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Khadr boycotts preliminary hearing over mistreatment allegations

[JURIST] Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] on Friday refused for the second straight day to attend preliminary hearings relating to his pending murder and terrorism charges [JURIST report], claiming he is being mistreated by military guards. On Thursday, Khadr refused to attend the proceedings, stating [WP report] that the blackout goggles required by military protocol were aggravating an eye conditions which needed medical attention. Khadr did appear for hearings on Thursday afternoon after Judge Patrick Parrish indicated he would be brought by force if he did not present himself willingly. Khadr did not attend Friday's hearings after refusing to submit to a search prior to being transported. He contends that the search was meant to intimidate and humiliate him. Parrish indicated that he would not question security protocols and ruled that Friday's proceedings would continue without Khadr because he had voluntarily chosen not to attend. This week's hearings are being held in order to determine if statements made by Khadr during his interrogation should be suppressed [JURIST report]. They are to be the last preliminary hearings before his US military commission [JURIST news archive] trial in July.

Khadr's lawyers filed an emergency motion [JURIST report] in February in the Federal Court of Canada [official website] challenging the decision of the Canadian government not to seek his repatriation from the United States [JURIST report]. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled [JURIST report] in January that the government was not obligated to seek Khadr's return to Canada despite having violated his rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Khadr has allegedly admitted to throwing a hand grenade [JURIST report] that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan.

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