Obama Administration Won't Intervene in Child Soldier Trial

[Trigger warning for threats of sexual violence and death, dehumanization, and indefinite detention.]

Raw Story:
In one of the first military commissions held under the Obama administration, a US military judge has ruled that confessions obtained by threatening the subject with rape are admissible in court.

Globe and Mail reports:
In May hearings, a man identified as Interrogator 1 said in testimony that he threatened Mr. Khadr with being gang-raped to death if he did not co-operate. That interrogator was later identified as former U.S. Army Sergeant Joshua Claus. He has also been convicted of abusing a different detainee and has left the military.

Mr. Khadr's military-appointed lawyer, Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, argued this instance, as well as other alleged instances of torture and coercion, are enough to render any future confessions – even those in so-called "clean" interrogations – inadmissible in court.
Although Khadr's confessions were obtained in this manner, the military judge presiding over the case ruled they are still admissible as evidence.
That would be appalling enough on its own, except for the fact that the person from whom the confession was obtained is Omar Ahmed Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was captured in Afghanistan nearly eight years ago when he was fifteen years old, and has been held at Gitmo ever since, where he has been "awaiting trial for terrorism and war crimes" after being accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier.

Lt. Col. Jackson, representing Khadr, has received no support from the Obama administration on behalf of his client: "It's very clear that the government of the US and the government of Canada have decided not to intervene in this case and therefore we are going to see the first case of a child soldier in modern history."

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations' special envoy for children in armed conflict, notes that "Since World War Two, no child has been prosecuted for a war crime." Additionally: "Child soldiers must be treated primarily as victims and alternative procedures should be in place aimed at rehabilitation or restorative justice. ... The Omar Khadr case will set a precedent that may endanger the status of child soldiers all over the world."

Jackson laments: "When President Obama was elected, I believed that we were going to close the book on Guantanamo and the military commissions. And instead President Obama has decided to write the next sad, pathetic chapter in the book of the military commissions."

I don't even know what to say anymore. I really don't.

[H/T to Shaker The Chemist.]

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