Omar Khadr in Canadian prison after return from Guantanamo Bay

Janet Hamlin

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

September 29, 2012 – Globe and Mail

For the first time in 10 years and three months, Omar Khadr’s fate rests outside the hands of politicians and military personnel.

Toronto-born Mr. Khadr left Guantanamo Bay’s detention centre in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning via U.S. military aircraft. He set foot on Canadian soil just over three hours later.

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The Guantanamo detainee dilemma

Monday, August 16, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

GUANTANAMO BAY — There have been calls to close Guantanamo Bay’s notorious detention centre since the first blindfolded, shackled detainees walked onto the base’s tarmac in January, 2002. But what do you do with the 176 people remaining behind the razor wire and green mesh?

As the camp’s population slowly dwindles and cases against those the U.S. government plans to prosecute inch forward, that question is becoming tricky to answer.

Who poses a risk – to the United States, or elsewhere? Who would be in danger if transported to their country of origin? What do you do if a detainee would rather stay, or if you can’t find a country willing to accept released prisoners?

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Canadian judge’s ruling clears way for Khadr trial

Saturday, July 24, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

A court ruling that would have obliged Ottawa to repatriate Omar Khadr or intercede on his behalf while he’s in U.S. custody meddled with the federal government’s right to call the shots on foreign affairs, a federal appeal court judge says.

Federal Court of Appeal judge Pierre Blais’ ruling released this week effectively clears the way for the 23-year-old Canadian detainee to face trial in Guantanamo Bay next month.

Mr. Justice Russell Zinn of the Federal Court earlier this month gave the government a week to come up with a list of ways to help protect Mr. Khadr’s rights. Ottawa appealed that ruling, and this week, Judge Blais sided with the government. Judge Zinn’s order “results in a kind of judicial supervision over any diplomatic action that Canada may take in relation to [Mr. Khadr],” he wrote in the court’s decision.

“I am not at all convinced that Justice Zinn does effectively have the power to ‘impose a remedy.'”

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Inside Gitmo, no signs of shutting down

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — The man – bearded, dressed in white – approaches the fenced-off, glassed-off door to his cell block.

“Solve our problems,” reads the sign he holds up above his head, black block letters on white background. “Respond to our requests.”

He’s silent, or at least appears so behind the layers separating him from the cluster of journalists he’s approaching.

Nevertheless, the carefully orchestrated calm of the tour teeters for a moment. It’s the closest the choreographed walk through two Guantanamo Bay prison camps comes to veering off course into the unscripted.

“All right, that’s it, we should go,” say several guards gathered around the half-dozen reporters.

And the tour moves along, through the rotunda inside Guantanamo Bay’s Camp VI.

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With no food and no hope, parents sent their kids away with U.S. Baptists – and they say they would do it again

Thursday, February 4, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

CALEBASSE, HAITI — This is the town that sent its children away.

Its subsistence vegetable plots are all but destroyed; its buildings reduced to debris. If it was poor before the earthquake, it is desperately so now.

And the parents of Calebasse say they were just trying to do what was best for the kids they can no longer feed when they gave them to a group of American Baptists arrested for trying to spirit the 33 children across the border.

Many of them say they would try the same thing again.

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Baptist group accused of child-trafficking in Haiti

Monday, February 1, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

PORT-AU-PRINCE — At least 10 of the 33 Haitian children a group of American Baptists tried to take across the border into the Dominican Republic have parents, says the group taking care of them while the Haitian government investigates an alleged case of child trafficking.

Ten Americans are in custody and set to appear in Port-au-Prince court this morning, accused by the Haitian government of trying to take the children out of the country without proper documentation.

Aid groups have warned against hasty adoptions or transfers of vulnerable children in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti’s infrastructure.

The church organizing the transfer of the children says the group had only the best of intentions, that it wanted to put the children in a Dominican Republic orphanage and that it was sure all the children were parentless.

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Foiled attack leaves airport chaos in its wake

Monday, December 28, 2009 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

International airports were scrambling yesterday to tighten security on U.S. flights, causing passenger chaos on the busiest travel day of the year, in the wake of Christmas Day’s foiled attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane.

U.S. President Barack Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, ordered a review of security protocols and the no-fly list to determine how a man with explosives strapped to his body boarded a flight weeks after the man’s father contacted U.S. authorities to warn them of his son’s growing radicalism.

Jammed airports were a scene of bedlam yesterday as travellers were left waiting in line for hours and rushing to make alternative plans as a slate of ramped-up security measures disrupted connecting flights and slowed departures to a crawl.

But nothing better demonstrated the heightened anxiety in the skies than a case of airsickness that became a national security incident.

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Suspect in N.Y. terror plot has Canadian connection

Saturday, September 26, 2009 – Globe and Mail
PAUL KORING, COLIN FREEZE AND ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

WASHINGTON and TORONTO — Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan accused of plotting to plant terrorist bombs in New York, travelled back and forth to Canada and Pakistan, U.S. government prosecutors said yesterday.

The Globe and Mail has confirmed that Mr. Zazi travelled to Mississauga.

“Yeah, it’s the same guy,” said Maimoona Zazi, his aunt by marriage, who said she watched Mr. Zazi, a Denver bus driver, on television as federal marshals escorted him to a court appearance.

Last night, CSIS agents were knocking on the doors of homes of Mr. Zazi’s relatives in Mississauga, even as the government was refusing to say if its security forces were involved in the case.

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