Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, has been illegally held by the U.S. government at a prison in Guantanamo Bay for six years. He was captured by American forces at the age of 15 following a four-hour firefight with militants in the village of Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. Omar stands accused of war crimes - specifically, throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier. The evidence against him is the fact that he was present at the firefight. However, no evidence exists that he threw the grenade. In fact, the military's original report concluded that another person had thrown the grenade shortly before being killed.
Omar says that he is innocent, and claims that he has been tortured by government officials. After a long legal battle, his defense lawyers have finally secured the release of video of an interrogation in 2003, taken by a camera hidden in a vent:
In a video released Tuesday, a 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan cries out for his mother and says he needs treatment for his battle wounds during questioning by Canadian officials at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. "Oh Mommy," he cries in despair in Arabic when he is alone in the room, watched only by hidden cameras.
The 10 minutes of video -- selected by Omar Khadr's Canadian lawyers from more than seven hours of footage recorded by a camera hidden in a vent -- provides the first glimpse of interrogations at the U.S. military prison. It shows Khadr weeping, his face buried in his hands, as he is questioned by Canadian intelligence agents over four days in 2003. The lawyers hope to pressure Canada into seeking Khadr's return, but the government said its position was unchanged.
"I've been tortured. I'm a human being. I have not violated any law," Afghan prisoner Mohammed Jawad said in his first hearing on charges of attempted murder and causing great bodily injury.
"I've been brought here illegally . I am innocent. It's an injustice to me," he said through a Pashto translator.
Meanwhile, John Yoo - the man who authored legal opinions for the Bush Administration arguing that the executive has the right to torture children, regardless of any laws or treaties outlawing torture - is teaching International Civil Litigation at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. In case you have any questions or comments for Professor Yoo, you can contact him by e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (I'm not sure which is current - for some reason, the address keeps getting changed...)