A video showing a sobbing terror suspect being interrogated by authorities at Guantanamo Bay has reignited the debate in the Canadian press over detention practices.
The suspect — Omar Khadr — was born in Toronto and was 15 years old when he captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan during a 2002 shootout. He is accused of lobbing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier, according to the Calgary Herald.
The video, which was ordered released by the Supreme Court of Canada, shows Khadr sobbing while talking about his treatment in captivity.
At one point in the video, Khadr pulled off his shirt to show wounds he said he received as a result of torture while at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, the National Post reported.
Khadr was subjected to sleep depravation in the days before the taped interrogation, the Herald reported.
But Khadr’s lawyers said the videos do not show Khadr being tortured or mistreated during the interrogations, according to the National Post.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will not change his government’s policy on the detainee. "There’s a legal process under way in the United States. He can make his arguments before that process, but frankly, we have no real alternative to this process now to arrive at the truth concerning the accusations against him, and we believe this process should continue."
He is the only Westerner still detained at Guantanamo Bay, because other nations have repatriated their citizens to face justice at home. The Harper government has refused to repatriate him, noting the seriousness of the charges against Khadr, who is expected to be tried later this year by a U.S. military tribunal, the Herald reported.
According to the Post, the Canadian interrogators were both harsh and friendly while questioning Khadr.
At various points the interrogators made statements such as “people care about you,” “put the fan on so you’re cool,” and “take a few minutes and relax a bit.” He was seen having a burger and soda during the interrogation.
“I certainly hope it will raise the conscience of Canadians," Dennis Edney, Khadr’s Edmonton lawyer told CBC News Tuesday. "He has suffered more than enough, he should be brought home.
(Story developing, check back later today for video coverage…)