Charter rights don’t disappear
Re: Khadr guilty of high treason, The Guardian, July 13.
Donald Bartlett should first do his homework before opining on Omar Khadr. His comment piece is riddled with far too many mistakes to respond in a brief letter.
Suffice to say that Mr. Khadr did not forfeit his rights and it is not up to people like Mr. Bartlett to determine who has rights and who does not.
That’s why we have a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — and it applies to all Canadians irrespective of whether we like them or not.
The fact of matter is that CSIS interrogators knew full well that Khadr, protected by international covenants on child soldiers, was being tortured in that hell-hole called Guantanamo.
Ergo, they were complicit in his torture and failure to protect his legal rights.
That’s why the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian intelligence officials had offended “the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”
So Ottawa does need to pay, and to pay dearly, so that it will think twice the next time before violating the Charter rights of a Canadian citizen.
It may not work, but at least that’s the hope.
Peter McKenna, Professor and Chair Department of Political Science University of Prince Edward Island