A documentary based on security camera footage from the Guantanamo Bay prison. This encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and Omar Khadr, a Canadian-born child detainee in Guantanamo, has never been seen before online or on a global television network. An exclusive 7 min excerpt.
Based on seven hours of video footage declassified by the Canadian courts, this documentary delves into the unfolding high-stakes game of cat and mouse between captor and captive over a four-day period. Maintaining the surveillance camera style, this film analyses the political, legal and scientific aspects of a forced dialogue.
About the film:
This intense documentary is based on seven hours of CCTV material from the interrogation of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay. In February, 2003 Canadian security agents interrogated the teenager. This interrogation and the reports of his being tortured prior to arriving at the facility raised the level of scrutiny regarding the treatment of prisoners at this detention camp.
In July 2008, the video of the interrogation was ordered to be made available in a Canadian supreme court ruling that stated in part: “Interrogation of a youth, to elicit statements about the most serious criminal charges while detained in these conditions and without access to counsel, and while knowing that the fruits of the interrogations would be shared with the US prosecutors, offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”
This 15-year-old boy was taken into custody by the US authorities following a firefight in Afghanistan in September 2002. The battle between US special forces and fighters reportedly associated with al-Qaeda left Khadr severely wounded. In a sworn affidavit during his court case, Khadr testified that he was tortured after being taken into custody. A month later, Khadr was delivered to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Not long after he arrived, Canadian security agents spent four days interrogating him.
In this film and over the course of Khadr’s interrogation, you see a clear shift in the relationship between the Canadian security service agents and the teenager. You see his transformation from an elated youth relieved to see fellow Canadians arrive and express an interest in him and his welfare, to a distraught young man, bitter and angry at his treatment and his abrupt realisation that these men are not there to take him home.
This documentary brings together an array of people connected with this case and examines, in-depth, through this interrogation, one of the most controversial detention facilities in the world. We hear from his legal team, the reporter who fought to have the video of this interrogation released, as well a US intelligence officer familiar with US interrogation practices at Guantanamo and Omar Khadr’s detention in particular.
In 2010, after lengthy negotiation, the US and Khadr’s legal team agreed to a plea deal. Khadr pleaded guilty to committing murder in violation of the laws of war and US authorities agreed to his serving just one more year in Guantanamo and avoiding a 40-year prison sentence. However, the Canadian government has denied that Khadr would be repatriated according to the terms of the agreement.