Khadr’s rights violated

Re: Khadr got off easy, should count his blessings, Nov. 3

The recent editorial about Omar Khadr was completely misguided and misunderstands the true nature of Khadr’s crime and of his sentencing, which was completely illegitimate. To say that the only injustice was “the fact Khadr will again walk freely in Canadian society” disregards the huge injustices of a trial at Guantanamo Bay, set up entirely to evade the real justice system.

While Omar Khadr did sign a plea bargain limiting his sentence to eight more years, the editorial staff has ignored the eight years that Khadr has already served.

“Law” at Gitmo also conveniently ignores international conventions about child soldiers. Captured at age 15, Khadr is the epitome of a child soldier. Additionally, given the coercive nature of Khadr’s upbringing (having been forced into an Al Qaeda cell at the age of 11), even his supposed guilt remains questionable as his rationality cannot be proven. Democratic societies are founded on concepts of fairness and justice, which the entire “trial” of Khadr has completely undermined.

Khadr’s rights as a Canadian citizen have been violated, as ruled by the Supreme Court of Canada, and he spent a third of his life in prison before even this sham of a trial occurred. These eight years alone are more than a juvenile murderer would be sentenced to in Canada. Instead of hailing retribution and vengeance, the U. S. and Canada should be focusing upon rehabilitating him into society. To do otherwise would be the true travesty.

—Kira Misiewicz and Emily O’Brien

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