Omar Ahmad Khadr, Guantanamo’s child
Omar Ahmad Khadr
In one of the first military commissions held under the Obama administration, a US military judge has ruled that confessions obtained by threatening the subject with rape are admissible in court.
The case involves Omar Ahmed Khadr, a citizen of Canada who was apprehended in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old for the last seven years awaiting trial for terrorism and war crimes. and has remained in Guantanamo Bay
As AFP reported on Monday,
Khadr, now 23, is accused of throwing a grenade in 2002 that killed a US soldier. He also is alleged to have been trained by Al-Qaeda and joined a network organized by Osama bin Laden to make bombs.
“It’s very clear that the government of the US and the government of Canada have decided not to intervene in this case and therefore we are going to see the first case of a child soldier in modern history,” said his military lawyer Jon Jackson.
“When President Obama was elected, I believed that we were going to close the book on Guantanamo and the military commissions. And instead President Obama has decided to write the next sad, pathetic chapter in the book of the military commissions,” he added.
In addition to being a child soldier, there is evidence that Khadr’s confession was obtained though the use of threats of violence and death.
Globe and Mail reports,
In May hearings, a man identified as Interrogator 1 said in testimony that he threatened Mr. Khadr with being gang-raped to death if he did not co-operate. That interrogator was later identified as former U.S. Army Sergeant Joshua Claus. He has also been convicted of abusing a different detainee and has left the military.
Mr. Khadr’s military-appointed lawyer, Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, argued this instance, as well as other alleged instances of torture and coercion, are enough to render any future confessions – even those in so-called “clean” interrogations – inadmissible in court.
Although Khadr’s confessions were obtained in this manner, the military judge presiding over the case ruled they are still admissible as evidence.
Another Guantanamo detainee, a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, has already entered a plea agreement, but information about his sentence has been sealed by a US military judge.
In response to the two tribunals, Jennifer Turner writes at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Blog of Rights:
Read moreUS Military Judge: Confessions Obtained By Threatening The Subject With Rape Are Admissible In Court