Dennis Edney, the courageous Canadian lawyer who is representing Omar Khadr, made an impassioned plea to Muslims to realize their responsibility and bring an end to the injustices being inflicted on this Canadian youth. Omar, now 22 years old, was only 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in a... Show More >>
Dennis Edney, the courageous Canadian lawyer who is representing Omar Khadr, made an impassioned plea to Muslims to realize their responsibility and bring an end to the injustices being inflicted on this Canadian youth. Omar, now 22 years old, was only 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in a firefight on July 27, 2002 in the village of Faridkhel in eastern Afghanistan.
In his detailed explanation of Omar Khadr's case, Dennis Edney had the audience spell-bound as he took them step by step through the false allegations made against Omar. He also narrated in chilling detail of the torture to which Omar was subjected and he explained how much difficulty he had faced in trying to make Omar talk to him when he first visited him because he had been so traumatized after the torture he suffered. Omar finally opened up when, as Dennis Edney explained, he showed him the photo of his young son who was then about 9 years old. The son was dressed in hockey clothes and Omar took the
photograph in his hand and played with it for a while, clearly identifying with the youth.
Edney said he realized at that time that although Omar had grown old physically, his mental age was still frozen at 15 because he was so traumatized.
He also narrated the legal challenges he (Edney) faced in trying to convince the courts in Canada, the Canadian government and others including Muslims that great wrongs are being done to Omar and that unless Muslims stand up to defend his rights, they would also suffer as a consequence.
Dennis Edney was very emphatic that Muslims in Canada and indeed in the West in
general had done nothing wrong. They are being victimized because of the brutal policies pursued by George Bush and his phoney war on terror. They need scapegoats and since Muslims are weak, they are therefore, being exploited and humiliated.
He explained that the Military Tribunals in Guantanamo Bay were a sham and designed specifically to convict all those brought before it. These tribunals were not designed to evaluate the evidence because whenever what the US government said did not fit the conviction, it simply changed the evidence.
Edney also pointed out that the designation of any individual as an "enemy combatant" was meant to deprive that person of the rights granted under the Geneva Conventions. These, he said, were meant to protect prisoners of war. They cannot be charged in a military court or anywhere else. In war, people from each side fight and kill or get killed. These are the rules of warfare. The US cannot unilaterally change these rules.
Dennis Edney was very clear that Omar's case was a political case and that Muslims and others had to become much more active in contacting their elected officials, writing to them constantly to intervene in the case.
He said that the Canadian government was so tightly aligned ideologically with the necons in Washington that it was prepared to sacrifice the rights of its own citizens. He said that Omar is the only Western citizen still in Guantanamo Bay. He also made another point: that Guantanamo Bay is meant for Muslims only. If a white American commits a
crime, he is tried in an American court of law, not sent to Guantanamo Bay.
At times, he appeared quite emotional about what injustice had been inflicted on Omar and urged everyone present to not go home and forget about it.
When he finished he received a standing ovation. People were visibly moved by his presentation and many of them surrounded him after ward to talk to him and asked questions.
He certainly had a big impact on the audience and moved them to become much more active. Show Less >>
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