The ongoing saga of Omar Khadr continues since Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to obey a court order which demanded that Canada ensure the release of the young man from the prison at Guanatanamo Bay. Federal Court Justice James O’Reilly said Canada had denied the Toronto born Khadr his constitutional rights to a fair trial as well as violating international law protecting children captured in an armed conflict. Khar was a teenager when captured by American soldiers in Afghanistan. O’Reilly emphasized that “Canada had a duty to protect Mr. Khadr from being subjected to any torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” The prime minister told Parliament he would continue looking into the matter but refused to take any positive action.
A nation does not get to pick and choose which of its citizens it will protect. Khadr was a fifteen year old boy when captured in 2002 and he has now been in prison for seven years. Judge O’Reilly pointed out that America flouted international law by not providing “special status as a minor” when they captured the young boy. This is simply another sad story in the ongoing saga of Bush’s violation of international law.