Omar Khadr is shown in a courtroom sketch
in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Thursday, May 8, 2008.
GENEVA -- A UN committee on child rights criticized the United States on Friday for filing war crimes charges against Guantanamo Bay detainees like Canadian Omar Khadr who were picked up as minors.Quote has been trimmed
The detainees were recruited to fight while they were children and should therefore be treated as victims rather than unlawful enemy combatants, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said.
U.S. officials say two men who were juveniles when they were first detained remain at the U.S.-run prison camp in Cuba. Khadr, now 21, and Mohammed Jawad, an Afghan who the military says is about 23, face charges of murder and attempted murder respectively for allegedly attacking U.S. troops in 2002.
"The committee is seriously concerned that children who were recruited or used in armed conflict ... have been charged with war crimes and subject to prosecution by military tribunals, without due account of their status as children," the committee said in a nine-page report.
U.S. officials in Geneva said they were unable to comment immediately on the report.