Lawyer says Khadr a living example of the West’s disregard for its principles

Dennis Edney was speaking at Thompson Rivers University as the keynote speaker at a student law conference on civil liberties

Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week

The lawyer who represented Omar Khadr told a law conference in Kamloops on Jan. 29 that his client endured systematic physical and mental torture for a decade — a boy he said who would become a living example of the Western world’s disregard for its principles.

Dennis Edney was speaking at Thompson Rivers University as the keynote speaker at a student law conference on civil liberties.

“Over the years, many Western democracies have exploited the climate of insecurity and used a climate of fear to limit civil liberties,” Edney told several hundred students.

One example, he said, is Canada’s Bill C-51, brought in by the previous Conservative government.

“The legislation allows for unprecedented and excessive power to CSIS to collect and share information,” he said.

Edney’s speech focused on what he said is an imbalance in the tension between security and human rights. Politicians have exploited that fear to provide overriding powers to government, he said, and systematic human rights abuses have resulted.

Edney said Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is ground zero. The international no-man’s land operated by the U.S. government is where Khadr, now 29, was imprisoned for 10 years until his recent release on conditions of bail in Canada.

Edney represented the Canadian citizen in his legal battles.

Khadr was convicted by a U.S. military commission of murder for throwing a hand grenade that killed an American solider during a firefight in Khost, Afghanistan, in February 2002.

Khadr, then 15, was brought to Afghanistan by his father, Ahmed Khadr, an extremist who abandoned his son with the Taliban before being killed a year later in a village on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

The teenaged Khadr was badly wounded in the fight and was eventually transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where Edney listed a catalogue of abuses that included water boarding and a type of crucifixion in which Khadr he was tied, hooded and naked, for hours to a metal cage.

“They don’t call it torture,” Edney said of his guards and interrogators. “They call it interviews.”

Edney said in his interactions with Khadr at Guantanamo Bay, he had never seen him not chained to the floor.

Khadr now lives with Edney at his home in Edmonton. Khadr is on conditions of bail awaiting appeal of his conviction, a conviction his lawyer said was obtained by torture.

That torture, Edney said, was overseen and viewed by guards, doctors and nurses.


“Their voices were silent,” he said. “How easy it is for people to lose their moral compass when they allow hate and fear to overcome them.”



Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing senior couple found

A senior couple from the Lower Mainland have been reported missing

Recycling workshop at Clearwater Library

TNRD to hold workshops at libraries across region

Clearwater RCMP weekly police report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 41 calls for service over this past week

Editor, The Times:

Proportional Representation could save our democracy

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Most Read