Edmonton lawyers for Khadr earn pro bono award
Friday, September 19, 2008
- Organization: CBC
Two Edmonton lawyers have been handed a prestigious national award for their pro bono work in the case of Omar Khadr, who was only 15 when he was taken into custody and transported to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo.
Dennis Edney and Nathan Whitling received National Pro Bono Awards on Thursday night at a ceremony in Vancouver. They were handed out during the Second National Pro Bono Conference.
Khadr was captured by American forces following a firefight in Afghanistan. He is accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier and has spent the last six years in detention camps at Guantanamo Bay.
Khadr is the son of Egyptian and Palestinian parents in a fundamentalist Muslim family in Toronto.
The two Edmonton lawyers have argued Khadr's case before Canadian and U.S. courts and military tribunals.
Jamie MacLaren, with Pro Bono Law of B.C., said the award is richly deserved.
MacLaren said Khadr's situation is a human rights case and if it's won, potentially thousands of people around the world will be helped by the lawyers' work.
"If it's determined that Mr. Khadr was unfairly treated, then that will serve notice to governments worldwide."
Also given awards Thursday was the Community Legal Services for Saskatoon Inner City, Inc., and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.