August 05, 2008

Omar Kahdr Cries: Help Me - Help Me - Help Me

Another proud moment in US history

Omar Kahdr's Interrogation Video From Guantanamo.

Kahdr held in Concentration Camp for 5 years without charge.

A Canadian citizen born in Toronto, he is the youngest prisoner held in extrajudicial detention by the United States, Khadr is unique in that Canada has refused to seek extradition or repatriation despite the urgings of Amnesty International, UNICEF, the Canadian Bar Association and other prominent organisations.

Khadr is the only Guantanamo detainee who has faced a judge and who is not boycotting the military tribunals, and has spent six years in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps charged with war crimes and providing support to terrorism after allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier. In February 2008, the Pentagon accidentally released documents that revealed that although Khadr was present during the firefight, there was no other evidence that he had thrown the grenade. In fact, military officials had originally reported that another of the surviving militants had thrown the grenade just before being killed. and has been frequently referred to as a child soldier. The only Western citizen remaining in Guantanamo.

See the Video at:

15/07/08 -- -- TORONTO -- Lawyers for a Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay released excerpts of videotaped interrogations Tuesday, providing a first-ever glimpse into the secretive world of questioning enemy combatants at the isolated U.S. prison in Cuba.

The 10 minutes of video _ selected by Omar Khadr's Canadian lawyers from more than seven hours of footage recorded by a camera hidden in a vent _ shows a 16-year-old Khadr weeping, his face buried in his hands, during the 2003 interrogation that took place over four days.
The video, created by U.S. government agents and originally marked as secret, provides insight into the effects of prolonged interrogation and detention on the Guantanamo prisoner.

A Canadian Security Intelligence Services agent in the video grills Khadr about events leading up to his capture as an enemy combatant when he was 15. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. He was arrested after he was found in the rubble of a bombed-out compound _ badly wounded and near death.

At one point in the interrogation, Khadr pulls off his orange prisoner shirt and shows the wounds he sustained in the firefight. He complains he can't move his arms and says he had requested, but hadn't received, proper medical attention.

"They look like they're healing well to me," the agent says of the injuries.

"No, I'm not. You're not here (at Guantanamo)," Khadr says.

The agent later accuses Khadr of using his injuries and emotional state to avoid the interrogation.

"No, you don't care about me," Khadr says.

Khadr also tells his interrogator that he was tortured while at the U.S. military detention center at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where he was first detained after his arrest in 2002.
Later on in the tape, a distraught Khadr is seen rocking, his face in his hands.

"Help me," he sobs repeatedly in despair.

On the final day, the agent tells Khadr that he was "very disappointed" in how Khadr had behaved, and tries to impress upon him that he should cooperate.

Khadr says he wants to go back to Canada.

"There's not anything I can do about that," the agent says.

The video is believed to be the first footage shown of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in action during its 24-year history, offering an unprecedented glimpse into its interrogation strategies.

The video was made public under Canadian court orders, and released by Alberta-based lawyers Nathan Whitling and Dennis Edney a week after intelligence reports made public last week showed Khadr was abused in detention at the U.S. naval base-turned-prison on the tip of Cuba.
A Department of Foreign Affairs report said Canadian official Jim Gould visited Khadr in 2004 and was told by the American military that the detainee was moved every three hours to different cells to deprive him of sleep and familiar cell mates.

The report also says Khadr was placed in isolation for up to three weeks and then interviewed again.

Whitling and Edney released the video with hopes that public reaction to the footage will prompt Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lobby for his repatriation.

"We hope that the Canadian government will finally come to recognize that the so-called legal process that has been put in place to deal with Omar Khadr's situation is grossly unfair and abusive," Whitling said. "It's not appropriate to simply allow this process to run its course."

Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr was taken into US custody when he was 15 years old. The US government has said that all detainees are “treated in a manner appropriate to their age and status”. If this is true, then the case of Omar Khadr indicates that an “appropriate manner” involves torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as denial of any form of justice.

