Thursday, April 30, 2009

Canadian Bar Association: Repatriate Khadr

The Canadian Bar Association once again has called for the repatriation of Omar Khadr.  

An April 24, 2009 letter from C.B.A. Presient J. Guy Joubert to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama references last week's Federal Court ruling in Omar Ahmed Khadr v. The Prime Minister of Canada et al., and calls upon both leaders to facilitate Mr. Khadr's prompt transfer from Guantanamo Bay to Canadian custody:
The CBA is a national association representing 38,000 jurists across Canada. We work to promote the Rule of Law and improve the administration of justice in Canada and around the world. It is in this light that we have protested Mr. Khadr’s subjection to the military tribunal process in Guantánamo Bay and called for his repatriation. We take no position on Mr. Khadr’s guilt or innocence. Our concern is that he receive a fair trial in accordance with all procedural protections and special considerations to be afforded a minor, as required by domestic and international law. Canada’s justice system is well equipped to fairly and openly assess Mr. Khadr’s criminal culpability, in a manner that reflects his status as a minor at the relevant time.
...Yesterday, Canada’s Federal Court ruled the ongoing refusal of the Government of Canada to request Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada “offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr’s rights under s. 7 of the Charter”. It ordered the government to seek Khadr’s repatriation as soon as practicable.1
...Prime Minister, the time has come for the Canadian government to advise the U.S. that it is willing to negotiate the terms of Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada to face Canadian justice. In turn, Mr. President, we urge the U.S. government to negotiate the terms of Mr. Khadr’s repatriation with the Canadian government and to transfer available evidence respecting his conduct to the Canadian government. We urge you to come to an agreement that recognizes international human rights obligations, due process and the Rule of Law, and the desirability of ensuring the national security of both countries.

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