"Kill me," moans young Canadian Guantanamo inmate
(Reuters) – Omar Khadr, the only western prisoner still held in the
U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, broke down and wept when questioned by
Canadian interrogators and moaned "Kill me," video footage released on
Khadr, a Canadian, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 at the age of
15 and is charged with killing a U.S. medic. The secret video was taken
in February 2003 and shows Khadr being grilled by officials from the
Canadian Security Intelligence Service spy agency.
"Kill me," Khadr can clearly be heard moaning in a desperate voice as he holds his head in his hands.
Extracts of videos taken over four days of interrogation were
released by Khadr’s lawyers on Tuesday after a long battle with the
"It’s the cry of a desperate young man. He expected the Canadian
officials to take him home," said Dennis Edney, one of Khadr’s lawyers.
The footage offers a rare glimpse into the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
facility, where the United States is holding about 265 prisoners in
conditions severely criticized by human rights groups.
Khadr also tells the interrogators "You don’t care about me,"
complains of poor medical treatment and removes his orange jumpsuit to
show scars from the serious injuries he suffered during the firefight
in Afghanistan in which the medic died.
Critics of Khadr’s treatment say he is a child soldier who should be
rehabilitated rather than punished. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper has brushed off calls to intervene with Washington, saying Khadr
faces serious charges.
Edney said his client has suffered "torture and abuse" at the hands
of the Americans during his time in Guantanamo. Khadr has alleged U.S.
interrogators repeatedly threatened to rape him or send him to another
country to be raped.
Documents released earlier this month show U.S. authorities deprived
Khadr of sleep ahead of a separate interview with an official from
Canada’s foreign ministry in 2004, moving him every three hours to make
him more likely to talk.
"I am hoping that the Canadian people will put aside the issue of
whether he is guilty or innocent … (and) say ‘This is disgraceful, we
don’t treat young children that way’," Edney told the Canadian
A Canadian judge ruled last month that Khadr has a right to see
descriptions of interviews that the Canadians conducted with him, to
help him prepare for his trial at Guantanamo.
The poor quality video shows Khadr at plain wooden table in an apparently windowless cell and also sitting on a sofa.
He wears an orange prison jumpsuit, and at times buries his head in his hands, or pulls at his hair.
"I lost my eyes, I lost my feet, everything," he says. "No, you
still have your eyes and your feet are still at the end of your legs,
you know," responds one Canadian official, telling the teenager to
"relax a bit."
Wayne Marston of the left-leaning opposition New Democratic Party
said it was "disgraceful" for Harper to say Canada had U.S. assurances
that Khadr was being treated properly.
"It’s time for the prime minister to bring this young man home," he
told the CBC. Other nations, such as Britain and Australia, have
successfully pressed for the repatriation of citizens imprisoned in
(Additional reporting by Janet Guttsman; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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