Recently, I was delighted to be invited to speak at a screening of “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo,” the excellent documentary film, directed by Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, about the Canadian citizen and former child prisoner Omar Khadr, based on seven hours of footage, from the summer of 2003, when Omar was just 16 years old, and Canadian agents came to Guantánamo to interrogate him, painfully dashing his hopes that they would secure his return home. I was pleased to speak at the UK premiere of the film, in London in June 2011, and I also discussed it on Press TV (see here and here, and see below for a video of the whole of the program).
The screening takes place on Thursday evening in the auditorium at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2 3EA. The event starts at 7pm, and has been arranged by Amnesty International’s Children’s Human Rights Network — which is very appropriate given Omar’s age when he was captured, and the manner in which both the US and Canadian governments have cynically discarded his right to be rehabilitated rather than punished under the terms of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, to which both the US and Canada are signatories.
Also speaking at the screening is Aisha Maniar of the London Guantánamo Campaign, who has worked tirelessly for many years to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantánamo, through regular public protests outside the US Embassy, in Trafalgar Square and outside the Houses of Parliament. Moderating the discussion, and also speaking, is Danny Vannucchi, Security & Human Rights Campaigner for Amnesty International.
This should be an excellent event, and timely, given that Omar should by now have been freed from Guantánamo, under the terms of a plea deal he agreed to at Guantánamo in October 2010, when, in exchange for agreeing that he was not a child soldier, but an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent,” whose presence in a war zone was a war crime, and also agreeing that he had killed a US soldier with a grenade (an action that, objectively, remains disputed), he was given an eight-year sentence, with one year to be served at Guantánamo, and the other seven in Canada.
It is now over eight months since he was supposed to have been returned to Canada, but the Canadian government — and, specifically, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews — has done nothing to secure his return apart from sit on the necessary paperwork and procrastinate as much as possible.
To bring this unjust situation to an end, please sign this petition calling for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to secure Omar’s return from Guantánamo. Anyone anywhere in the world can sign it.
Note: DVDs of “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo” are apparently available to buy from Kinosmith in Canada — although, at the time of writing, they were not available through Amazon.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
[…] International’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch to see the film on Omar Khadr: You don’t like the truth – Four Days inside Guantánamo. Terrific film and I highly recommend […]
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