Amnesty International on Tuesday called for the immediate release of a Canadian citizen being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after his lawyers released copies of a video in which the then-teenage captive sobs and repeatedly cries, “Help me.”
Omar Khadr was 16 when the video was taken as he was being questioned by Canadian intelligence agents in 2003. A Canadian court ordered Canadian intelligence to surrender the video to Khadr's attorneys, who are fighting U.S. charges that Khadr killed an American soldier with a grenade during fighting in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr, then 15, was taken from the battlefield badly wounded.
The lawyers released 10 minutes from the video, which totals more than seven hours. The video was created by U.S. government agents at the prison in Cuba and originally marked as secret.
At one point in the interrogation, Khadr also tells his questioner that he was tortured while at the U.S. military detention center at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where he was first detained after his arrest in 2002. That accusation is similar to what McClatchy found in interviews with 66 former Guantanamo detainees, many of whom said that conditions at Bagram were far more abusive than those they encountered at Guantanamo.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, denied to The Associated Press that Khadr was mistreated while in U.S. custody. “Our policy is to treat detainees humanely, and Khadr has been treated humanely,” he said.