[shown above] Ruhal Ahmed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, in an interview in which he discusses Omar Khadr. Ahmed stammers,
“I think he was a strong kid.
I think, you know, being much older, much older than him, I did feel that, sometimes, I needed to look out for him and I think so did the other prisoners around him feel the same. But obviously, being in Guantanamo, you can’t really look out for one another.
Uh, it’s, it’s, it’s difficult you know, today I’m here, and I’m, I’m thinking of, thinking of him and he’s still in prison and he’s still, still a kid. I don’t know really what I would say to him. It doesn’t seem, it doesn’t seem fair that he’s still there and, and I’m here.”
Khadr, a Canadian, was taken into US custody at the age of fifteen, tortured and refused medical attention because he wouldn’t attest to being a member of Al Qaeda, even though he was shot three times in the chest and had shrapnel embedded in his eyes and right shoulder. As a result, Khadr’s left eye is now permanently blind, the vision in his right eye is deteriorating, he develops severe pain in his right shoulder when the temperature drops, and he suffers from extreme nightmares.
Ahmed, who was imprisoned in the cell next to him for some time, reported that Khadr would return from interrogations (where he would be tortured) crying and would huddle in a corner of his cell with his blanket over his head.
Shafiq Rasul, another former Guantanamo Bay detainee, stated that although Khadr was forced to mature due to his harsh treatment and torture, he still had the mentality of a child. Guantanamo Bay’s Muslim chaplain James Yee confirmed this by reporting that Khadr had been given a Mickey Mouse book in a surprising act of kindness by one of his interrogators, and that he slept with it clutched to his (injured) chest. Muneer Ahmad, one of Khadr’s first attorneys, reported that at their first meeting at Guantanamo, Khadr asked for nothing other than colouring books, car magazines and pictures of big animals and played with the attorney’s ink pens and digital watch.
Khadr has been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, and is now 25 years old.