Omar Khadr, a Canadian who has captured by the US as a teenager and held for years as the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay, will receive a formal apology from the Canadian government, and compensation of roughly $8 million to settle an outstanding lawsuit.
Khadr was 15 when he was captured, and the US only agreed to release him on condition he plead guilty to killing a US Army medic, though the reality of the incident has been hotly contested, and Khadr has since recanted his “confession.”
Canada’s Conservative opposition condemned the announcement, saying that it was okay for Canada to acknowledge Khadr’s harsh mistreatment, but unaccepted to give him any sort of compensation when it’s at least conceivable he “murdered an allied soldier.”
The lawyer for the medic’s widow has announced they’re intending to try to seize the $8 million to pay part of a US “wrongful death” lawsuit, which the judge ordered Khadr to pay $134.2 million in damages.
The legality of a confession coerced during open-ended detention, let alone the legal culpability of a child soldier accused of throwing a grenade during open combat for “wrongful death” are both serious questions, and ones which are largely being ignored in this case, with Canada’s position largely beginning and ending on their liability for letting one of their child citizens be detained in abusive conditions, and the US position largely seeking to vindicate the detention of a child by citing the confession.
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