Ignatieff on Khadr

Hot off the electronic presses.

Statement from Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition, on the Status of Omar Khadr

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.

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