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8.07.2010

A Canadian at Guantanamo Bay

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court denied the request of Omar Khadr to block his military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr is a 23 year-old Canadian citizen whose prosecution arises from acts he is alleged to have committed as a 15 year-old in Afghanistan.

The Government of Canada, at the direction of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has long opted not to ask the United States Government to release Khadr from Guantanamo Bay. 

In 2008, Mr. Harper reasoned that the Khadr matter should be resolved by the judicial process, not the political process. Later in 2009, the Federal Court of Canada ordered the Government of Canada to seek Khadr's repatriation to Canada. Last month, the Government of Canada filed what has been described as "a last-minute appeal" against the order. 

But now, the U.S. military commission appears ready to proceed, perhaps altogether short-circuiting the Canadian judicial process still underway.

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