Canadian 'child soldier' appeals Guantanamo conviction

Canadian 'child soldier' appeals Guantanamo conviction

WASHINGTON - Omar Khadr, the Canadian "child soldier" held for a decade at Guantanamo, appealed his terror conviction Friday.

Once the US military prison camp's youngest inmate, Khadr has returned to Canada to serve the rest of his term. He filed the appeal with the US Court of Military Commissions Review, his Pentagon and Canadian lawyers said.

The motion marked the third time a former Guantanamo prisoner has urged authorities to drop charges of material support for terrorism since late Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's former driver Salim Hamdan saw his conviction reversed in October 2012.

Khadr, who was 15 when he was arrested in 2002, called on the military court to scrap the eight-year sentence he received in 2010 after pleading guilty to terror charges for throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan and for planting landmines intended to kill American soldiers.

In their 45-page brief, Khadr's lawyers said he was mistreated in US custody, terrorised by barking dogs, threatened with rape, sleep-deprived, held in isolation, restrained in stress positions and physically assaulted.

"The government's decision to treat Khadr as an adult war criminal, rather than a trafficked child soldier, resulted in unjust and unreasonably punitive conditions of confinement.

"Even considering the seriousness of his charges, the punishment inflicted on Khadr since his capture would be atypical for adults in the American justice system, let alone juveniles."

The brief by Samuel Morison and Dennis Edney also described Khadr's alleged abuse in graphic detail, saying the government "manipulated an injured and vulnerable minor to adopt the preconceived story."

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