Harper not backing down on Omar Khadr

The Canadian Press | May 8, 2015

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper sounded an unrepentant note Friday about his Conservative government’s failed efforts to keep former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr behind bars.

. . .

After his release on bail Thursday, he [Khadr] offered a comment on Harper’s hardline stance: “I’m going to have to disappoint him, I’m better than the person he thinks I am.”

In an ad hoc press conference in the driveway of his lawyer Dennis Edney on Thursday, Khadr also apologized for the pain he has caused in some of his first public remarks since he became a household name in Canada more than a decade ago.

“I will prove to [Canadians] that I’m more than what they thought of me, I’ll prove to them that I’m a good person,” Khadr said.

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims on Thursday welcomed Khadr’s release and praised the decision as “consistent with the rule of law.”

“We hope that with his release Khadr can begin a new chapter in his life and reintegrate as a positive and contributing member of our society,” NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement. “Canadians should be deeply disturbed that the rights of a fellow citizen — even one whose family and name are unpopular — were so callously abused and ignored. »