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.

Just Posted

Helping our community during COVID-19

A high school student’s perspective

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

Invermere council okay with ‘reverse grad march’ idea

Nothing finalized and complications aplenty, but Invermere council agrees to grad march idea

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

Wings Over the Rockies encourages nature viewing during pandemic

Three local photographers and Wings supporters offer nature viewing tips.

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Suspect in West Kootenay gas station stabbing found dead

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Most Read