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Amnesty International Calls for Speedy Approval of Omar Khadr’s Transfer Application

    November 07, 2011

    Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to move quickly to approve the application made by Omar Khadr in the spring of 2011, under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, for return to Canada.

    Under the terms of a plea agreement reached between Omar Khadr and US officials in October 2010, Omar Khadr pled guilty to the five charges he faced. Further to that agreement, he was convicted and sentenced to an eight year prison term commencing on 31 October 2010.

    The terms of the plea agreement required Omar Khadr to remain in US custody for a further year, at which point he would be eligible for a possible transfer back to Canada. The agreement includes a commitment from US authorities to “positively endorse” any such transfer application. A diplomatic note from the Canadian government to the US government, dated 23 October 2010, indicated that they would be “inclined to favourably consider Mr. Khadr's application to be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence.”

    Omar Khadr completed an additional year in US custody at Guantánamo Bay as of 31 October 2011. He is therefore eligible for transfer to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence if and when his transfer application is approved by the US and Canadian governments.

    Speedy approval by Canada of Omar Khadr’s transfer application would conform to the intention and the spirit of the October 23rd diplomatic note. Above all else, it would be an important step forward in ensuring stronger protection of Omar Khadr’s human rights.

    Beth Berton-Hunter,
    Media Relations,
    Amnesty International Canada
    416-363-9933, ext. 332