Who is OmarKhadr?• Canadian citizen. Born in Toronto on September 19, 1986.• He was fifteen years old when he was taken prisoner by U.S. forces in Afghanistan on July 2002.• Captured in battle and severely wounded he was taken to Bagram Air Force base where he was interrogated and tortured.• On October 2002, he was sent to the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.• The U.S. government accused Omar Khadr of having killed an American soldier and intended to try him as a war criminal.• He plead guilty to 5 charges – crimes he did not commit - including the killing of Sgt. Speers – under torture.
What happened inGuantanamo? – “one ofthe worst places on earth” • There was no fair trial – he was a child soldier to be protected under the laws of the Geneva Convention. •He was formally identified as a child soldier by the head of the United Nations child soldier program in a letter to the Military Commission in October 2010. •Evidence was obtained by torture and he was coerced into pleading guilty. •This makes him the first person to be called a „convicted war criminal‟ since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001, and the first child soldier ever in modern history to be found guilty of war crimes. “Nobody cares about me”
Bagram &4 DaysInside Guantanamo• Omar was subjected to 4 continuous days of interrogation – tortured psychologically and physically in the process.• Guantanamo‟s first ever video interrogation video was released depicting Omar Khadr‟s interrogation – 7 hours of footage, 7 hours of torture caught on tape.• He asked for pain medication for his wounds but was refused (3 gun shot wounds, shrapnel in left eye).• During interrogations a bag was placed over his head and US personnel brought military dogs into the room to frighten him;• Cold water was thrown on him;• His hands were tied above a door frame and he was forced to stand in this position for hours; stress positions.• He was not allowed to use the bathroom and was forced to urinate on himself – used as a “human mop”
"Get ready for a miserable life.“ - Interrogator to Omar Khadr in Guantánamo 4 Days Inside Guantanamo• Being short-shackled by his hands and feet to a bolt in the floor and left for five to six hours; occasionally a US officer would enter the room to laugh at him;• Being kept in extremely cold rooms;• Being lifted up by the neck while shackled, and then dropped to the floor;• Being beaten by guards;• Having a finger pressed into a pressure point in his neck, causing severe pain and inability to breathe.• The lights were kept on 24 hours a day and detainees were punished for trying to cover the lights with their clothes;• Kept in isolation for months• Hunger Strike – force fed• Camp V• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZrERVO19Dg
Where is Omar today?• After 11 years of torture, Omar was finally repatriated to Canada – despite an 11 month delay!• He’s in Millhaven Correctional Facility held in isolation• He *might* be eligible for day- parole in January 2013 and eventually a year parole after 7 months or so• He hopes to back to school – he finished 8th grade
Quotes by ex-Guantanamo detainees• “Omar is like is my son now. I left a son in Guantánamo Bay”• “I remember the last time I’ve met Omar and he said to me: “Nobody cares about me”. The pity that I felt for him, I’ve never felt for anyone that I saw during all the time in Guantánamo and Bagram”• “One of the moving things that I remember in Camp 5 when I was locked up with Omar, was his voice and the way he sang…”• “Ultimately the blame now lies on the Canadian people, of how I, as a cold, callous son of a bitch, had more compassion for that boy than his own people?”
http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=922&type=Internal “The Honourble Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety House of Commons Ottawa ON K1A 0A6”Make a difference. Show him you remember him. Tell him you care. Make your actions speak louder. Make your words count. Write to Omar Khadr..
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