New York, 21 January 2008 – Ms. Coomaraswamy, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflcit, welcomes the decision of US President Barak Obama that lead to the suspension of on-going trials in Guatanamo, including those of Omar Kadhr and Mohamed Jawad.
As with previous statements, the Special Representative raised concerns about the creation of an international precedent where individuals are tried for war crimes with regards to alleged acts committed when they were children and therefore considered as child soldiers.
Ms. Coomaraswamy hopes that these cases will be resolved in a manner that will respect international standards that safeguard the rights of children. She will continue to follow the cases closely.
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Ms. Laurence G