Normally, I don’t go in for this sort of bunk but, really, this article has loads of trigger warnings.
Allow me to soften the upcoming blow with a picture of puppies:
Omar Khadr, once the youngest inmate of Guantanamo who spent a decade in the detention camp, made an unexpected public appearance at a Calgary International Film Festival showing of a new documentary about his life on Friday night.
The 80-minute film, Guantanamo’s Child, was screened to an almost sold-out crowd at Calgary’s downtown Globe Cinema.
Khadr, 29, emerged at the front-left of the stage after the showing concluded, accompanied by lawyer Dennis Edney and Michelle Shephard, national security reporter for the Toronto Star who directed the film with Patrick Reed.
Save for court dates, it was the first public appearance Khadr has made since he spoke to the media in May following his release from an Alberta prison, pending appeal of his heavily condemned conviction of war crimes by an American military tribunal.
In 2002, when Khadr was 15, he was captured in Afghanistan by the US military and transferred to Guantanamo where he confessed, in 2010, to throwing a grenade that killed a combat medic and injured another soldier. He has since recanted, saying the confession was obtained under torture.
On Friday, Khadr appeared relaxed, standing with his thumbs hooked through his belt loops and displaying a broad smile as he and his companions answered questions from the audience.
“The most surprising thing I think I’ve found was the kindness I’ve seen in people,” Khadr said during the 15 minute Q&A. “I was scared when I came from Toronto to Alberta, with Alberta being a conservative province. But everybody was so warm.”