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PRESS RELEASE: Omar Khadr plea not indicative of actual guilt

Written by CP Editor Monday, 25 October 2010
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Omar Khadr was captured at the age of 15 and brought into Bagram by the US military suffering horrific wounds Omar Khadr was captured at the age of 15 and brought into Bagram by the US military suffering horrific wounds
The news of Omar Khadr’s guilty plea in Guantanamo today comes as no surprise to Cageprisoners and others who have been fighting for justice for him over the past decade.
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Cageprisoners
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25 October 2010
 
PRESS RELEASE: Omar Khadr plea not indicative of actual guilt
 
 
The news of Omar Khadr’s guilty plea in Guantanamo today comes as no surprise to Cageprisoners and others who have been fighting for justice for him over the past decade.
 
Khadr, Guantananmo’s youngest prisoner and last remaining western national, was brought into US custody barely alive, suffering horrific wounds. Despite his tender age he was not afforded the rights granted to children in a war zone and was designated an ’enemy combatant’ accused of killing a US soldier and other ‘war crimes’.
 
Over 600 people have been released from Guantanamo but none of them faced a transparent and internationally recognised legal process. Instead, most were repatriated to countries of origin or resettled in third-party nations (around 30). Six men left Guantanamo in a coffin while and others took plea-bargains. Within a period of three years all western nationals were repatriated and released to their countries of origin - all except for Australian David Hicks who took a plea-deal and returned to Australia shortly after and Salim Hamdan who returned to his native Yemen.
 
Offering a plea-bargain under the rules of the much discredited military commissions is an exercise in face-saving by the US administration - especially since the President Obama resurrected them instead of closing down the prison as he’d promised.
 
Cageprisoners Director, Moazzam Begg, said:
 
“Under the circumstances, Omar Khadr accepting a deal should not be seen as an admission of guilt, rather it is one of the few but paradoxical ways of finding a way out of Guantanamo. Shamefully, the Canadian government was unwilling to do what almost all other western nations did: take back its own citizen and treat him with some level of dignity. Instead, even though he‘ll be repatriated he will now have to learn to live in a new prison environment all over again. This child who became an adult in the world‘s most infamous prison. At least though his family will be able to visit him and, his ordeal finally has an end date.”
 
 
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Cageprisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.

Give a voice to the voiceless.
 
Cageprisoners Ltd.
27 Old Gloucester Street
London
WC1N 3XX
 
Telephone:       (+44) 203 167 4416         (+44) 203 167 4416       
Email:               This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web:                www.cageprisoners.com
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