Free Omar Khadr from Guantánamo - and Demand That 87 Cleared Prisoners Are Also Released
Free Omar Khadr!
For the last few weeks, here at "Close Guantánamo," we have been focusing on the terrible miscarriage of justice in the the case of Omar Khadr, the former child prisoner, whose rights as a child were ignored by both the U.S. and his home country of Canada. In October 2010, Omar agreed to a plea deal at his trial by military commission, on the condition that, after a year, he would be returned to Canada to serve the last seven years of an eight-year sentence.
Unfortunately, as we reported in June, in an article entitled, "Omar Khadr's Lawyers Demand His Return to Canada from Guantánamo" the Canadian government has been deliberately putting off securing Omar's return, prompting his lawyers -- and the Canadian Senator Roméo Dallaire, who is supporting them -- to demand Omar's immediate return.
Sen. Dallaire a former Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Army, and a well-known humanitarian, who founded the Child Soldiers Initiative, aimed at eradicating the use of child soldiers, then established his own petition, and last week we encouraged you to sign it, and to circulate it.
The petition now has over 23,000 signatures, sending a powerful message both to the Canadian government, and to the U.S. government, so thanks to everyone who has signed it. If you haven't, now would be a great time to do so.
Remember the 87 Cleared Prisoners at Guantánamo!
Furthermore, as we explained in our most recent article, "Another Bleak Ramadan at Guantánamo, As 87 Cleared Men Still Await Release," the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last Friday, so now is a good time to think not just about Omar Khadr, but about the 168 men still held at Guantánamo, and the 87 men cleared for release -- some as long ago as 2004 -- who are also still held.
If you like, you can write to the prisoners -- see details here -- but you can also demand action from your elected representatives, and help to spread the word by encouraging others to sign up to our campaign.
We are hearing some encouraging hints that some of these men may eventually be released. Our latest article, for example, features some useful comments by the Tunisian Secretary of State for American and Asian Affairs, Hedi Ben Abbes, regarding the five remaining Tunisians in Guantánamo, and a video of him discussing it can be seen here.
As ever, thanks for your support, and if you know of anyone who would like to join us, to receive regular updates by email, then please forward this to them, and let them know that joining is easy -- just an email address is required.