Omar Khadr, a sixteen year old Guantanamo Bay detainee weeps uncontrollably, clutching at his face and hair as he calls out for his mother to save him from his torment. “Ya Ummi, Ya Ummi (Oh Mother, Oh Mother),” he wails repeatedly, hauntingly with each breath he takes.
The surveillance tapes, released by Khadr’s defence, show him left alone in an interrogation room for a “break” after he tried complaining to CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) officers about his poor health due to insufficient medical attention. Ignoring his complaints and trying to get him to make false confessions, the officers get frustrated with the sixteen year old’s tears and tell him to get himself together by the time they come back from their break.
“You don’t care about me. Nobody cares about me,” he sobs to them.
The tapes show how the officers manipulated Khadr into thinking that they were helping him because they were also Canadian and how they taunted him with the prospect of home (Canada), (good) food, and familial reunion.
Khadr, a Canadian, was taken into US custody at the age of fifteen, tortured and refused medical attention because he wouldn’t attest to being a member of Al Qaeda, even though he was shot three times in the chest and had shrapnel embedded in his eyes and right shoulder. As a result, Khadr’s left eye is now permanently blind, the vision in his right eye is deteriorating, he develops severe pain in his right shoulder when the temperature drops, and he suffers from extreme nightmares.
He has been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, suffering extremely harsh interrogations and torture (methods), and is now 25 years old.
27 now, and still imprisoned
i’m in complete shock. i’m so nauseous right now. how is this possible? i don’t know what to do w/ this information. i share it because i can’t imagine that anyone else knows about this. the boy has been incarcerated, tortured, and basically maimed allll w/out a trial. my heart hurts :/
Omar is no longer in Guantanamo. Left without options, he pled guilty to war crimes so that he’d be given an eight year sentence and be able to transfer to a prison in Canada. He remains in prison there. His story is absolutely heartbreaking. This was a 15 year old boy who has been described as crying out for his mother, who slept holding a Mickey Mouse book one of his captors gave him. A teenager taken from his family, tortured, humiliated, threatened with rape, and falsely imprisoned for 12 years now. You can help Omar by writing to him, donating for his defense, and signing petitions for him. Please visit http://freeomarakhadr.com to learn more.
Oh, the story is actually worse than described above.
Omar Khadr was born in Canada and was brought to Afghanistan because his father was involved with Al Qaeda and wanted his son to fight. He was a child soldier when he was shot at 15.
During his imprisonment in Guantanamo, the Canadian government refused to repatriate him. Other governments repatriated their own citizens who were imprisoned, but not Canada. They knew what this child soldier was going through in Guantanamo, they knew about the enhanced interrogations that were going on, and they did not lift a single fucking finger to get him back on Canadian soil.
When Khadr was finally on trial, his lawyer revealed that the soldiers in Guantanamo had “lost” or otherwise destroyed records detailing the conditions he was living under at the prison.
Furthermore, as a child soldier, he was entitled to special considerations under the Geneva Conventions, which would include repatriation, undergoing psychological treatment and continuing his education, none of which happened.
On May 8th, 2008, the supreme court of Canada ruled that the Canadian Government had violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by denying Khadr his repatriation and not stopping the tortures he had suffered. In other words, the court publicly shamed the government for not respecting his human rights. And the government ignored the ruling for as long as possible.
I sincerely hope that this story never goes away. I don’t want the Canadian government to ever forget the disgrace that it visited upon its own citizen, upon a child soldier.