07:21 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Former Gitmo Detainee Omar Khadr Speaks After Release From Canadian Jail

    Youngest Ever Gitmo Prisoner Undergoes 19-Hour Surgery in Canada

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    Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, has undergone 19 hours of surgery in Canada for injuries sustained in Afghanistan a decade and a half ago.

    The 30-year-old Toronto native and former Guantanamo Bay detainee was placed in custody in 2002 and sent to Canada in 2010. He was convicted of throwing a grenade in Afghanistan that killed an American soldier, when he was 15 years old.  He was subsequently imprisoned at Bagram Prison, then transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where Khadr said that interrogators forced a false confession and plea deal after eight years of torture.

    On Friday, Khadr underwent surgery involving three surgeons. His lawyer stated that he went to the hospital expecting minor surgery, expecting to be back to class on Tuesday. He recently completed his high school diploma and is reportedly taking extra courses in hopes that he will be accepted to nursing school.

    His recovery is expected to take much longer than expected, however.

    “What they did was take bone from different parts of his legs and muscles from other parts of his body to try to rebuild his right shoulder,” his lawyer Dennis Edney told the Star. “There’s no prognosis — it’s almost experimental in some ways, and hoping that it works.”

    In addition to the injury to his shoulder, Khadr was struck in the eye with shrapnel and is nearly fully blind in one eye.

    “There are times when you can see that the shrapnel has moved in the eye, which is always scary for me because he could go completely blind,” Edney added.

    Khadr holds the unfortunate title of being the youngest detainee sent to Guantanamo Bay, and the first juvenile to be prosecuted for war crimes in the US, since World War II.

    “The torture of Omar included prolonged sleep deprivation, beating, suspension from his wrists while his wounds were still fresh, threats of gang rape, hooding, intimidation by dogs, forced nakedness, body cavity searches, forced feeding, short-shackling in stress positions, prolonged solitary confinement, cell conditions of extreme cold, noise, constant light and withholding of medical treatment,” the supporters’ group Free Omar states on their website.

    Khadr was transferred back to Canada in 2010 after being sentenced by an American military tribunal, and has been freed on bail as he appeals the conviction. Initially, he lived with his lawyer and his wife, but has since moved into his own small apartment.


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