Friday, May 08, 2015

Media release: London Guantánamo Campaign congratulates former Guantánamo child prisoner on his release on bail from Canadian prison

Protesting Omar Khadr's military commission in 2010
For immediate release: Friday 8 May 2015

Activists from the London Guantánamo Campaign [1] welcome the release on bail, in Canada, of Canadian former Guantánamo child prisoner Omar Khadr [2] on Thursday 7 May, under strict conditions [3]. This is pending his appeal of his 2010 conviction for war crimes, obtained through a secret plea bargain in the widely-discredited Guantánamo military commission procedure.

As the only person since World War II to be tried as an adult for offences alleged committed as a minor before a military tribunal , the London Guantánamo Campaign has always maintained that Omar Khadr is a child soldier and should never have been subject to such proceedings, let alone held at Guantánamo Bay.

The London Guantánamo Campaign has campaigned consistently for his release since he became the first Guantánamo prisoner to be charged and brought to trial before the revised military commissions system under President Obama in 2009. Our activities for Omar Khadr have included:
·         holding the only demonstration in solidarity with his case when his military commission was ongoing in 2010,
·         speaking on a special panel about his case at Amnesty International UK in 2012 [4],
·         highlighting his plight as part of events to mark 11 years of Guantánamo Bay in early 2013,
·         and in conjunction with a number of organisations and universities in the UK and the Free Omar Khadr Now Campaign, hosting a speaking tour with his lawyer Dennis Edney QC in March 2014 [5] to raise awareness of his case beyond Canada .

Aisha Maniar, organiser from the London Guantánamo Campaign, says, “Omar Khadr is the boy who became a man at Guantánamo Bay. His case, particularly given the vulnerabilities presented by his age at the time, demonstrates some of the worst brutalities wantonly committed in the name of the so-called War on Terror. The actions of the Canadian government since 2002 also highlight the proactive role the US’s allies have played in flouting international law and committing human rights violations.
Protesting Omar Khadr's military commission in 2010

“We welcome Omar Khadr’s release and congratulate him on what is truly a historic day for justice and everyone who fights for it. The fight to clear his name in the US courts continues and we will continue to support his quest for justice. We believe that it is only a matter of time before his conviction is quashed, as in the case of other former prisoners; evidence procured through torture and conjecture cannot provide the basis for any conviction, let alone a war crimes conviction. We look forward to the day that Omar Khadr is fully vindicated.”


1. The London Guantánamo Campaign was set up in 2006 and campaigns for justice for all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, for the closure of this and other secret prisons, and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition.     
2. For more details on Omar Khadr’s case, please visit

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