Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA Executive Director, Responds to Khadr Repatriation to Canada

Press Release
September 29, 2012

Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA Executive Director, Responds to Khadr Repatriation to Canada

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, D.C.) – Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA's executive director, issued the following response to news reports that the United States has repatriated Guantanamo Bay detainee, Omar Khadr, to Canada on Saturday:

"Given the Obama administration's glacial pace towards closing the U.S.-controlled detention center, little and late though it is, today's news represents progress.

"Khadr was imprisoned at the age of 15, subjected to ill-treatment and then prosecuted in a military commissions system that does not meet international fair trial standards. Growing up in Guantanamo and facing more prison time in Canada, his future remains uncertain.

"However, Canada now has the chance to right some of these wrongs. There should be a full and impartial investigation into Khadr's allegations of torture, and remedy for the human rights violations he suffered. In addition, Amnesty International calls on Canadian authorities to afford Khadr the full protections to which he is entitled under law, and to ensure he receives appropriate rehabilitation in preparation for his eventual release.

"Khadr's tragic story underscores why Guantanamo should close--not tomorrow, but today.  President Obama must live up to his promise to close the book on the Guantanamo chapter and ensure that all detainees are either charged and fairly tried, or released. That's the only way to ensure justice for everyone."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.