HRW calls Canada to task on Omar Khadr

Oct. 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

TORONTO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch called on Canadian authorities to work to reintegrate former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, repatriated last weekend, into society.

Khadr was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan 10 years ago following a long gun battle. He pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges in 2010, avoiding a life-in-prison sentence. He told a judge during a military court proceeding he threw the grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002 when he was 15 years old.

The U.S. Defense Department announced Khadr was transferred to Canada from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba to serve the remainder of an eight-year prison term.

"The United States coordinated with the government of Canada regarding appropriate security and humane treatment measures," the Defense Department stated.

Human Rights Watch called on Canadian authorities to "right a wrong" in terms of Khadr's treatment in U.S custody. The rights organization described Khadr as a child soldier given his age at the time of arrest. He was allegedly abused by U.S. authorities in Afghanistan before he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

"Now that Khadr is back in his own country, Canada should assist in his rehabilitation," said Andrea Prasow, a counter-terrorism lawyer for Human Rights Watch.

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