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What has happened to Canada?: Speaking with Omar Khadr from prison

In May 2013, my son Kiran and I boarded a plane from Amsterdam to Toronto with a dual purpose. First, after months of exchanging letters with Omar Khadr, we were going to visit him in Millhaven Institution, where he was incarcerated following 11 years of mistreatment in Guantanamo Bay. Secondly we wanted to understand why Canadian citizens allowed this ongoing atrocity.

What had happened to this country with once high standards on human rights?

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How Canada lets people get tortured

Guantanamo Diary

by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
(Little, Brown and Company,
2015;
$32.00)

Following December's release of the U.S. Senate report on American complicity in torture, Prime Minister Stephen Harper quickly declared, "It has nothing to do whatsoever with the government of Canada." Despite the CIA's close relationship with Canadian state security agencies, as well as two judicial inquiries finding Ottawa complicit in the torture of Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt, Harper preferred to ignore the facts.   

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Human rights ignored in Omar Khadr's 13-year imprisonment

Those who value human rights, a fair judicial system and the rule of law, find it incomprehensible that Omar Khadr is still incarcerated. Soon he will again be turning to Canadian courts, which have so often, in his long struggle for justice, ruled in his favour.

In the next few months, a number of legal challenges finally could result in his freedom. With these cases on the horizon, every Canadian committed to basic tenets of justice and democracy is urged to help cover Khadr's mounting legal costs.

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Image: wikimedia commons
| February 10, 2015
Columnists

U.S. needs to close Guantanamo and give it back to Cuba

Photo: Stephen D. Melkisethian/flickr

This week marks the 13th anniversary of the arrival of the first post-9/11 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, the most notorious prison on the planet. This grim anniversary, and the beginning of normalization of diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba, serves as a reminder that we need to permanently close the prison and return the land to its rightful owners, the Cuban people. It is time to put an end to this dark chapter of United States history.

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Philip Breedlove
| November 30, 2014
| May 23, 2014
| January 13, 2014
Dennis Edney
| November 19, 2013
Columnists

Science, ethics and torture

Image:  Lance Page / t r u t h o u t, Adapted From: bright-political / flickr

Growing up in Tunisia during the '80s and early '90s, I sometimes gleaned information from adults around me who whispered that the opponents of the regime -- first the Communists and then the Islamists -- were tortured in secret chambers where the services of a doctor were used, sadly, in an evil way.

People at that time said that the role of the doctor was to make sure that during the torture session, the prisoners are harmed severely but not enough to be killed. In a nutshell, the doctors were there to make sure that the torturers didn't send the prisoners to the "other world." Ignoring all the details around these stories, I felt horrified.

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