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Ignatieff calls on Harper to repatriate Omar Khadr

There has been some concern (some of it justifiable) that with his arrival to the Liberal leadership, Michael Ignatieff would drag the Liberal party on a rightward shift. Whether that happens or not is still an open question, but after receiving a statement on the subject of Guantanamo Bay and specifically Omar Khadr, at least on this issue, he has not:

Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was 13 years old when he was recruited as a child soldier and 15 years old at the time of his arrest, has been held in Guantanamo Bay for more than six years. His continued detention has violated fundamental principles of law, including arbitrary and illegal detention, denial of procedural due process, denial of the right to trial within a reasonable time before a fair and impartial tribunal, and as a child soldier, denial of his rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The military commission responsible for trying Mr. Khadr has lost its legitimacy. It is incumbent on the Conservative government to ensure that as a citizen of Canada, Mr. Khadr is swiftly repatriated to Canada, where his case can be brought forward in a fair and impartial system that will respect his rights. Our party’s position is long-standing and clear: the government must ensure Mr. Khadr’s rights as a Canadian citizen. I am calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to work with the Obama Administration to facilitate Mr. Khadr’s return to Canada on an urgent basis. The repatriation of Mr. Khadr would form Canada’s contribution to a full and final closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

A welcome statement from the new Liberal leader.

11 comments to Ignatieff calls on Harper to repatriate Omar Khadr

  • Gayle

    I was thinking that if he were brought back to Canada, the YCJA may apply and he would have to be tried as a young person. I am trying to find out if that is the case.

  • glennderson

    What a crock.Shows why Ignatieff is not fit to lead the country.Khadr is not a child soldier..he doesn’t fit the definition.He is a child terrorist.And he is exactly where he belongs.Seems some people forget he was videotaped making bombs,swearing jihad and boasting about how much money he would get for each American soldier he killed.Blame Kuebler for the length of time Khadr has been in Guantanamo.

  • There has been some concern (some of it justifiable) that with his arrival to the Liberal leadership, Michael Ignatieff would drag the Liberal party on a rightward shift. Whether that happens or not is still an open question,

    Not much of an open question, but kudos to him for doing the proper thing here.

  • Roll Tide

    So Iggy is going to bat for him, just like another Liberal leader did for the Father for his role in the bombing of the Egyptian embassy (one wonders how many lives would have been saved if the father stayed in Pakistani jail).

    One thing sure, he was treated well in Gitmo. A lot better then any Islamic country. Even Michael Moore`s film -Sicko, admitted the detainee`s were well treated at Gitmo.

    This issue has very little sympathy to Canadians. Our country has bent over for this family, including massive medical care, in return they have spat at our Western values.

    The only case I see is Omars age, in which I see a window of grace. One hopes he will not be released to his Mother, but don`t hold your breath.

  • sunsin

    Originally Posted By The Rat

    Seriously, after you get off the high horse of moral superiority and have to muck in the mud of reality, what do you Liberals propose we do with him?

    Why is it that so many wingnut commentators choose such self-demeaning but appropriate nicknames? The Rat, indeed.

    Earth to Rat: the guy’s being charged for what he is alleged to have done when he was 13. In the world of reality, there are rules that apply in cases like that, no matter how much it might… stimulate… you to fantasize about getting him into a locked room alone and hurting him.

    And if it sounds like I’m implying you’re some sort of pervert — I am.

  • Even the worst leaders get some things right.

  • Well for a start, he’s obviously going to need some kind of psychiatric/post-traumatic care after 6 or so years of confinement without trial, as well as setting him up with some form of education so that he can be a productive member of society. After that, he’s now past the age of majority, so he can live on his own as a free citizen. You can’t judge him for something he may do in a hypothetical future scenario.

  • The Rat

    So thinking this through to the end, what exactly do you propose we do with Omar Khadr? Release him into the loving hands of his self-proclaimed “Al-Qaeda family”? Do we hope he doesn’t immediately return to Afghanistan and resume fighting the foreign (Canadian) troops? Deny him a passport and make him live here, hoping he doesn’t decide to behead the Prime Minister (could be Ignatieff, you never know)? Seriously, after you get off the high horse of moral superiority and have to muck in the mud of reality, what do you Liberals propose we do with him?

  • Brilliant statement – openly calling Khadr’s detention illegal, and in contradiction to international law. Bravo, Mr. Ignatieff. This is what a Liberal PM should be doing.

  • […] 14, 2009 · No Comments At least when it comes to the rights of Omar Khadr. Like Scott, I’m happy to see him take a principled stand for human […]

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