Omar Khadr is one of at least 22 Guantánamo Bay detainees who were aged under 18 when detained. In April 2003 the US authorities revealed that children as young as 13 were detained in the prison. Reports of torture and attempted suicide by juvenile detainees undermine the claim by US authorities that they are receiving “special emotional and physical care”. Contrary to international standards the Pentagon has defined child detainees as those aged under 16, rather than under 18.

Lieutenant Corporal Johnson, a spokesperson for the US military, stated in 2003 that, “until we ensure that they’re no longer a threat, that there’s no pending law enforcement against them, that they’re no longer of intelligence value”, the children would continue to be held.

Arrest and injury

‘You’re fortunate, people here care about you. No one cares about me.’ Omar Khadr to Moazzam Begg whilst in Bagram

Omar Khadr was wounded by US soldiers during a battle near Khost, Afghanistan, and taken into US custody on 27 July 2002. During his capture he was shot three times and is nearly blind in one eye as a result of his injuries. The US military allege that Omar Khadr killed a US soldier, Sergeant Christopher J. Speer, in the operation.

Even though Omar Khadr was seriously injured, his interrogation started as soon as he was taken into custody. A US official stated that captured prisoners were so scared of abuse by US soldiers that they would talk without prompting. The prisoners “sometimes think we are going to cut out their livers” he said, giving Omar Khadr as an example of a prisoner “singing like a bird”. Omar Khadr states that:

· he asked for pain medication for his wounds but was refused;

· during interrogations a bag was placed over his head and US personnel brought military dogs into the room to frighten him;

· cold water was thrown on him;

· his hands were tied above a door frame and he was forced to stand in this position for hours;
· he was not allowed to use the bathroom and was forced to urinate on himself.

Former detainees have described how Omar was:

· brought into Bagram Airbase with horrific gunshot wounds: chunks of his chest and shoulder blown out. In the words of one former detainee, “his chest looked like he’d just had a post mortem operation performed on him – whilst he was still alive”;

· treated by guards with contempt and hostility;

· screamed at by guards for the duration of the night;

· forced to stake crates of water bottles which would then be thrown down again;

· forced to assume stress positions whilst being hooded, his wrists shackled to the ceiling;

On 30 August 2002 Canadian officials sent a diplomatic note to the US authorities asking for consular access to Omar Khadr while he was held in the US airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan. The US denied the request on 9 September, saying only that they would notify the Canadian government if any Canadian citizens were transferred to Guantánamo Bay.

Guantánamo Bay

“I lost my eyes, I lost my feet” Omar Khadr to Canadian officials in Guantanamo
Omar Khadr was transferred to Guantánamo Bay in October 2002. He says that as soon as he arrived he was subjected to a range of torture and ill-treatment that included:

· being short-shackled by his hands and feet to a bolt in the floor and left for five to six hours; occasionally a US officer would enter the room to laugh at him;

· being kept in extremely cold rooms;

· being lifted up by the neck while shackled, and then dropped to the floor;

· being beaten by guards;

· having a finger pressed into a pressure point in his neck, causing severe pain and inability to breathe;

· being left short-shackled by guards in an interrogation room until he urinated on himself. Guards then poured a pine scented cleaning fluid over him and used him as a “human mop” to clean up the mess. He says that he was not provided with clean clothes for several days after this degradation.

Omar Khadr was held in Camp V of Guantánamo Bay for over a year. Camp V is the most notorious of the camps still operating at Guantánamo, styled on the harsh super maximum security units on the US mainland. It is reserved for “high value” or “uncooperative” detainees.
Omar Khadr says of his time in Camp V:

· the lights were kept on 24 hours a day and detainees were punished for trying to cover the lights with their clothes

· the air conditioning was kept on cold, which he says “destroyed his lungs”;

· he was routinely placed in isolation, sometimes for up to a month;

· he was only allowed exercise once every four or five days, and in 2005 went without exercise in daylight hours for several months.

