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This week one of the 176 will stand trial in what is being regarded as a test of America's new willingness to confront the brutal legacy of George Bush's war on terror.
The case against Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen and the youngest of the inmates, is emblematic of Guantanamo Bay's injustices. He is the first child to be tried for war crimes since the Nuremburg prosecutions against the Nazis after the Second World War.
Omar Khadr was captured by US forces in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was just 15, and after interrogation in Afghanistan flown to the US naval base. He was later
Under international law, a child captured in combat should be treated as a victim rather than a combatant. The US military has accused him of killing a US soldier with a hand grenade and spying on the US
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, of the 2.2 million Americans that are currently incarcerated, 21.2 percent of them are non-violent drug offenders.