국제앰네스티는 관타나모 수용소의 오마르 카디르(Omar Khadr)에 대한 군사재판을 허용한 미국 정부의 결정을 반테러리즘이라는 이름의 또 다른 인권침해라며 비난했다.캐나다 국적의 오마르 카디르는 2002년 15세 당시 아프가니스탄에서 미군과의 전투 중 미국에 의해 구금됐다. 그는 수류탄을 던져 미군 한 명을 죽였다는 살해혐의와 함께 “전쟁 범죄” 혐의를 받고 있다. 재판은 12일에 있을 예정이다.
국제앰네스티 롭 프리어(Rob Freer) 미국 조사관은 “미국은 ‘전쟁 범죄’를 저지른 아동에 대해 불공정한 재판을 벌이는 위험한 선례를 세우지 말 것을 수 차례에 걸쳐 요구한 유엔을 포함한 국제사회 전체의 권고를 무시했다”며 “8년간 인권적 의무를 무시해 온 미국은 이제 오마르 카디르를 국제적으로 공정성 기준에 미달하는 재판에 세울 것이다. 역사는 이를 관대하게 평가하지 않을 것이다”라고 말했다.
Omar Khadr Guantánamo military trial condemned
12 August 2010
Amnesty International has condemned the US government’s decision to go ahead with the military commission trial of Omar Khadr at the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, describing the move as another violation of human rights by the USA in the name of countering terrorism.
Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was taken into US custody as a 15-year-old in 2002 in Afghanistan, following a fire fight with US forces. He is facing five “war crime” charges, including a murder charge for allegedly throwing a grenade that fatally wounded a US soldier. The trial is due to begin on Thursday.
“The USA has turned a deaf ear to the repeated appeals of the international community, including senior UN officials, not to set this dangerous precedent of an unfair trial of an individual accused of alleged ‘war crimes’ committed when he was a child”, said Rob Freer, USA researcher at Amnesty International.
“After eight years of ignoring its human rights obligations, the USA is now set to try Omar Khadr under procedures that fail to meet international fair trial standards”, Rob Freer continued. “History will not judge its actions kindly”.
On Monday, a military judge ruled that statements made by Omar Khadr during his time in custody would be admissible during the trial, rejecting a defence motion that the statements should be excluded as the product of torture or other ill-treatment.
“It took this military judge about 90 seconds to rule, without explanation, that any statement this young detainee made during that time can be admitted against him.” said Amnesty International.
The selection of seven US military officers who will sit as a “jury” on the military commission was completed on wednesday and opening arguments in the trial are due today.
Omar Khadr faces the possibility of a life prison sentence if convicted. Even if acquitted he could be returned to indefinite military detention, according to the Manual on Military Commissions released in April this year.
“These military commissions are part of a system of detentions and prosecutions that from the outset have kept the USA on the wrong side of its international human rights obligations”, Rob Freer said.
“They should have been abandoned long ago, along with the unlawful Guantánamo detentions of which they became an integral part”.
Amnesty International, which has an observer at the Guantánamo proceedings, has opposed the USA’s use of military commissions since former US President George W. Bush initiated them in 2001. The military commissions are in their third incarnation, convened now under the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2009, signed into law by US President Barack Obama in October 2009, revising a 2006 version of the MCA.
“Under international law, the USA should have taken full account of Omar Khadr’s age at the time of his arrest, and treated him according to principles of juvenile justice,” Rob Freer said. “It utterly failed to do so, instead holding him for more than two years virtually incommunicado, subjecting him to repeated interrogations without access to a lawyer or the courts, and is now putting him through a military commission trial that would fail to meet international standards even if it were being applied to accusations against an adult.”
Amnesty International says the commissions lack the independence of the US federal courts and fair trial protections that US nationals accused of identical conduct/crimes would receive. The military commissions deny the right of equality of all persons before the courts and equal protection of the law.
“The military commissions were the wrong choice in 2001 and are wrong now and justice will neither be done nor be seen to be done before them”, continued Rob Freer. “The trial of Omar Khadr for alleged ‘war crimes’ committed when he was a child – something that would not be countenanced by any existing international tribunal – will also set a dangerous precedent.”