OTTAWA - The Conservatives won't compensate terrorist Omar Khadr for what activist groups call Canada's complicity in torture at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The government of Canada has taken the position that he is not entitled to any compensation from Canadian taxpayers," said Julie Carmichael, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
That comes in response to testimony delivered to the UN Committee Against Torture by Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), one of 11 left-wing groups appearing before the committee in Geneva this week on a host of issues.
LRWC told the committee Khadr should be returned to Canada immediately with a Royal Commission investigating his torture claims and assessing how much compensation taxpayers should pay.
Khadr has already applied to come to Canada to serve the balance of an eight-year prison sentence for terror and murder charges dating back to 2002, when he was arrested in Afghanistan at age 15.
Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has levelled some choice words at Amnesty International, which also testified this week in Geneva.
"I have said in the past that Amnesty International has moved to the fringe of Canadian politics," said Kenney, noting that author Salman Rushdie has criticized it for "suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy."
Besides advocating for Khadr's immediate repatriation, Amnesty International slammed Kenney's Bill C-31, which would see adult migrants suspected of using a human smuggling syndicate to enter Canada detained until authorities can determine whether they're a risk to public safety.
Amnesty International says that could lead to "arbitrary detention" of torture survivors.
As a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, Canada has agreed to appear before the UN's anti-torture committee, which issues its report next week.
The committee is examining several other countries this month, including Albania, Cuba, and Syria.