On the occasions of U.S. and Canadian election campaigns, Romeo Dallaire writes today in an opinion piece in the Toronto Star about Omar Khadr. “Both the United States and Canada are in the midst of election campaigns,” Mr. Dallaire writes, “so what better time for a principled discussion about human rights and international legal obligations?” He goes on to praise both John McCain and Barack Obama, who have each pledged to shut down Guantanamo if elected.
Mr. Khadr is a Canadian citizen and former child soldier accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002 in Afghanistan. He was 15 at the time, and has been held at Guantanamo Bay since he was 16. He is scheduled to be tried for war crimes on November 10, 2008 under the U.S. military commission system. Preparations for his trial have been characterized by legal shortcomings; read about our colleagues’ observations of Khadr’s case at military commission hearings at Gitmo here. Click here for more background on the case of Omar Khadr.