Guantanamo torture of Omar Khadr on video

This video says about itself:

A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a brief video excerpt released via the internet early Tuesday morning.

The 10-minute video posted just after 5 a.m. ET is of poor quality and the voices are often inaudible, as it was never intended to be viewed by the public. But it shows Khadr, 16 at the time, being interviewed by Canadian officials in late February 2003.

The excerpt is from five formerly classified DVDs consisting of 7.5 hours of questioning, six months after Khadr was captured following a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

The tapes, made public under a court order obtained by Khadr’s lawyers, offer a rare glimpse of interrogations of Guantanamo detainees and of Khadr.

Khadr, now 21, has been held at the military prison for the past six years.

Shows interrogator wounds

At one point during one of the interviews, Khadr raises his orange shirt to show wounds on his back and stomach that he says he sustained during the firefight.

“I’m not a doctor, but I think you’re getting good medical care,” the interrogator responds.

Khadr cries, “I lost my eyes. I lost my feet. Everything!” in reference to how the firefight in Afghanistan affected his vision.

“No, you still have your eyes and your feet are still at the end of your legs, you know,” a man says.

Between gasping sobs, Khadr tells the agent several times, “You don’t care about me.”

As Khadr continues crying, the agent calls for a break.

‘Help me,’ Khadr chants

“Look, I want to take a few minutes. I want you to get yourself together. Relax a bit. Have a bite to eat and we’ll start again,” the interrogator says.

Then Khadr begins sobbing with his head in both his hands, chanting over and over again in a haunting voice: “Help me … Help me … Help me.”

In the next interview excerpt, Khadr sits on a blue couch looking down as he is questioned. He mumbles short answers and declines an offer of food.

The interrogator asks him a string of innocuous questions to try to warm him up.

“I want to stay in Cuba with you. Can you help me with that?” he says, commenting on how nice the weather is in the country.

He later asks, “What other interesting things do you want to tell me about?”

Khadr’s response cannot be heard.

Sessions videotaped by U.S. agents

The U.S. Defence Department granted special permission to CSIS and Canada’s Foreign Affairs ministry to question Khadr after he was brought to Guantanamo Bay, where he is still being held on charges he killed a U.S. soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former CSIS agent, told CBC that the unprecedented release of the interrogation tapes is likely to put a damper on Canada’s relationship with the U.S. — at least in the short term.

“Anybody can logically sort of assume that the Americans will be a little bit more cautious about what they give to us or or in the context they give it to us, the Canadian authorities,” he said Monday.

In May, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that branches of the Canadian government had to hand over key evidence against Khadr to his legal team to allow a full defence of the charges against him, which include accusations by the U.S. that he spied for and provided material support to terrorists.

Several Canadian media organizations then applied for and obtained the release of the DVDs, as well as a package of documents that made headlines last week.

Disc copies of the 5-DVD collection were to be made available to the media at 1 p.m. ET at the lawyers’ offices in Edmonton.

See also here. And here.

Canada continues to persecute torture victim Omar Khadr: here.

The news that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has provided an “apology” and $10.5 million in compensation to Omar Khadr—a former child soldier, Guantanamo Bay detainee and torture victim—has provoked vicious, semi-hysterical opposition from the Conservatives and the most right-wing sections of the Canadian media: here.

3 thoughts on “Guantanamo torture of Omar Khadr on video

  1. Apr 24, 1:32 PM EDT

    Canada may appeal ruling on Guantanamo detainee

    Associated Press Writer

    TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s foreign minister said Friday it will appeal a court ruling requiring it to ask the U.S. to return the last Western detainee at Guantanamo Bay to Canada. But the Conservative government later said it has 30 days to decide on an appeal.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has steadfastly refused to get involved in Omar Khadr’s case, saying the U.S. legal process has to play itself out.

    Khadr, a Toronto native, is one of the youngest people ever charged with war crimes. He was 15 when he was accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade during a 2002 battle in Afghanistan.

    A judge on Thursday said Ottawa’s refusal to demand Khadr’s repatriation offends fundamental justice.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Friday the government will appeal the ruling.

    The Obama administration is reviewing Guantanamo cases to determine whether the remaining 245 prisoners should be tried in U.S. courts or released to other countries.

    Khadr is now 22, and his lawyer said he would be willing to face prosecution in Canada and undergo a transition period away from his relatives, who have previous ties to al-Qaida.

    Khadr’s lawyers contend Canada was complicit in what they say was Khadr’s torture and maintain Harper is obliged under international law to demand the prisoner’s return.

    Canada’s three opposition parties have demanded the Conservative government bring Khadr home.

    Khadr has received some sympathy from Canadians, but his family has been widely criticized and called the “first family of terrorism.”

    His father was an alleged al-Qaida militant and financier who was killed by Pakistani forces in 2003. A brother, Abdullah Khadr, is being held in Canada on a U.S. extradition warrant, accused of supplying weapons to al-Qaida. Another brother has acknowledged the family stayed with Osama bin Laden.

    Khadr’s mother, Maha Khadr, was happy with the court ruling but disappointed Harper is considering an appeal. “If Harper appeals nothing can happen,” she told the AP on Thursday. “We try to be happy but we can’t.”


  2. Pingback: Prisoners tortured in Guantanamo and Bagram | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Films on Afghan war, Guantanamo reviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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