Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ban on media interview with Omar Khadr not political, Federal Court rules

CP's Colin Perkel writes:
"Media fighting for access to Omar Khadr have failed to show a prison-interview ban was politically motivated and violated their constitutional rights, a Federal Court judge has ruled.
"In his ruling, Judge Richard Mosley rejected suggestions that authorities worried a sympathetic portrayal of Khadr would fly in the face of government statements branding the former Guantanamo Bay detainee as an unrepentant terrorist.
"'I have not ignored the unfortunate history of apparent interference and public statements by government officials since Mr. Khadr’s repatriation,' Mosley said in his decision.
"'However, there is nothing before me to suggest that the decision by (correctional) officials to deny the interview request was made otherwise than in good faith, applying the statutory and regulatory framework.'
"In March 2014, the CBC, Toronto Star, and White Pine Pictures requested an interview with Khadr, who was returned to Canada from Guantanamo in 2012.
"Nancy Shore, acting warden at the Bowden Institution in Innisfail, Alta., turned down the request on the grounds that it could jeopardize both Khadr's safety and that of others in the prison. An interview would require an almost complete and disruptive lockdown of the facility, Shore said."

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