A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

UN report condemns Canada for complicity in torture of citizens detained abroad

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) [official website] released a report [text, PDF] on Friday finding that Canada was complicit in rights violations against three Canadians who were held prisoner in Syria, and against Omar Khadr, who is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. All four of the detainees are Arab-Canadians who were detained post-9/11. The committee condemned Canada for refusing to apologize and give compensation to the individuals who were tortured in Syria, and recommended that the country do so immediately. The committee also urged Canada to approve Khadr's request to be transferred from Guantanamo to Canada for the remainder of his sentence to avoid any future mistreatment, and to appropriately compensate him for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] he actually did suffer.

Khadr sent an application requesting to be transferred [JURIST report] from Guantanamo to Canada in April, but the Canadian government has not yet responded to his request. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges including killing a US soldier in 2002 in Afghanistan. Although the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that year that Khadr was tortured during interrogation in violation of Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text], the Canadian government decided not to seek repatriation [JURIST report]. The government had been urged [press release] by the Canadian chapter of Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] to seek repatriation, but the court ruled it was not required to do so.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.