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The Globe and Mail

Khadr interrogation documentary could be aired in court

Omar Khadr is shown in an interrogation room at the U.S. Naval base in Guatanamo Bay in an image taken from a 2003 surveillance video.

The Canadian Press

A documentary about Omar Khadr's four days of interrogation by Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents will tell his story to the world whether its footage is aired in court or not.

The documentary "You Don't Like The Truth: Four Days Inside Guantanamo" by Quebec co-directors Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, which premiered last week at Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinema, is a detailed account of Mr. Khadr's questioning.

"The world will see for the first time the progression of an interrogation that stretched over four days, which at first generated hope for the young Khadr but then quickly turned to mistrust and despair as his interrogators laughed at him when he complained about being tortured after his capture," said filmmaker Luc Côté in an interview with the Globe.

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A special screening is being organized this week on Parliament Hill by the Bloc Québécois. The documentary will be released in Toronto later this month and then across Canada. It will presented at an international documentary film festival in Amsterdam next month after having been turned down by several large Canadian film festivals.

Mr. Côté said Mr. Khadr's lawyers were poised to use the documentary as part of their plea before a military judge. Instead of a four-week trial, a short sentencing session is now expected to begin on Oct. 25.

The film was based mostly on seven hours of interrogation footage that were ordered released in 2008 by the Supreme Court of Canada after ruling that Mr. Khadr's rights had been violated.

During the last day of Mr. Khadr's interrogation, an unidentified Canadian intelligence agent is heard urging the young detainee to give him information.

"You want me to lie!" Omar Khadr, who was barely 16, is heard telling his interrogator.

"I don't want you to lie. I just want you to tell me the truth," his interrogator replied.

"That's what I told you the truth, You don't like the truth," Mr. Khadr responded.

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Although the footage has been made public since 2008, Mr. Côté said that because of the poor sound quality it would be difficult for anyone to take the time and decipher the entire interrogation. "At least now people will be given a chance to understand the tactics of the interview and its progression," Mr. Côté explained.

Mr. Côté said the documentary also includes interviews with Mr. Khadr's inquisitor at Bagram air force base in Afghanistan. Mr. Khadr's mother and sister, former cell inmates as well as former military personnel and Canadian official complete the picture of Mr. Khadr's ordeal.

The filmmakers said they are convinced one reason Canada failed to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council was because the federal government has been condemned by many countries for failing to respect Mr. Khadr's human rights and the provisions of the international convention on child soldiers.

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About the Author
Quebec City political correspondent

Rhéal Séguin is a journalist and political scientist. Born and educated in southern Ontario, he completed his undergraduate degree in political science at York University and a master's degree in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal.Rhéal has practised journalism since 1978, first with Radio-Canada in radio and television and then with CBC Radio. More

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