Khadr Guantanamo interrogation video released

[JURIST] Lawyers for Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] released an excerpt [video; transcript] Tuesday of a 2003 interrogation of Khadr conducted by Canadian officials, marking the first time Guantanamo interrogation footage has been available to the public. The eight-minute clip is part of seven hours of footage given to lawyers after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled [text; JURIST report] in May that Khadr had the right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] to see confidential documents and videos compiled by Canadian officials. The video does not show torture, but documents [text, PDF; JURIST report] released last week indicated that the Canadian government knew Khadr had been mistreated at the detention center before agents questioned him. In the video, Khadr, then 16, becomes nonresponsive, and the interrogator responds:

I understand this is stressful, but by using this as a strategy to talk to us, it’s not going to be any more helpful. We have a limited amount of time, and we’ve heard this story before.
The interrogator later asks whether Khadr would like a chocolate bar, and when Khadr responds that he wants to go back to Canada, the interrogator says he cannot help. The interrogator's comments echo statements made last week by Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Khadr is facing severe criminal charges and that the Guantanamo process is necessary to discover the truth. However, Khadr's lawyers and rights groups have criticized Harper [JURIST report], saying that Canada could easily intervene on Khadr's behalf. The Globe and Mail has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

Khadr could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted of April 2007 charges [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying. Khadr is one of four [JURIST report] Guantanamo detainees facing prosecution under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF]. On March 13, a US military judge also ruled [JURIST report] that some correspondence between US and Canadian government officials regarding Khadr must be turned over to Khadr's defense team. In an affidavit released in early May, Khadr accused US interrogators of mistreatment [JURIST report], including threatening him with rape, physically abusing him, and forcing him to swear to false statements.

 

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