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Hundreds protest in support of Khadr

Two hundred protestors hoped their cries were heard in Ottawa, at a rally held in Churchill Square yesterday afternoon.

Two hundred protestors hoped their cries were heard in Ottawa, at a rally held in Churchill Square yesterday afternoon.

The organizers of “We ARE Omar Khadr” are lobbying for the repatriation of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay as an alleged terrorist. The Supreme Court of Canada is currently examining a lower-court ruling that demands Khadr’s repatriation.

This protest comes in the wake of Khadr being scheduled to face a military tribunal in the U.S.

“We want to bring him home,” said organizer Arlette Zinck. “He should have the full opportunity to have the case presented in a clear and transparent Canadian court. We can’t abide the notion that there is different standards of justice for different Canadians.”

The crowd chanted “Bring Omar home” and “Justice for Omar” as Arabic-inflected music played in the background. After a series of speeches, organizers led the group on a parade route to Jasper Avenue.

Khadr was arrested in 2002 after a gun battle in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier. Toronto-born Khadr holds special status because he was 15 years old at the time he was arrested.

“It could have been my son who is there,” said Nesrine Abbas, gesturing to her 10-year-old son. “Canada is not living up to its commitments. It is a precedent that we shouldn’t let pass.”

Khadr is the youngest prisoner and the only Western citizen to be held at Guantanamo Bay.