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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Child soldier's confession under torture is legal evidence for USA

The outrageous case of Guantanamo Nazi prison, which has not yet been dismantled by Barack Obama in spite of his electoral promises, goes one step further as Omar Khadr is going to face a farce trial under his military captors who took him from Afghanistan when he was 15 years old.

The accusation, for which he could face a life sentence, is to throw a grenade killing a US soldier, in the context of the US/NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, of more than questionable legitimacy itself.

The only evidence: his own confession, obtained under the system of torture that is well known to operate in the colonial base in Cuba.

Under international law, child soldiers are to be considered victims.

Under any sensible law as well, confession obtained under tortures or possible tortures cannot be evidence. Otherwise it is going back to the times of the Inquisition.

However the military tribunal that is to judge Omar Khadr has accepted this only piece of "evidence" as valid. Khadr is however still hopeful that justice will prevail and rejects to enter a plea bargain.

The young Omar Khadr, now 23, has seen some of the best years of his life wasted in one of the worst prisons on Earth.

While he initially cooperated with his captors, he is now set not to accept the impositions of the farce trial and may even dismiss his military attorney out of lack of faith on the system.

The world doesn't get it, so it might work if the world sees the US sentencing a child to life in prison, it might show the world how unfair and sham this process is. And if the world doesn't see all this, to what world am I being released to? A world of hate ... and discrimination.
I hate to say this but he is damn right. It may cost him dearly but it is on this kind of fearless heroism that justice is built upon.

Source: Al Jazeera


Update (Aug 13):
Daphne Eviatar reports at the Huffington Post on the first day of the farce-trial which was suspended indefinitely (or for 30 days, not fully clear) after the defense lawyer suddenly collapsed while interrogating a witness.

It is interesting the report on the actual facts that seem to transpire in the trial: Omar Khadr was not just a minor at the time of the alleged "crime" (fighting in a war, defending his country from a foreign invasion if anything) but there is absolutely no evidence that he even fought at all. There are reports that the person who threw the grenade, killing a US soldier, was someone else and that Khadr did not even participate in the combat at all, where he had been brought by his father in a clear case of parental coercion.

They also report that he was shot in the back twice in spite of being unarmed, (i.e. a civilian minor) surviving almost miraculously. Daphne Eviatar asks: who is the real war criminal here?

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