New documents show Canada knew of Khadr mistreatment

[JURIST] Lawyers for Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] released documents [text, PDF] Wednesday indicating that the Canadian government knew he had been mistreated at the detention center before agents questioned him in 2004. The documents include reports on interviews with Khadr, and were among those the government was compelled to hand over to Khadr's defense following a ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] last month. One of the documents recounts Khadr's treatment before questioning by Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade [official website] intelligence officer Jim Gould over the course of four days in 2004 :

In an effort to make him more amenable and willing to talk, [redacted] has placed Umar on the frequent flyer program: for the three weeks before Mr Gould's visit, Umar has not been permitted more than three hours in any one location. At three hour intervals he is moved to another cell block, thus denying him uninterrupted sleep and a continued change of neighbours. He will soon be placed in isolation for up to three weeks and then he will be interviewed again.
Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Khadr is facing severe criminal charges and that the Guantanamo process is necessary to discover the truth, but Khadr's lawyer said that Canada could easily secure Khadr's repatriation. Canwest has more. The Canadian Press has additional coverage.

Khadr faces life imprisonment for April 2007 charges [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying. Khadr is one of four [JURIST report] Guantanamo detainees facing prosecution under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF]. On March 13, a US military judge also ruled [JURIST report] that some correspondence between US and Canadian government officials regarding Khadr must be turned over to Khadr's defense team. In an affidavit released in early May, Khadr accused US interrogators of mistreatment [JURIST report], including threatening him with rape, physically abusing him, and forcing him to swear to false statements.


 

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