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

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Police investigation occurring near Black Rooster Pub and Grill in Castlegar

Three police officers and three RCMP vehicles were at the scene on Thursday afternoon

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read