Harper Presented World Statesman of the Year award by Omar Khadr

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NEW YORK –Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was recognized as the “World Statesman of the Year” in a gala ceremony in New York Thursday night, where he was presented the award in a surprise twist by Canadian citizen and current Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr.

“We are here tonight to celebrate the efforts of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a ‘champion of democracy, freedom, and human rights,’” said Joseph Schmuck, the head of the Appeal to Conscience Foundation that presented Harper with the reward. “So we wanted to do something special for you and…well, come on out here, Omar!”

Khadr then walked out to greet a shocked Harper onstage, where the two embraced with a hug and they patted each other on the back cheerily.

“Having recently celebrated my tenth birthday inside of Guantanamo thanks to Steve’s help, I know this man deeply values human rights,” the 26-year-old Khadr said to the audience at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria hotel. “When I didn’t believe that I could survive in Guantanamo, Steve believed that I could. He believed in me when nobody else did. He stood up for me when no one else would. I know in my heart that I would not be where I am today without Mr. Harper’s generosity and courage.”

Khadr pled guilty in 2010 to killing a US soldier by throwing a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan when he was 15, and the United Nations declared him a child soldier. His appearance to give Harper the award was brokered through a deal between Canadian Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS) and the US Army at Khadr’s request, so that he “could see [his] friend Steve again.”

“Wow, this is quite a surprise!” the jovial Harper exclaimed as he received the award.

“Omar, to be honest, it’s been a little while since I’ve thought about you. I know I haven’t really returned your calls or letters recently. Guilty as charged!” Harper exclaimed sheepishly as the crowd chuckled. “But I hope you know that your presence here tonight really touches my heart. The fact that you overcame great odds in order to be here tonight to honour my human rights work shows me that you really care. And when people really care and help each other out in their time of need, well, that’s what this is all about.”

Khadr was then handcuffed, had a bag put over his head, and was taken on a military transport back to Guantanamo where he will continue to remain in limbo.

The event to celebrate Harper’s achievements drew many heads of state and debutantes from across the world, including former President Bill Clinton and popular entertainers Jay-Z and Rihanna. Also in attendance were the residents of Attawapiskat who enjoyed the venue’s clean water and heat, several hundred Canadian refugees, and basically every woman in the country.

“I am just so honoured to be here tonight. I am so happy to celebrate this occasion in front of so many people who have been helped by Mr. Harper,” said Kimberly Rivera, a former US Army private and Iraq War veteran who was able to attend the event due to her recent deportation from Canada to the US after her refugee status as a conscientious objector was denied. “When I heard that the Conservative Party cheered the news of my deportation in the House, I knew Steve really cared about me, my husband, and our four children. I can now be court-martialled in peace.”

Notably absent from the audience were many missing Aboriginal women from across the country who had been invited yet didn’t attend—possibly because their status or whereabouts remain unknown—leaving over 500 seats in the auditorium empty. The RCMP declined to comment.

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