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
- 1) By Paypal: [+] FREE Omar Khadr NOW – FUND
- 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photograph by Richard K. Wolff