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Canada bar chief urges government to follow Khadr repatriation court order

[JURIST] Canadian Bar Association (CBA) [association website] President Guy Joubert [profile] Saturday urged [press release] the Canadian government to seek the repatriation of Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive] rather than appeal Friday's Federal Court of Appeal's decision [JURIST report] directing repatriation efforts. Joubert said the CBA was "very pleased" with the court ruling, in keeping with the CBA's past appeals to Canadian officials and to the American government to expedite Khadr's repatriation so he can stand trial under Canadian laws. In past calls to both governments, the CBA pressed for [press release] recognition of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, "due process and the rule of law, and the desirability of ensuring the national security of both countries, and to transfer the evidence respecting his conduct to the Canadian government."

On Friday the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal [official website] upheld [judgment, PDF] a lower court's ruling [judgment, PDF; JURIST report] ordering the Canadian government to advocate for Khadr's repatriation. The government had appealed the April ruling asserting that the lower court had erred in holding that by not pressing for his release Canadian officials had violated Khadr's rights to "life, liberty, and security" under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) [text]. The independent Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) [official website] criticized the conduct of CSIS last month for failing to consider Khadr's age and human rights issues regarding alleged mistreatment by US authorities during 2003 Guantanamo interviews. Khadr has allegedly admitted to throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, and was charged [JURIST reports] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.

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