Tapes Show Sobbing Youth Being Questioned at Guantanamo

A video released today shows Canadian youth Omar Khadr sobbing as he is questioned at Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr was 16 at the time of the interrogations by a Canadian intelligence official. During the questioning Khadr “swings between calm and indifference to rage and grief,” the New York Times reports.

At first it appears as if Khadr believed the Canadian agent was sent to help him. Later he apparently realizes the agent wants information. “You don’t care about me,” he tells the agent between sobs, CBC News reports. Later he appears to be saying, “Help me,” or “Kill me” as he sobs in despair.

The tapes were turned over to Khadr’s Canadian lawyers under a court order. Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 at the age of 15 and sent to Guantanamo at the age of 16. His lawyers say he was deprived of sleep in effort to make him more willing to talk during interrogations.

The agent sees the sunny side of detention at Guantanamo. When Khadr says he wants to return to Canada, the agent observes that the weather is nice in Cuba. When Khadr complains that he is not getting good medical care for wounds suffered on the battlefield, the agent responds, “I’m not a doctor, but I think you’re getting good medical care.” When Khadr complains of impaired vision and problems with his feet, the agent responds, “No, you still have your eyes and your feet are still at the end of your legs, you know.”

Reacting to the video, Amnesty International said Khadr should be repatriated to Canada immediately, according to a press release. The group says the United States violated international law by refusing to recognize Khadr’s status as a minor and considering his best interests.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.