In addition to the beatings, isolation and frequent interrogations, Omar Khadr has been threatened with transfer to Afghanistan, Jordan and other places. He understood that these were threats of transfer to places where he would be tortured. He was also told that an Egyptian soldier, known to him only as Soldier Number 9, would be sent to rape him.

Hunger strike

In protest against his treatment and conditions at Guantánamo, Omar Khadr embarked on a hunger strike in July 2005 along with up to 200 other detainees. He went without food for 15 days, during which he was taken to the camp hospital twice to be given intravenous fluids. Omar Khadr lost 30 pounds (13.5kg) during the strike. Another detainee, Omar Deghayes, says he witnessed Omar Khadr vomiting blood.

During the hunger strike the abuse did not stop. On one occasion, when guards were transferring him to the hospital, he was told to walk back to his cell. As he was too weak to do so, the guards allegedly lifted him off the ground and repeatedly kicked his leg.

The hunger strike ended in July when the US authorities apparently made a number of concessions to the detainees. The detainees resumed their hunger strike in August, however, because the camp authorities had not kept their promises and in response to particularly brutal abuse. One of those at the receiving end of a beating was Omar Khadr.

“Get ready for a miserable life.”

Interrogator to Omar Khadr in Guantánamo

In November 2004 Omar Khadr’s lawyers gave him a series of psychological tests which were sent to independent psychiatrists for evaluation. In answer to some of the questions Omar Khadr stated that he had flashbacks, difficulty sleeping and had heard voices when no one was there.

Dr Eric W. Trupin, an expert on the mental health of juveniles in correctional facilities, evaluated the tests. He said Omar Khadr’s symptoms were “consistent with those exhibited by victims of torture” and called for “the immediate cessation of mental and physical abuse”. He noted that the conditions in which Omar Khadr was held were particularly harmful to adolescents. He concluded that Omar Khadr had a mental disorder “including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder” and that he was “a moderate to high risk of suicide”.

Government lawyers sought to cast doubt on the doctors’ diagnosis by saying they had relied on second hand testimony, overlooking the dark irony that the same government was denying any kind of independent medical evaluation.

Role of Canadian authorities

“I’m not here to help you. I’m not here to do anything for you. I’m just here to get information.” Canadian interrogator to Omar Khadr in Guantánamo

Flying in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Canadian government accepted the promise of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who stated that “all enemy combatants at Guantánamo are treated humanely” when writing to the Canadian authorities about Omar Khadr.

The Canadian government may not simply have neglected their responsibilities towards Omar Khadr. It may also have been complicit in his detention and ill-treatment.

Omar Khadr has been interrogated several times by Canadian officials. According to papers filed in a US court, Omar Khadr was visited by Canadian officials four times in four days, starting on 27 March 2003. Rather than asking about his health or if he wanted to send a message to his family, the Canadian officials interrogated him. A video of the interrogation was finally released on 15th July 2008.

Canadian lawyers for Omar Khadr filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government, arguing that the authorities had violated the Canadian Constitution by “participating in interviews or interrogations without a lawyer being present, without [Omar Khadr] being allowed access to consular representation to get advice, without him being allowed to speak to family and friends”.
Another lawsuit attempted to force the Canadian government to release all its files on Omar Khadr. The government argued that doing so would “be injurious to international relations, national defense or national security”. A memo of William Hooper, Assistant Director of Operations at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which was made public as a result of this case, revealed the logic of the government’s neglect of the human rights of one of its citizens. It states that “any efforts to limit or fetter the service’s investigative powers… will hamper the service’s ability to advise the Canadian government”.

The Canadian government has since written to Amnesty International stating that it has raised the allegations of abuse of Omar Khadr with the US government. It said it was engaged in “ongoing diplomatic discussions” with the US regarding his legal status and had requested an independent medical evaluation.

