Detained and Abandoned Part Two: The Canadian government’s response and Khadr’s status as a child soldier

Omar Khadr’s 40-year prison sentence was handed to him on Sunday, 31 October. In anticipation of our update on the story from Guantanamo Bay, which is set to air on Tuesday’s Off the Hour (2 November), please hav a listen to the second part of our documentary series (which aired on 29 September).

Produced by Sam Ormond and Sven Carlsson for CKUT.


Tony Navaneelan, counsel at Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Toronto
Andrea Prasow, senior counsel at Human Rights Watch
Dr. Steven Reisner, adjunct professor in Clinical Psychology, Columbia University
David Glazier, associate professor of law, Loyola University

Aside from the flawed legal system under which Omar Khadr has been charged, and the absurdity of the charges that he has now plead guilty to, there are two additional aspects to his case that are troubling.

Khadr was 15 or younger when the crimes he was tried for at Guantanamo were committed. Moreover, the prisoner Michelle Shepherd of the Toronto Star refers to as ‘Guantanamo’s child’ has been afforded no legal protection by two successive Canadian governments.

When Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) interrogators visited Khadr in 2003, their purpose was not to ensure that the conditions Khadr was held in were up to any particular standard, but rather to extract information from him that would be useful to US interrogators.

The second part of our documentary series explores the moral, legal and psychological implications of Khadr’s age at the time of his capture, and scrutinizes the response of two Canadian governments to his detainment.