Rally demands Khadr’s return, trial

Several dozen people held a rally in downtown Edmonton Sunday to demand that Omar Khadr be sent back to Canada to face trial in a civilian court. Khadr, 23, is being held by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan seven years ago.

EDMONTON — Several dozen people held a rally in downtown Edmonton Sunday to demand that Omar Khadr be sent back to Canada to face trial in a civilian court.

Khadr, 23, is being held by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan seven years ago.

Charlene Scharf, who is with the Edmonton chapter of Amnesty International, argues that Khadr was just a teenager when the incident happened.

She suggested he should be treated as a child soldier involved in a conflict he didn’t really understand.

“He was a child brought into a situation really beyond his understanding so a military tribunal in this case just does not make sense,” she said.

The Khadr family has gained notoriety for apparent ties to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

His father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was a purported extremist and financier of bin Laden’s terror network. He was killed by Pakistani forces six years ago.

At a Supreme Court hearing on Friday, government lawyers argued it’s elected officials, and not the courts, who should decide whether Omar Khadr should come home to Canada.

The Conservative government opposes his repatriation, while Khadr’s lawyers and several other groups — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Canadian Bar Association — argue that Canada should seek his return.

The high court has reserved its decision.

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