Monday, October 29, 2007
Rights, Duty, Obligation
Not withstanding the cases of William Sampson and Maher Arar, the government must do everything within its power to come to the aid and assistance of its citizens imprisoned illegally abroad,.
Omar Khadr's mother Maha Khadr has repeatedly requested the Canadian government defend her son's legal rights.
Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen imprisoned in at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was captured in Afghanistan at age 15, he is now 21. He is the only Canadian held at Guantanamo Bay.
The Khadr family have been outspoken critics not only of Canada, but Western society. Maha Khadr is quoted saying "she did not want to raise her children in Canada because they would have got involved in 'drugs and homosexual relationships.'" Rather, she sent her sons to al Qaeda training camps.
There is strong evidence the Khadr family is not only sympathetic to the destructive agenda of al Qaeda, but have been active al Qaeda operatives.
The current iteration of the Tories, and many others, may find it repugnant to come to the aid of a family with the outspoken beliefs of the Khadrs, but distaste is not the issue, and cannot be the issue. It would be politically convenient to ignore the case of Omar Khadr for any party in power.
But no member of the Khadr family are convicted of anything, and Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, and the Canadian government must fight for the rights of its citizens held by foreign nations.
CTV story on the background of the Khadr family
CBC story on the background of the Khadr family
Omar Khadr's case sheet at Amnesty International
Washington Post article on the capture of Omar Khadr
William Sampson article from the CBC
Maher Arar's web site