“Abused child.” “Child soldier.” “Brainwashed boy.” “Terrorist.” “Killer.” “Guantánamo prisoner.” “Victim of torture.” “War criminal.” “The only child soldier put on trial in modern history.”
On Thursday Omar Khadr, 28, launched the next of his many lives: “Free man — with conditions.”
Born in Canada, Khadr was taken as a child to Afghanistan by his father, to fight with al-Qaeda. In 2002, aged 15, he was captured by American soldiers in a firefight in which he was injured. He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier, Sgt. Christopher Speer.
Khadr was shipped to Guantánamo Bay, and convicted in 2010 of war crimes for Speer’s death. Under a plea agreement, he was to serve eight more years. He was later transferred to a jail in Canada. He repudiated his legal plea, on the grounds he agreed only to get out of Guantánamo Bay. His case is now winding its way through Canadian courts.
Meantime, the Alberta Court of Appeal released Khadr on bail, with strict conditions.
In the video below he speaks with media outside his lawyer’s house in Alberta, where he must live as one condition of his bail.
Omar Khadr, free on bail, vows to prove he is ‘a good person’, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Omar Khadr, Former Guantánamo Detainee, Is Released on Bail in Canada, New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/world/americas/omar-khadr-canada-guantanamo-detainee-released-on-bail.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150507&nlid=18460284&tntemail0=y&_r=0
Amnesty International file on Omar Khadr: http://www.amnesty.ca/our-work/issues/security-and-human-rights/omar-khadr
Child Soldier for Al Qaeda Is Sentenced for War Crimes, New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/us/02detain.html?action=click&contentCollection=Americas&module=RelatedCoverage®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article