Khadr, in ‘Extreme Pain,’ Voluntarily Appears in Court
GUANTANAMO BAY — Crisis averted. With his right hand shielding his eyes and dabbing at his eyes with a tissue, Omar Khadr returned to court for his pre-trial hearing. Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the military commissions, confirmed there was no forced cell extraction. Khadr appeared voluntarily.
That doesn’t mean he’s doing well. Khadr’s lawyer, Barry Coburn, told Col. Patrick Parrish, the judge in the case, that Khadr “has been and is now in a lot of physical pain” as the result of “foreign bodies” that remain in his eyes as the result of 2002-era shrapnel wounds he sustained during his capture in Afghanistan. The foreign bodies, combined with “severe conjunctivitis” in his non-functional left eye and some in his right, as well as elevated blood pressure, left him in “extreme pain,” Coburn said. Parrish agreed to end the hearing today at 4 p.m. accordingly.
Coburn said that the blacked-out goggles that detention-facility officials wanted Khadr to wear to transport him from his cell to court were “exacerbating” the pain. Commander Brad Fagan, a spokesman for the detention command, contradicted an earlier claim by Coburn, saying that Khadr’s treatment this morning followed “longstanding security transport procedures.”