Omar Ahmed KhadrNationality: Canadian
Omar Khadr, a 21-year-old Canadian, was just 15 when he was captured and seriously injured in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002.
The US has accused Khadr of throwing the grenade that killed US Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer and injured two others. He is charged with murder and attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.
In spite of his juvenile status at the time of his capture, the United States has refused to acknowledge his status as a child, or to apply universally recognized standards of juvenile justice in his case. Both US and international law allow for detention of juveniles only as a last resort, require juveniles to be provided educational opportunities and housed separately from adults, and mandate a prompt determination of all cases involving children. Yet, Khadr has been incarcerated with adults, reportedly subjected to abusive interrogations, and not been provided any educational opportunities (as have other children at Guantanamo). In addition, he was detained for more than two years before he was provided access to an attorney, and for more than three years before he was charged. He was initially charged in the first round of military commissions, which were ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court. Another two years passed before he was re-charged before the current military commissions.
Human Rights Watch Commentary:
- Jo Becker commentary, “The war on teen terror,” salon.com, June 24, 2008
- Human Rights Watch press release, “US: Improve Treatment of Children in Armed Conflict,” June 6, 2008
- Human Rights Watch press release, “Canada: Supreme Court Rules Ottawa Complicit in Abuse of Omar Khadr,” May 23, 2008
- Clive Baldwin commentary, “A Child on Trial at Guantanamo,” The Huffington Post, February 11, 2008
- Human Rights Watch, press release, “US: Don’t Misrepresent Human Rights Watch to Justify Guantanamo Trials,” February 5, 2008
- Human Rights Watch, “Letter to US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Omar Khadr,” February 1, 2008
- Human Rights Watch, “Letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Omar Khadr,” February 1, 2008
- Jennifer Daskal commentary, “Just Another Day in a Guantanamo Courtroom,” The Huffington Post, November 9, 2007
- Human Rights Watch press release, “US: Guantanamo Judge Allows Military Commissions to Proceed in Khadr Case,” November 8, 2007
- Human Rights Watch press release, “US: Makeshift Military Commissions Rules Unfair,” November 5, 2007
- Jennifer Daskal commentary, “The end of Bush’s kangaroo courts?” salon.com, June 6, 2007
- Human Rights Watch, press release, “US: Rulings Show Guantanamo Experiment Failed,” June 4, 2007
- Human Rights Watch, press release, “US: Move Khadr and Hamdan Cases to Federal Court,” June 1, 2007
- Human Rights Watch background briefing, “The Omar Khadr Case: A Teenager Imprisoned at Guantanamo,” June 2007
Military Commissions Documents: