2017 James Graff Memorial Lecture with Michael Lynk

PSN is pleased to be an endorsing organization of the 2017 James Graff Memorial Lecture, featuring UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Michael Lynk, which will take place on November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The event takes place in Toronto, but PSN will be hosting the livestream of the event in Edmonton.

50 Years and Counting: Legality of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine
2017 James Graff Memorial Lecture, featuring Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine

Wednesday, November 29 (5:30 pm)
Education Centre South Room 158
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

Help spread the word by inviting friends to the Facebook event.

Michael Lynk is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Western University, in London, Ontario. He joined the Faculty in 1999, and has taught courses in labour, human rights, disability, constitutional and administrative law. One of the books Professor Lynk has co-edited is International Law and the Middle East Conflict (Routledge, 2011) with Susan Akram, Michael Dumper and Iain Scobbie.

In March 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Professor Lynk as the 7th Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967. He recently issued his second report that includes a detailed analysis of the international legal framework of the occupation as it continues past its 50th year. The first report Professor Lynk submitted as Special Rapporteur to the United Nations General Assembly focused on the role and challenges faced by human rights defenders in the region.

Read the October 26, 2017 media release and Michael Lynk’s second report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, or watch his press conference online.

This event is organized by the Canadian Friends of Sabeel and co-sponsored by Emmanuel College.

Note: if you are unable to make it to campus for the event, you can also register for the livestream yourself for $5.

Event: Let’s Talk About Omar Khadr

Edmonton: Let’s Talk About Omar Khadr
Monday, July 8 (7:00 pm)
Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex (ETLC) Room 001
(Click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Omar Khadr has recently been moved to the detention facility here in Edmonton. As his parole hearing approaches, it is important for the Edmonton community to gain knowledge about his story — past, present, and future. Also, many people have questions about his case and will now have the chance to hear answers from key members of Omar’s support network.

Come out for an evening screening of the documentary The United States vs. Omar Khadr, followed by an open discussion with Omar’s lawyer Mr. Dennis Edney and Dr. Arlette Zinck, a member of Omar’s educational team.

Refreshments will be provided!

PSN is pleased to support this event being organized by the Amnesty International U of A Chapter.

About The United States vs. Omar Khadr

Canadian Omar Khadr was accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002. Most of the evidence against him is based on a series of confessions Omar allegedly made at the age of 15 while in U.S. custody at the military base in Bagram and later in Guantanamo. Omar’s defense team claims that these are false confessions extracted under torture.
Omar Khadr at the age of 15 Omar Khadr at the age of 15

The U.S. vs Omar Khadr includes Omar’s first-hand account of the torture and mistreatment he claims to have suffered. Not only is there extensive evidence that the U.S. Forces were using torture in that time period, but a Bagram cellmate and one of his interrogators corroborate his story. One of Omar’s interrogators was later convicted in the murder of a detainee in U.S custody in Bagram.

A detailed re-creation of the firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002 and interviews with eyewitnesses to the battle shows that the U.S. Government put out a demonstrably false version of what took place that day. Some evidence that supported Omar’s claims of innocence was systematically withheld from defense lawyers, while other exculpatory evidence was altered to make him look guilty. There is new stunning evidence which shows that American soldiers were committing war crimes in the aftermath of the battle by “shooting the wounded,” and that the victim was actually killed by “Friendly Fire.” His wounds and medical records indicate that he was hit with the blast of an American grenade that Omar could not have thrown.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used the terms “Rule of Law” and “Due Process” to describe the Guantanamo military commissions, but Omar’s defense team argues that neither of those terms is appropriate. The U.S. military is allowed to pick the lawyers, the jury, and the judge, and to change the judge if they don’t like his rulings, which has already happened in this case. The process has been denounced by the U.S. and Canadian Bar Associations, and even by the Supreme Courts in both Canada and the United States. President George W Bush and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are among the very few political leaders who still support the military commissions.

The Khadr family has become reviled in Canada because of controversial statements made on CBC TV several years ago, but the defense lawyers plead with Canadians to look beyond those revolting statements and see a child who was dragged into the world of Al Qaeda and left with strangers at the age of 15, ordered by his father to be their translator.

The U.S. vs Omar Khadr challenges us to ask whether justice is a right of all citizens or if we allow some to lose that right because we find their cause and their family repugnant.