A letter from Omar Khadr, Guantanamo Bay detainee
A Canadian lawyer for Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has released one of his letters, providing a glimpse into the thinking of one of the most high-profile inmates there in advance of his August military commission trial on murder and war crimes charges.
In the correspondence, according to one of Khadr's supporters in an accompanying press release, "we see both the boy and the man; the boy in his awkward phrasing and grammar -- the man in his sophisticated assessment of his predicament and the role he appears destined to play in the Guantanamo Bay story."
Military prosecutors contend that Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, threw a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces medic in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr was 15 at the time of the alleged attack, and human rights groups insist he should have been rehabilitated as a child solider, not prosecuted.
Khadr, who is now 23, has spent a third of his life at Guantanamo Bay; he was first captured in Afghanistan eight years ago this month.
"Omar's supporters would also like to announce their intent to embark on a renewed campaign of appeals to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and American President Barack Obama to re-establish the once solid international reputation of their countries as just enforcers of the rule of law," the release stated. "To do so, we hold that they must take immediate action to insure that Mr. Khadr receive a fair trial, either in an American federal court or in a Canadian court which recognizes his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
In the hand-written letter to Dennis Edney, his lawyer, Khadr describes himself as the "head of the "MC thing."
"Justice and freedom have a very high cost and value, and history is a good witness to it, not too far ago or far away how many people sacrificed for the civil right law to take affect," wrote Khadr.
Khadr, who recently fired his American civilian attorneys, reportedly turned down a plea bargain that would have seen him serve another five years in prison in return for a guilty plea. The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 10.
| July 27, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
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