International legal groups renew call for Khadr transfer to Canada

[JURIST] The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) joined with Lawyers Without Borders [official websites] and six other international legal organizations on Tuesday to call for the return [CBA news release] of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], in the latest attempt to return Khadr to his native Canada to face charges under Canadian law. In a statement [PDF text] made during a joint press conference Tuesday, a CBA spokeswoman said:

[We] issue this call to the Government of Canada to take appropriate steps with the United States to have Omar Khadr sent back to Canada. We at the CBA share the ASF's conviction that the case of Mr. Khadr, who has been detained by the American authorities since he was 15 years old, should be dealt with in Canada by competent, independent and impartial authorities. We also urge all the federal political parties to speak out in favour of Mr. Khadr's return to Canada, and to specify the steps they would take to achieve his repatriation as soon as possible.
Last August, the CBA put pressure on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "negotiate" with the US government [JURIST report] for Khadr's immediate release. In May, leaders of 34 international bar associations and law societies, including the CBA, called for the "immediate closure" of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report], and specifically for Khadr's repatriation. The Canadian Press has more.

Khadr, who has now spent almost six years without trial in Guantanamo, faces possible life imprisonment on crimes allegedly committed at the age of 15 while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive]. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying. He is one of a small group [DOD materials] of Guantanamo detainees facing prosecution under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF]. His trial is currently slated to begin November 10.


 

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