TELL STEPHEN HARPER: BRING OMAR KHADR BACK TO CANADA!
RALLY AND MARCH, Saturday, July 26, 12 noon in Ottawa at corner of Sussex and York
There is widespread anger with the Harper government about its defiant refusal to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada from Guantanamo Bay, the most notorious prison in the world. The peace movement in Canada has been a staunch defender of civil liberties and a strong opponent of racism and Islamophobia. This issue is another chance for the movement to take a principled stand for justice.
The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, with its allies the Canadian Arab Federation, Muslim Unity Group, Canadian Peace Alliance
and the Council of Canadians, have issued a call-out for a rally and march on July 26 to tell Stephen Harper: “Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!” They have invited all other peace and anti-war groups across the country to organize similar actions on July 26, in the hope that we can make the day a pan-Canadian event. NOWAR-PAIX is organizing in Ottawa, with support from the Council of Canadians. Please join us. To endorse, e-mail nowar.paix at gmail.com.
We hope you can join us on July 26 as we demand that Canada bring Omar Khadr home now!
Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is the only Western national left in Guantanamo Bay, and the first child-soldier to be prosecuted in more than a hundred years. Khadr was only 15 years-old when he was captured by US forces in Afghanistan and later transported to the infamous US prison where he has now spent more than a quarter of his life. Khadr faces trial by US military tribunal in October 2008.
Recently released video footage reveals the kind of mistreatment that Khadr has experienced in Guantanamo Bay, where the US has been accused of practicing torture on detainees. Other reports show that Khadr was subjected to extreme forms of sleep deprivation, a form of torture, including a practice called the “frequent flyer program” in which he was woken every three hours and moved to a different cell for 24 hours a day over a three-week period.
Worse still, court documents reveal that the Canadian government was aware of the abuse suffered by Khadr at the hands of US authorities yet continued to assure the Canadian public that he was being well treated.
The fact that Omar Khadr is still being held in Guantanamo Bay is a national disgrace, and an international embarrassment for all Canadians.
Despite the growing evidence of Khadr’s mistreatment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shamefully refused to bring Khadr back to Canada. Instead, Harper has said he supports a US military trial for Khadr, and will not seek his release from Guantanamo Bay.
Join us on July 26 to tell Stephen Harper: “Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!” Demonstrate your opposition to our government’s decision to abandon a Canadian citizen in Guantanamo Bay, and show your support for civil liberties and international law.