continue reading →


Edmonton university has no qualms offering Omar Khadr a spot | Video by Chris Purdy, Feb 4, 2015

Watch video →

King’s University in Edmonton says offering Omar Khadr admission is the right thing to do. The Christian-principled school is giving the former Guantanamo Bay inmate a spot as part of his bail application to be heard next month.


Educating Omar Khadr: ‘Just doing what we do,’ Christian university saysBy Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, Feb 4, 2015

Dan Vankeeken“This completely matches what we’re about: Our mission is about inspiring and educating learners to be agents of reconciliation and renewal,” Dan VanKeeken, the school’s vice-president, said in an interview in Toronto this week.
“We don’t have a position on Omar. We’re just doing what we do.”
Khadr, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 before a widely maligned U.S. military commission to five war crimes he was accused of committing as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan in July 2002. He is now serving out the rest of his eight-year sentence in Bowden, Alta,. as a medium security prisoner.
He is applying for bail — to be heard in March — pending an appeal of his conviction based on U.S. legal rulings that what he did was not a war crime under either international or American law.

Continue reading →


Omar Khadr applies for bail | By Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star, Feb 03 2015

Kings UniversityA Christian university in Edmonton has offered to admit former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr if he wins his bid for freedom next month after 12 years in custody.
“What better way to prepare someone for success in life than with education,” said Dan Vankeeken, vice-president of The King’s University, in an interview Tuesday as he visited Toronto.
Although the Khadr case has been highly politicized and has divided Canadians, Vankeeken says the university’s decision has been well received by the community.

Continue reading →


Omar Khadr hopes to restart his life in EdmontonBy Caley Ramsay, Global News, Jan 31, 2015

27 Omar grijs langwerpig“He’s a bright, intelligent, dedicated student and there’s a good number of faculty that have been in a relationship with him,” said Humphreys. “We feel like it was pretty much a logical step.”
Khadr’s Canadian lawyer Dennis Edney said the Toronto-born Khadr would live with him in Edmonton.
Khadr’s bail hearing is set for March 24. It will be his first attempt at freedom since his return from a notorious U.S. Prison in Cuba where he was held for eight years.
“It’s becoming clearer and clearer in the United States from recent cases that Omar’s convictions are invalid,” his lawyer, Nate Whitling, told the Canadian Press last week.

Continue reading →


Khadr hopes to study at Edmonton university, live with lawyer’s family | By Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal, Jan 30, 2015

Omar Khadr will be offered a place at King’s University as a mature student and he will receive help from several agencies and citizens to integrate into the community, according documents filed in court Friday for a bail hearing.

In his affidavit, Khadr, 28, sets out his hopes to stay Edmonton, study at King’s, join an interfaith community and play some pickup games of soccer in the neighbourhood if he is released on bail this spring.

Continue reading →


Omar Khadr seeks bail pending US appeal of war crime convictionBy Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, Jan 23, 2015Omar Khadr

TORONTO – Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr is seeking bail pending disposition of his appeal in the United States against his disputed conviction for war crimes. The bail hearing, set for March 24, would be Khadr’s first attempt at freedom since his return from a notorious U.S. prison in Cuba where he was held for eight years.
“It’s becoming clearer and clearer in the United States from recent cases that Omar’s convictions are invalid,” his lawyer, Nate Whitling, said from Edmonton on Friday. “The Court of Military Commission Review is simply taking too long to state the obvious, and so it’s time for Omar to be released.”

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