The Omar Khadr saga – A proof to Canadian principles of justice

The Omar Khadr saga – A proof to Canadian principles of justice

People of many countries are aware of the child solider and famous convicted war criminal Omar Khadr. They look at the photos of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr when he leaves the court in Edmonton on March 2019 and think about his case from the beginning.  They understand that the storey of Omar Khadr represents everything which is entirely wrong with Canada. They may think those countries like Canada not willing to take severe actions against terrorists and give them university swags as well as a round of applause. However, they have to look at his story in a different way.

Struggles of Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr was wounded and captured by the smart and successful American forces at the age of 15 after he was the one and only person in a group of well experienced militants to survive a fire-fight. He was accused of killing the U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer and blinding Sgt. Layne Morris in one eye. However, he later revealed that he did throw a grenade and such grenade was the one which killed Speer. Almost everyone considers this issue as there were many grenades used by militants. The Americans were transferring Omar Khadr in 2002 to the well-known prison at the naval base of the United States at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba when he had just turned 16. Omar Khadr was one of the youngest prisoners ever held at this prison.

Omar Khadr was born in 1986 in Toronto to Egyptian and Palestinian immigrants namely Ahmed Khadr and Maha el-Samnah. His parents became Canadian citizens and family moved to Pakistan in 1985. Ahmed Khadr worked for different charities and helping afghan refugees. Omar Khadr spent his childhood to relocate to and from Canada and Pakistan. His mother wanted to raise the family outside of Canada and has 7 children as she disliked western social influences.  In 1992, Omar Khadr’s family moved to Toronto as his father was severely injured in Afghanistan and required to recover. In 1995, his family returned to Pakistan and father was arrested and accused as he financially supported the Egyptian Islamic jihad for the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in the nation. In 1996, his family moved to Afghanistan.  

Problems in the life of Omar Khadr

The situation of the Omar Khadr was complicated further with the CBC documentary in 2004 in which his mother and also sister expressed views sympathetic to al-Qaeda as well as critical of Canada. This documentary angered almost every Canadian and hardened the overall attitudes towards the Omar Khadr and paving the best way for entirely polarized public opinion on his case. Canadian intelligence officials in early 2003 and 2004 were allowed to interrogate him at Guantanamo Bay regarding which they shared information with the Americans who were ready to prosecute him. Americans deprived him of sleep in different ways especially moving him from one cell to another with an aim to soften him in advance of questioning.   The supreme court of Canada in 2008 ordered the government to turn over the interrogation video over the objections of the Canadian government.

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