Today, September 29, 2012, after more than 11 years of illegal imprisonment in the US torture prisons Bagram and Guantanamo, Omar (26) is finally back in Canada.
Here the statements of Canada and U.S. officials:
The official decision on Omar Khadr’s repatriation to Canada: 280912 Decision Omar Khadr
Statement Minister of Public Safety - Vic Toews on Omar’s repatriation: Toews Statement - Bilingual_FINAL
Statement from the US Department of Defence:
Detainee Transfer Announced
The Department of Defense announced today that Omar Ahmed Khadr was transferred from the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Canada.
Omar Khadr pleaded guilty, pursuant to a pre-trial agreement in a military commission, to murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.
Pursuant to the pre-trial agreement, the convening authority approved an eight-year sentence of confinement. The pre-trial agreement specifies that one year of confinement must be served in the custody and control of the United States, and that Khadr could be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence in accordance with Canadian law.
The United States Government has returned Khadr to Canada where he will serve out his remaining sentence. The United States coordinated with the government of Canada regarding appropriate security and humane treatment measures. In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer Khadr to Canada.
Documents related to Khadr’s military commission proceedings are available on the Office of Military Commissions website at http://www.mc.mil/ .
Today, 166 detainees remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay.
PMO-issued talking points:
Today, Minister Toews informed Canadians that convicted terrorist Omar Khadr was transferred to Canada.
Early this morning, convicted terrorist Omar Khadr was transferred to Canadian authorities at CFB Trenton.
He arrived at 07:40 ET aboard a U.S. Government aircraft travelling from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He has been transferred from CFB Trenton to Millhaven maximum security prison at Bath, Ontario.
This transfer occurs following a process initiated by the United States Government and determined in accordance with Canadian law.
The remainder of his prison sentence will be administered by Correctional Service of Canada.
Any decisions related to his future will be determined by the independent Parole Board of Canada in accordance with Canadian law.
Statement from interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae on the repatriation of Omar Khadr:
“Omar Khadr’s return to Canada is long overdue. Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was a child soldier. It is extremely unfortunate that it took the Conservative government this long to fulfil its responsibility to bring him back to Canada.
Now Mr. Khadr will serve the remainder of his sentence under the supervision of the Canadian correctional system, and we can ensure that he receives proper treatment and rehabilitation.”
AFTERNOON UPDATE - The NDP weighs in:
STATEMENT FROM FOREIGN AFFAIRS CRITIC PAUL DEWAR AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CRITIC WAYNE MARSTON ON THE REPATRIATION OF OMAR KHADR
Today, the Conservatives ended nearly a decade of unnecessary delays and allowed Omar Khadr to serve out the remainder of his sentence in Canada. Canada is the last Western country to repatriate their citizens from the discredited Guantanamo prison system.
Mr. Khadr’s return to Canada was inevitable, yet the Conservatives chose to drag this process out for years at great cost to taxpayers. Their mishandling has hurt our relationship with the United States, our closest ally, and tarnished Canada’s reputation on the international stage.
Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the U.S. Supreme Court, based on the full facts of this case, have found that the military commission proceedings in Guantanamo violated both U.S. domestic law and Canada’s international human rights obligations.
Conservatives have previously faced court judgments against them for their mishandling of the case and failure to respect human rights.
The government should now allow Mr. Khadr to be handled by Canadian authorities in accordance with Canadian law, free from interference.