The Guantanamo child

To some he’s a terrorist, to others he’s a child soldier tortured by his own government.

What is clear is that Omar Khadr’s story is no simple one. Killer or not, there’s no denying that Khadr’s human rights were violated under both Canadian and international law.

If you want to learn more about Khadr and his case, I’d encourage you to watch Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr

The documentary played at Cinematheque on Saturday and gives a disturbing glimpse into the treatment Khadr was forced to endure and includes recounts from former officials with Canada’s spy agency and American soldiers close to the case.

Khadr’s soft-spoken narration while describing the years of torture he endured while at Guantanamo Bay will make you wonder where he finds his strength. The film has several disturbing scenes and at one point will explain the ‘human mop’ torture technique. Hearing about it will be enough to make your stomach turn.

It works like this: a naked prisoner is given water until his or her bladder is close to bursting, then the prisoner is told to urinate on the ground, and clean the mess dry using only the body –clothes aren’t allowed in the clean up.

But Khadr was sent to Guantanamo after allegedly killing an American soldier during a firefight when he was 15. So does that waive his human rights? I’d argue not.

But there is no presumption of innocence here, and that is a crime.


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