Advertisement
News by VICE

Former Guantanamo Prisoner Omar Khadr Wants His Bail Conditions Eased

After 13 years in custody, an Alberta judge released Khadr on $5,000 bail this May pending the appeal of his widely condemned war crimes convictions by an American military tribunal.

by Rachel Browne
Sep 3 2015, 9:59pm

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Former Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr is asking a Canadian court to reduce his bail conditions so that he can remove his electronic monitoring bracelet and travel from Edmonton to Toronto to visit his family, according to the Canadian Press.

"My release and reintegration into the community have been going great," Khadr, 29, writes in an affidavit as part of his bail-variance application to the court. "I have not gotten into any trouble of any kind with the authorities."

After 13 years in custody, an Alberta judge released Khadr on $5,000 bail this May pending the appeal of his widely condemned war crimes convictions by an American military tribunal.

In 2002, Khadr, then 15 years old, was captured by the American military in Afghanistan and was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, where, in 2010, he confessed, under torture, to throwing a grenade that injured one soldier and killed another. He was transferred to a prison in Edmonton, Alberta in 2012 and is suing the Canadian government for $20 million for wrongful imprisonment.

As part of his current bail conditions, which his lawyer says in the application are "no longer necessary or in the public interest," Khadr must live with his lawyer in Edmonton, observe a nightly curfew, wear an electronic ankle monitor at all times, and can communicate with his family only by phone or video call in English while under supervision. If he wants to visit with his family in person, he needs to get permission from his bail supervisor.

Related: 'Give Me a Chance': Omar Khadr Vows to Prove Himself After Canadian Court Releases Him on Bail

In the application to the court, Khadr complains about his "embarrassing" electronic ankle bracelet, which he writes "has also gone off several times and made noise all the time, even when I am in full compliance with my conditions" and also requests that the court ease his 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

According to the Canadian Press, Khadr wants to travel to Toronto in the next month or two for a couple weeks to visit his grandparents, mother, and siblings. "None of my family members are involved in any illegal activities," Khadr states.

The Canadian government has not commented on Khadr's latest application, but has said it was "disappointed" he was ever let out on bail because "individuals who have pleaded guilty to crimes should serve their sentence behind bars."

Khadr's late father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was known to have ties to al Qaeda. As a teen, Khadr attended training camps affiliated with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden with his father.

The Alberta court will hear Khadr's application on Sept. 11.

A documentary featuring Khadr is set to premiere mid-September at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Follow Rachel Browne on Twitter: @rp_browne 

Tagged:
VICE News
Canada
guantanamo bay
terrorism
Afghanistan
Edmonton
war and conflict
omar khadr
canadian-government
christopher speer