03 December 2013

Omar sues

Justice has to date miserably failed Omar Khadr. It simply has not been a match for the vindictiveness of Washington and the callousness of Ottawa. Consequently his life continues to waste away in a federal maximum security prison.

But justice may yet have its day. Tagging along behind the relentless persecution of Omar is his $20-million civil lawsuit against Canada. The suit claims this country has deprived him of his rights by failing to recognize he was a child soldier at the time of his capture. It alleges further that far from being a passive bystander, Canada collaborated with the Americans in his incarceration in violation of Canadian constitutional and international law protecting the rights of juveniles.

Omar stands a good chance of winning his case. Canada is, after all (like the U.S.), a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which protects the civil and human rights of those under 18. And the Supreme Court has twice chastised Ottawa for its treatment of Omar, ruling that in their interrogations, Canadian agents violated "the principles of fundamental justice” and offended “the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”

Our government has already spent millions challenging every attempt to free Omar from his nightmare, and now we could suffer an additional bill of $20-million. If Omar wins, and I sincerely hope he does, I will pay my share happily even as I curse Ottawa for sticking us with the bill for their vendetta against this boy. Omar will at least have finally received a portion of the justice he has always deserved.

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