Omar Khadr leaves court after a judge ruled to relax bail conditions in Edmonton on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr wants to change some of the conditions of his bail, asking for a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and requesting phone contact with his controversial sister. (Amber Bracken/The Canadian Press)

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr wants to be granted a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and permission to speak to his controversial sister.

Khadr, who is now 32, will be back in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton Thursday to apply for changes to his bail conditions which were imposed while he appeals war crime convictions by a U.S. military commission.

An affidavit by Khadr filed with the court says the impact of his bail conditions are mainly psychological — a daily reminder of what he went through.

“I feel like the indefinite and potentially endless detention that I suffered in Guantanamo Bay is continuing,” he wrote. “I hope that there will be some end to this process, but there is none in sight.”

Khadr spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15 and accused of tossing a grenade that killed special forces soldier Christopher Speer at a militant compound in Afghanistan in 2002.

READ MORE: Omar Khadr wants unfettered access to sister, other bail changes

He says in his affidavit that he would like to be able to speak on the phone or over Skype to his sister Zaynab Khadr. He is also asking to perform the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia which is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims once in their lifetime.

“For this reason, I would like to apply for a Canadian passport,” he said in the document.

Zaynab Khadr has spoken in favour of al-Qaida and was investigated in Canada more than a decade ago for helping the terrorist network, but she was never charged.

“My sister Zaynab is not presently in Canada,” Khadr said in the document. “She is living with her husband and family. As far as I am aware, she is not in any sort of trouble.”

The rules of Khadr’s bail allow him to meet with her but only in the presence of his bail supervisor or one of his lawyers.

Khadr also needs permission to travel outside Alberta, and has made several trips to Toronto both to visit his family and deal with a civil lawsuit there to enforce a judgement granted against him in Utah.

In his affidavit, Khadr said he has been volunteering with an organization that helps refugees integrate into the community and has earned his high school diploma. Khadr said he is happily married and was accepted into a nursing program, but has been unable to devote himself to study due to his legal issues.

“My reintegration into the community has been filled with happiness and not bitterness,” he wrote. “I have no anger towards anyone and I have been getting on with my life. I have made many friends, and I am proud and happy to be a Canadian citizen living in Canada.

“I have not gotten into any trouble of any kind with the authorities.”

VIDEO: Word of Omar Khadr’s $10.5-million deal sparks fury

His case has ignited sharp and divisive debate among Canadians over terrorism, human rights and the rule of law since the summer of 2017 when it was revealed the federal government had settled a lawsuit filed by him for a reported $10.5 million.

The payout followed a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court in 2010 that Khadr’s charter rights were violated at Guantanamo and that Canadian officials contributed to that violation.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students/staff evacuate Rossland Summit School due to smell of smoke

SD20 says students in different learning groups didn’t come in contact with each other in evacuation

Beaver Valley Curling Club set to return to the rink

B.V. Curling is following Curl BC’s lead and will have ice layouts that allow for physical distancing

Man whose crime spree began in Nelson pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for 2017 incidents

Trail Blazers: Fruit Fair is where farmers markets began

Photos: Courtesy the Trail Historical Society - scroll to the bottom to see the building’s exterior

Innovative Kootenay Boundary study augments care for renal patients

Project called the Lung Ultrasonographic Assessment of Volume Status in Hemodialysis Patients

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read