US / Guantnamo: Omar Khadr to face trial by military commission

Apr. 26, 2007

Reacting to the charges brought against Guantnamo detainee Omar Khadr, Amnesty International said:

The treatment of Omar Khadr over the past five years exemplifies the USAs disregard for international law in the war on terror. Unless the US authorities bring him to trial in a civilian court, taking full account of his age at the time of any alleged offences, he should be returned to Canada.

Amnesty International reiterates its call to the US authorities to abandon trials by military commissions and to bring any prosecutions of Guantnamo detainees in the ordinary civilian courts. Anyone who is not to be tried in full accordance with international standards should be released.

Background Information
Canadian national Omar Khadr is accused of offences committed in the armed conflict in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. Instead of taking his age into account when US authorities took him into custody in 2002, as they were obliged to do under international law, they subjected him to years of indefinite detention without charge in Guantnamo.

Omar Khadr, who has alleged that he has been ill-treated in Bagram and Guantnamo, was one of 10 detainees to be charged for trial by the earlier military commissions struck down as unlawful by the US Supreme Court in 2006. Omar Khadr has now been charged for trial under the Military Commissions Act, under procedures that fail to comply with international law and standards.

For further information, please see: USA: Justice delayed and justice denied? Trials under the Military Commissions Act (For information on Omar Khadr and the issue of children, see pages 25-26).

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