A decade in detention for former child soldier
originally by: ACLU
published: 27 July 2012
Today marks a decade in U.S. custody for Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who is Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner. Even though he has been eligible for transfer back to Canada for almost nine months pursuant to his October 2010 plea deal, he is still detained at Guantánamo.
Khadr is the only one of the 168 remaining detainees who was a juvenile when transferred to the Guantánamo Bay facility.
Khadr has grown up at Guantánamo. Now 25, the full beard Khadr has grown since his imprisonment in 2002 obscures the fact that he was only 15 when he was shot and captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
After his capture, Khadr was taken to Bagram near death: he had been shot twice in the back, blinded by shrapnel, and buried in rubble from a bomb blast. U.S. personnel interrogated him within days, while he was sedated and handcuffed to a stretcher. He was threatened with gang rape and death if he didn’t cooperate with interrogators.
He was hooded and chained with his arms suspended in a cage-like cell, and his primary interrogator was later court-martialed for abuse leading to the death of another detainee. During his subsequent detention at Guantánamo, Khadr was subjected to the “frequent flyer” sleep deprivation program and he says he was used as a human mop after he was forced to urinate on himself.
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