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Canada MPs join Khadr lawyer in call for Guantanamo repatriation push

[JURIST] Three Canadian opposition MPs and a US military lawyer urged the Canadian government Monday to request the extradition and repatriation of Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], a Canadian citizen being detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The three MPs - Joe Comartin (NDP, Windsor-Tecumseh, Ontario), Dominic LeBlanc (Liberal, Beausejour, New Brunswick) and Vivian Barbot (Bloc Quebecois, Papineau, Quebec) - and Khadr US military lawyer Lieutenant Commander Bill Kuebler, held a press conference criticizing the Canadian Conservative Party government for what they called its failure to protect Khadr's rights as a Canadian citizen. The MPs said they would seek an emergency debate in the Canadian House of Commons [Parliament of Canada website] and the establishment of a subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee to focus on the Khadr case. CBC News has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Khadr, now 21, faces life imprisonment for crimes allegedly committed at the age of 15 when he supposedly threw a grenade that killed one US soldier and wounded another while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. His military commission trial is currently set for May. Earlier this month, a US military commission heard jurisdiction arguments [JURIST report] in the case. Defense lawyers, a UN official [JURIST reports], and rights groups have said if the US proceeds with the military trial, it will be in violation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [text].

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