Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Was Omar Khadr Overpaid?


Was the $10.5 million settlement paid to Khadr too much? Consider the following:

Maher Arar was awarded $10.5 million ten years ago for his illegal rendition and torture over a roughly one-year period.

David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for murder for 17 years starting in 1970, was awarded $10 million in 1999.

Finally, consider that in Ottawa Roxanne Carr was just now awarded $254,000 for an illegal arrest that led to a broken wrist, cuts and bruises, an illegal strip search and two hours naked in a cell. That's about a .025 on the Milgaard-Arar-Khadr index. Compare that against the torture and otherwise cruel and unusual punishment Khadr went through for years, initiated against him when he was still clearly a minor, in clear violation of international law - so says both the Canadian and American Supreme Courts. Yes, Canada did not do those things to him, but we were complicit.

"But, but, Khadr is a bad person..." Well, maybe. What I do know is that rights violated without remedy aren't rights at all. There are lines we should not, and cannot cross as a civilized society. When we do, a reasonable remedy has to happen.

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Update, July 24, 2017:

Canadian Lawyer has an excellent piece covering civilized principle, the law and previous court rulings pertaining to Khadr's settlement: Dislike of Khadr settlement does not entitle critics to disregard law or facts

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