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Canada Respects the Bill of Rights, Why Can't We?

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March 21, 2008

Yesterday the Canadian Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments for the release of secret government documents in the case of Omar Khadr. The United States has detained Khadr at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. Only 15 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan, Khadr is now 21. The article states:

“The matter will be argued as part of a hearing next week, at which the main issue will be a demand by Khadr for access to documents held by the Canadian government. He wants to use the material in his defense against a charge of murdering a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.”

Since the U.S. is unwilling to provide Khadr with a real habeas corpus proceeding, instead of the Bush administration’s version of justice in the form of rigged military commissions, we can only hope the Canadian Supreme Court will do better and deliver justice to its countryman.

The development in Canada comes on the heels of earlier news this week that Khadr was “repeatedly threatened with rape during interrogations” by U.S. officials, among other abuses. As you can see (PDF), apart from the alleged rape threats, the details of other abuse has been blacked out by the government, but Khadr’s sworn account of the harsh treatment he suffered still makes harrowing reading.