Lawyers call for urgent action on juvenile detainees held in Guantanamo Bay

THE Bar Council, the Law Society, the Criminal Bar Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association and the Bar Human Rights Committee have called on the Attorney General of the United States of America to take urgent action in cases where those detained in Guantánamo Bay were captured as juveniles. These concerns are set out in a letter sent to the US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Commenting on the continued detention of Omar Khadr and Mohammed Jawad, Chairman of the Bar Desmond Browne QC said:

‘The lengthy detention, and putting on trial for war crimes, of someone who appears to be a “child soldier” is contrary to the special protection to which Khadr and Jawad are entitled by virtue of the Optional Protocol, which provides for the rehabilitation and social reintegration of former child soldiers. We hope that the new administration will take this opportunity to reconsider the detention of those held in Guantánamo who were captured as juveniles.’