October 26, 2010 |
A former child soldier from Canada was convicted of war crimes Monday, the fifth prisoner brought to justice by military commissions since the controversial tribunal was created nearly nine years ago ? the others being a cook, a propagandist, a driver and a onetime kangaroo skinner. Omar Khadr, now a tall and burly 24-year-old, pleaded guilty to five charges, including the murder of U.S. special forces soldier Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer while fighting at age 15 with hardened Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan with whom his father had apprenticed him in 2002.
October 25, 2010 |
A young Canadian terrorism suspect accepted a plea deal Monday that will make him eligible to leave Guantanamo Bay prison in a year, sparing the Obama administration the spectacle of putting the first child soldier on trial for war crimes in modern times. Officials of the controversial military commission kept secret the length of the sentence agreed to for Omar Ahmed Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan after a firefight between Al Qaeda militants and U.S. special forces in July 2002.
August 10, 2010 |
The youngest prisoner at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday on allegations of killing a U.S. soldier and partially blinding another, and the outcome probably will spark renewed international debate over the practice of incarcerating and prosecuting child soldiers. Eight years a captive at the prison for terrorism suspects, Omar Ahmed Khadr, 23, released a letter through his lawyers this spring warning that if the Obama administration takes him to trial in a military tribunal, it could reveal "what is going on down here.
October 25, 2009 |
Vinojan's boyhood ended when Sri Lanka's civil war reignited. He was 15, he says, when he joined the separatist Tamil Tigers to save his older brother from forcible conscription, becoming a reluctant fighter in the rebels' last, desperate battles for survival. Now, having won the war, Sri Lanka is trying to make patriotic citizens out of child soldiers such as Vinojan and others who just months ago were fighting against government troops. Vinojan, who nurses a dark scar on his wrist from a shrapnel wound, is just trying to reclaim what is left of an adolescence cut short.
July 15, 2009 |
Ending three years of silence, former Liberian President Charles Taylor began building his defense against war crimes charges, portraying himself as a peacemaker rather than the brutal warlord described by prosecutors. "I am not guilty of all these charges, not even a minute part of these charges," he said from the witness stand, raising his voice in anger. "This whole case is a case of deceit, deception and lies." Taylor is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism in his role backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war. Taylor's testimony is expected to last several weeks.
June 27, 2009 |
Ugandan rebels this year have killed about 1,200 Congolese civilians and abducted 1,500, mostly children, in a remote region of northeast Congo, a U.N. official said. Fighting between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army rebels has driven 220,000 other Congolese from their homes in the Haut-Uele region, said Ross Mountain, the U.N. chief's deputy special representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Lord's Resistance Army is notorious for reportedly torturing, raping and mutilating civilians.
January 27, 2009 |
Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader facing charges of recruiting child soldiers to rape and kill, on Monday became the first defendant to go on trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The court is the world's first permanent venue to prosecute war crimes, genocide and other major crimes against humanity. Cases such as these have mostly been tried at temporary courts, from Nuremberg, Germany, to more recent U.N.
December 27, 2008 |
Two days after he was pulled unconscious from the rubble of a bombed Al Qaeda compound in southern Afghanistan, 15-year-old Omar Khadr lay strapped to a gurney, his left eye blinded by shrapnel, gunshot wounds to his back still raw. U.S. agents who conducted the first interrogation of the Canadian teen at Bagram air base near Kabul on July 29, 2002, gauged the effects of their questioning by the blood pressure meter attached to their inert subject.
November 21, 2007 |
A former child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war was named an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund, vowing to be an advocate for children worldwide, not just in African war zones. Ishmael Beah lost his family in a rebel attack when he was about 12, was kidnapped by Sierra Leone's national army and forced, along with other captured children, to fight a war.
June 21, 2007 |
Three former Sierra Leonean military leaders were found guilty of war crimes Wednesday in the first verdicts stemming from the country's civil war and the first convictions in an international court for using child soldiers. A United Nations-backed court found the three guilty of 11 of 14 charges, including terrorism, using child soldiers, enslavement, rape and murder.