NCCM welcomes court ruling freeing Omar Khadr

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – May 7, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes today’s decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal to grant Canadian citizen Omar Khadr bail after almost 13 years of incarceration in both the United States and Canada.

Born in Toronto, Khadr was just 15 years old when he was captured by American soldiers in Afghanistan in July 2002. He went on to spend nearly 10 years in the notorious U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

“The NCCM welcomes the long-overdue release of Omar Khadr. Khadr was denied due process and his sentencing by a U.S. military commission contravened international human rights law,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“Today’s decision is 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. 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.

“This decision comes after a long and persistent campaign of numerous initiatives taken by concerned Canadians including legal action, demonstrations, open letters signed by respected organizations and public figures, and petitions to name a few,” says Gardee.

“Finally, his lawyers Dennis Edney and Nate Whitling should be commended for vigorously standing up and fighting for Khadr’s human rights, and by extension, the rights of all Canadians to be treated fairly and according to principles of fundamental justice.”

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit grassroots advocacy organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613-254-9704