Omar Khadr awaits trial in Guantanamo`s Camp IV

Canadian Omar Khadr, who has been imprisoned since age 15 on charges of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan.

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2010, 18:36 PM IST

Guantanamo: Canadian
Omar Khadr, who has been imprisoned since age 15 on charges of
killing an American soldier in Afghanistan, is awaiting his
trial in a fenced-off enclosure at Camp IV.

Wearing a white T-shirt, he sports sunglasses after
losing the sight in one of his eyes due to a wound sustained
during his capture.

But even through these protective lenses, the Canadian
national, who is now 24, manages to greets a group of visiting
reporters at the US naval at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with a
piercing glance.

The trial of Khadr, who will appear before the revamped
military tribunal set up by US President Barack Obama, resumes
Monday after a suspension in August when military defense
lawyer Jon Jackson collapsed.

The fenced-off enclosure contains about half a dozen
detainees, who are allowed outside during recreation time.

Camp IV is now home to 40 out 174 detainees still held at
the US base in this remote corner of Cuba.

Theoretically, they cannot be identified by name.

"I don`t know who this one is. We use numbers," says
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew McManus, deputy commander of the
camp.

Rules imposed by the military on visiting journalists
prohibit talking to inmates or taking pictures of their faces.

Any picture taken in violation of these rules is destroyed by
the so-called "operational security review panel."

Another block of Camp IV contains 70 inmates, who can
watch TV in a common area also protected by a security fence
under the watchful eye of two guards who remain on their feet
and face prisoners all the time.

Further down, a visitor can spot an empty classroom.
"Forty percent of the detainees take classes, English,
personal finance, computer familiarisation," explains McManus.

"Comfort items" which are permitted include newspapers in
Arabic that come from Cairo via a branch of the US Library of
Congress with a two-week`s delay, chess and video games.
Authorised sporting activities include running, soccer and
baseball.

PTI