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

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

Most Read