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US admits more juveniles held at Guantanamo

[JURIST] A spokesperson for the Pentagon [official website] acknowledged [AP report] on Sunday while speaking to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [official website] that the US held 12 juveniles at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] prison. The announcement came in response to a study [text] released last week by the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) [advocacy website]. In May, the US reported to the CRC that only eight juveniles were detained in the prison. The study was based on information available through the American military and diplomatic sources. Other sources, including former detainees, the Red Cross and international sources, indicated to the Center that the number of juveniles could potentially be higher. Eight of the 12 juveniles listed in the study have been released from the prison.

Included in the study was Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive], the 21-year-old Canadian, who has admitted [JURIST report] to being trained by al Qaeda and killing a US solider in Afghanistan. Khadr was detained by US forces in 2002 as a 15-year-old. In 2007, Khadr was formally charged [JURIST report] with supporting terrorism, conspiracy, and spying in "violation of the law of war." Khadr has filed an affidavit [JURIST report] saying he was threatened and abused as an inmate.

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