Legal issues

The US government alleges that Omar Khadr is an “al-Qa’ida fighter” and has classified him as an “enemy combatant”. Despite this, it has refused to charge Omar Khadr with a recognizably criminal offence and give him a full and fair trial.

Instead, Omar Khadr is to be tried by military commission, though they will not seek the death penalty in his case. The military commissions are executive bodies with the power to hand down death sentences against which there is no right of appeal to any court. The military commissions are fundamentally flawed and cannot provide fair trials in accordance with internationally recognized standards.


Write to Omar Khadr Omar Khadr
ISN 766
Camp Delta
P.O. Box 160
Washington DC 20053 USA

Send a message of support to Omar’s family
Email us at

Write to the US authorities:

Stating that Omar Khadr must be released or given a fair trial;
Calling on the US authorities to ensure that Omar Khadr is afforded adequate contact with his family;
Calling for a full and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of Omar Khadr while in US custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, and for all those found responsible to be brought to justice;
Calling for military commissions to be abandoned and for the presidential order that created them to be revoked;
Calling for the US government to set up a commission of inquiry into all aspects of the USA’s “war on terror” detention policies and practices;
Calling for the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to be closed, and for all other “war on terror” detention facilities to be opened up to external scrutiny.

Michael Mukasey Attorney General
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001, USA
Fax: + 1 202 307 6777

Write to the Canadian authorities:

· Calling for an independent investigation into the Canadian government’s involvement in Omar Khadr’s detention, interrogation and torture;
· Expressing deep concern that Omar Khadr is facing trial by a military commission system that does not comply with international fair trial standards, convened under discriminatory legislation that is incompatible with international law;
· urging the Government of Canada to demonstrate its stated commitment to principles of juvenile justice, ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and upholding human rights, by seeking Omar Khadr’s repatriation.
· Seeking assurances that, if returned to Canada, Omar Khadr will be released or charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a fair trial, and that no evidence obtained under torture will be used in any proceedings;
· Asking the Canadian government to call for the abandonment of military commissions and for the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to be closed.

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada Office of the Prime Minister 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa Ontario K1A 0A2, Canada Fax: +1 613-941-6900 Email:
Dear Prime Minister

The Honourable David Emerson
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive,
Ottawa Ontario K1A 0G2,
Canada Fax: +1 613 996 3443
Salutation: Dear Minister

USA: Who are the Guantanamo Detainees? Case Sheet 14, Amnesty International, AI Index: AMR 51/184/2005,


Anonymous said...

Talk about the loony left.Khadr is exactly where he belongs.He must face the consequences of his actions.His age and citizenship are not a free pass.The whole family should be kicked out of Canada.At least we have a PM who won't buy into the bleeding heart nonsense.Would that you had the same feelings for the victims of 9/11 or Daniel Pearl.

Anonymous said...

I did leave a comment.Seems you did not like what I had to say.Too bad.I had the courtesy to read the drivel you wrote.

Anonymous said...

Why even post a comment,It seems that you conveniently delete those that don't agree with your loony-leftist viewpoint. This terrorist thug is SO right where he belongs to be. How can you stand up for this murderer?You must have a high opinion of yourself"lady broadoak visionary etc.." You come across as some sort of CRACKPOT who thinks that her opinion actually matters! I KNOW THAT THIS COMMENT WILL NEVER BE POSTED,IT IS ENOUGH FOR ME THAT YOU ACTUALLY READ IT AND MAYBE YOUR OUTLOOK ON KHADR MAY BE CHANGED. IT MUST BURN YOUR BEHIND TO KNOW THAT MY OPINION IS IN THE MAJORITY!!!

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see how respectful you are of people with opposing viewpoints.Ah such censorship by the bleeding heart leftists.Just for your information,I have e-mailed the PM and let him know that I fully support the government's stand vis a vis this terrorist thug.Seems that a mojority of my country agree.