File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, 30, is seen in Mississauga, Ont.

Omar Khadr’s former classmate at RDC says he was no trouble

A former Red Deer College classmate of Omar Khadr says she was inspired by his efforts.

The current second-year nursing student, who prefered not to be named for safety reasons, said she never had an interaction with Khadr, but they had one class together – a session that brought all the new nursing students in one room in the 2017-2018 school year.


Omar Khadr no longer attending RDC

The student does not remember seeing him the second year, which started in September 2018. It is unclear when Khadr dropped out of the college’s nursing program.

“There was no trouble or anything caused by him from what I know,” she said Tuesday.

The student said she did not see him around much, except a couple of times in the hallways – when Khadr was spotted by himself.

Khadr is an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee who was captured by American soldiers in 2002. Khadr admitted to an assault in Afghanistan in which a U.S. special forces soldier was killed, but he later said the only reason he pleaded guilty was to get out of American detention.

He was back in Canada in 2010 and served the rest of his eight-year sentence. The Canadian government has apologized to Khadr for the torture he suffered and he was granted $10.5 million to settle his lawsuit.

The 22-year-old student said she was inspired Khadr was attending school, signalling to her that he was putting everything behind and moving forward.

“He wanted to do something like that despite what he has been through. I, personally, wouldn’t be able to. It would take me so much courage and time and effort to put myself out there after having such a reputation.

“I applaud him for it,” the Red Deer resident said.

She said she didn’t feel uncomfortable or unsafe having the ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee walking the same hallways as her.

“I didn’t find it was a scary situation. He was there to learn, just like anybody else, and he has every right to learn like everyone that’s there.

“I understand some parents may worry, but I feel he was very young when everything happened.”

She commends the college for giving Khadr a fair chance.

Recently, Khadr was asking Alberta youth court to order his release and declare his eight-year sentence — imposed by a widely maligned military commission in the United States — to have expired.

In a separate application before Federal Court, Khadr is attempting to force national parole authorities to grant him a hearing at which he would argue for release.

The overriding idea, Khadr’s Edmonton-based lawyer said in an interview Tuesday, is to ensure an end point to the eight-year sentence the commission imposed on him in 2010.

Had Khadr remained in custody, his sentence would have expired this past October. However, the clock stopped ticking when an Alberta judge freed him on bail in May 2015, pending his appeal of his military commission conviction for war crimes — a years-long process that still has no end in sight.

With files from The Canadian Press

Just Posted

‘I was bawling’: Injured Bronco’s mother stunned by his progress after surgery

The mother of a hockey player paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus… Continue reading

Isolated Iceland newly vulnerable to computer scams

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — “Hi, I hope you are not busy?” The treasurer… Continue reading

Two in five indebted Canadians don’t ever expect to escape debt, says survey

TORONTO — A new survey says 40 per cent of indebted Canadians… Continue reading

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

VANCOUVER — A pioneering study of seven belugas in Canada’s remote Arctic… Continue reading

Federal laws at heart of western anger up for debate as Liberals begin outreach

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly backed up his pledge for… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Kelowna picked to host 2021 Brier

Kelowna, B.C., is set to host the Canadian men’s curling championship for… Continue reading

Opinion: Progress at city hall provides good reason for optimism

In May, the City of Red Deer hired its new city manager,… Continue reading

Canada wins doubles match to advance to Davis Cup semifinals

MADRID — Canada has advanced to the semifinals at the Davis Cup… Continue reading

Nova Scotia’s Barbara Hannigan already has a Grammy, but this nod is especially personal

Picking up her third Grammy nomination is wonderful in itself, but for… Continue reading

Some binge-worthy options for holiday gift season

NEW YORK — Chances are there’s at least one TV binger on… Continue reading

Humphries formally selected for USA Bobsled’s national team

Kaillie Humphries is officially part of USA Bobsled’s national team. The two-time… Continue reading

Hamilton receiver Banks leads East domination at CFL awards banquet

CALGARY — After dominating the 2019 regular season, Brandon Banks and the… Continue reading

Most Read