Protestors demand for Omar Khadr's repatriation in front of Stephen Harper's house, dressed as a Guantanamo detainee. Photo: Ehab Lotayef.
Canada’s Supreme Court will hear an appeal from the Canadian government of a lower court order to ask the United States to repatriate Canadian national Omar Khadr. Khadr is the only remaining citizen of a Western country detained at the infamous U.S. detention and torture centre, Guantanamo Bay. He was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan, when he was 15 years old, and declared a ‘child combatant’.
Last month, Canadian federal judge James O’Reilly agreed with Khadr’s lawyers that the government’s refusal to demand repatriation violates their client’s constitutional rights. Stephen Harper has refused to ask for repatriation of Khadr, saying the US legal process must take place, according to CTV and Al-Jazeera.
The three Canadian opposition parties, who make up the majority in the House of Commons, have called for Khadr’s repatriation. The Guantanamo detention centre has been the centre of much controversy about their methods of interrogation such as beatings, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, and water boarding.
Scott Taylor’s new book, Unembedded (Douglas & McIntyre, year), is a memoir of Taylor’s life as a soldier and journalist covering Canada’s military. In a CKDU news/Halifax Media Coop interview, Taylor shares his perspective as an unembedded war reporter in Afghanistan and Iraq, and recounts the trials and tribulations of his magazine, Esprit de Corps, and its efforts to expose corruption in the Canadian military in the 1990′s. From the release of the disturbing Airborne regiment hazing video in 1995 (on the heels of the even more disturbing video of soldiers in another Airborne unit beating a Somali man to death) to coverage of questionable ‘successes’ in the Iraq war, Taylor shares first hand experience of key national and international events of the past two decades.
Scott Taylor is editor-publisher of Esprit de Corps magazine and a columnist for the Chronicle Herald.
Here he is in conversation with Erica Butler at CKDU on April 18, 2009.
Scott Taylor Interview, April 18, 2009