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Omar Ahmed Khadr

Nationality: 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:

Military Commissions Documents:

Omar Ahmed Khadr © 2007 Reuters