Canada says done enough for Guantanamo inmate

OTTAWA, - Government lawyers argued Tuesday that Canada has surely done enough for a young Canadian national held at the US naval facility in Guantanamo Bay as it appealed a court order to repatriate him.
Omar Khadr was arrested in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was 15 years old for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier -- a charge he has denied.

Canada says done enough for Guantanamo inmate
He has been imprisoned at the US "war on terror" prison camp in Cuba since October 2002 awaiting trial on charges of murder, conspiracy and support of terrorism.
In April, a federal court ordered Ottawa to ask US authorities to repatriate this last remaining Westerner at the prison, ruling that Canada's steadfast refusal to intervene in the case infringed on his constitutional rights.
The government is appealing the order it also claims meddles in its authority over Canada's foreign affairs.
"If there is a principle of fundamental justice that requires Canada to take steps to protect someone in (Khadr's) circumstances, Canada has done so," government lawyers said in a legal brief.
They went on to say that Canada "took many steps to secure (Khadr's) well-being," such as securing medical help, requesting he be segregated from adult detainees -- which was denied -- and providing him with educational materials.
There are no principles in law compelling the government to provide diplomatic protections or consular services to nationals abroad, the brief added.
Ottawa has so far rejected pressure from opposition MPs, rights groups and others to bring Khadr home, saying repeatedly it would wait for the US proceedings to play out.
It has maintained that Khadr faces "serious accusations in the United States."

Tuesday, June 23rd 2009

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