Wednesday, April 25, 2007

USA / Guantánamo: Omar Khadr to face trial by military commission

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

25 April 2007

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

“The treatment of Omar Khadr over the past five years exemplifies the USA’s 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 Guantánamo 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 Guantánamo.

Omar Khadr, who has alleged that he has been ill-treated in Bagram and Guantánamo, 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).

25 April 2007

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