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.

READ ALSO

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

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

Red Deer woman one of three arrested by Sundre RCMP

The 19-year-old had numerous arrest warrants out of various jurisdictions

Businessman and volunteer named 2019 Citizen of the Year

John Donald’s parents and sister were each honoured previously

School leader named Red Deer Young Citizen of the Year

Leading by example at Hunting Hills High School

Suspects shot at pursuing police during crime spree

No police officers were injured in May 17 shooting

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee has been… Continue reading

BCUC sets out process for gas and diesel price inquiry, set to wrap Aug. 30

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Utilities Commission says it has set out… Continue reading

2 hikers rescued after darkness sets in on trail near Cypress Mountain

North Shore Rescue says it rescued two hikers caught in the darkness… Continue reading

Canada beats Czech Republic to advance to gold-medal game at world championship

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Canada’s latest win at the world hockey championship left… Continue reading

Rimouski forward Lafreniere, Prince Albert goaltender Scott earn CHL awards

HALIFAX — Rimouski Oceanic star Alexis Lafreniere has been named the Canadian… Continue reading

10 wounded as gunmen open fire outside New Jersey bar

TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities say at least two gunmen fired into a… Continue reading

Mississippi rep accused of punching wife issues statement

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi lawmaker accused of recently punching his wife… Continue reading

Most Read