The youngest person ever to be held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has discussed his experience and his hopes for the future after he was freed on bail earlier this month.
In 2002, Canadian national Omar Khadr, aged 15 at the time, was alleged to have thrown a grenade at US troops in Afghanistan, killing one soldier.
Khadr spent a decade at the US-run detention camp, before he was transferred to Canada, where he was put in a maximum-security prison to serve the balance of his eight-year sentence.
In his first full-length interview since his release on bail on May 7, Khadr – now 28 – tells Al Jazeera’s Witness that he worries whether his new freedom is going to last, as he appeals his conviction.
But having spent the last 13 of his 28 years behind bars, Khadr admitted that he would face a considerable degree of public suspicion.
“I don’t wish people to love me. I don’t wish people to hate me. I just wish for people to just give me a chance,” Khadr said.
“People are just going to think that I am fake. You go through a struggle, you go through a trauma, you’re going to be bitter, you’re going to hate some people. It’s just the normal thing to do – and this guy, not having these natural emotions, is probably hiding something.”
Khadr, who was working as a translator for al-Qaeda operatives under orders from his father, discussed in detail about his arrest and subsequent detention and what he called antagonising conditions at the controversial military prison.
The interview is part of a Witness documentary called Guantanamo’s Child – Omar Khadr, a collaboration between Al Jazeera, White Pine Pictures, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which airs on Al Jazeera English on June 7.