NCCM welcomes government’s apology to Omar Khadr

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – July 4, 2017) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes news of the federal government’s decision to apologize and compensate Canadian citizen Omar Khadr for his ordeal.

Born in Toronto, Khadr was just 15 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan by American soldiers in July 2002. Described as a child soldier by the United Nations, he went on to spend nearly 10 years in the notorious U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Mr. Khadr’s Charter rights had been violated by the federal government due to its involvement with his detention and interrogations in Guantanamo. The Court determined that Mr. Khadr had been interrogated under “oppressive circumstances” and that the actions of Canadian officials “offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”

“We welcome this long-overdue apology and compensation to Omar Khadr by the federal government. It is the right decision in light of the callous and unlawful treatment meted out to Mr. Khadr with the complicity of Canadian officials,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“For several years, the NCCM, along with various civil society partners and prominent Canadians called for Omar Khadr’s just treatment. Mr. Khadr’s ordeal reminds us that every Canadian has the right to be treated fairly and in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and the rule of law,” says Gardee. “His lawyer, Dennis Edney, along with the countless numbers of Canadians and others from around the world who stood up for Mr. Khadr’s human rights should be commended for their tireless pursuit of justice.”

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.