Canada court orders PM to request repatriation of Guantanamo detainee Khadr

[JURIST] A Canadian Federal Court ruled [judgment, PDF] Thursday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] must advocate for the repatriation of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. Khadr claims that the Canadian government's refusal to request repatriation from the US violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. The Honourable Mr. Justice O'Reilly found that Khadr's rights under section 7 of the charter were infringed by the Canadian government by refusing to request his return. Section 7 provides that "[e]veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." O'Reilly found that the Canadian government:

had a duty to protect Mr. Khadr from being subjected to any torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, from being unlawfully detained, and from being locked up for a duration exceeding the shortest appropriate period of time.

The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr’s rights under s. 7 of the Charter. To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada as soon as practicable
Khadr's US military defense attorney Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler predicted [CBC report] that there would be no resistance from the US after this decision and that Khadr's return to Canada is inevitable.

Earlier this month, Kuebler was reinstated as Khadr's attorney [JURIST report] by a military judge who ruled that the chief defense counsel did not have the authority to remove him. Khadr's defense team had presented a plan to return him [JURIST report] to Canada, a proposal supported by opposition members [open letter, PDF] of the Canadian House of Commons. Khadr has allegedly admitted to throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan and was charged [JURIST reports] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.

 

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