The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has selected Marlys Edwardh, a prominent criminal law lawyer and civil rights activist, to be honoured at its 8th Annual International Press Freedom Awards.
CJFE's International Awards event will be held at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on November 1, 2005. This year will welcome guest speaker, Seymour Hersh, the celebrated American investigative journalist who recently captured the spotlight with his stories on the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq and 30 years ago broke the My Lai massacre story in Vietnam.
Ms. Edwardh is the first recipient of CJFE's Vox Libertas award. This is an annual award granted to a Canadian who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and who has had made an important and sustained contribution - at home or abroad - to those same principles.
Earlier this week, CJFE announced that journalists Mykola Veresen of Ukraine and Alagi Yorro Jallow of Gambia were to be given its 2005 Press Freedom Awards.
Ms Edwardh has fought tirelessly on free expression issues. She is currently one of the senior counsels representing Mr. Maher Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Arar.
She also represented former National Post Ottawa reporter Andrew McIntosh and won a landmark source-protection ruling in the so-called Shawinigingate scandal. More recently, Ms Edwardh acted for the family of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who died in Iranian custody on July 11, 2003.
Ms. Edwardh is a partner with Ruby & Edwardh in Toronto. She has served as counsel in a number of Royal Commissions, the latest being the Krever Commission regarding the blood system in Canada.
CJFE is an association of more than 300 journalists, editors, producers, publishers, broadcasters, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and around the world. Proceeds from the annual awards dinner help protect free expression in Canada, and support embattled journalists around the world.
For more information, please contact:
Rod Macdonell, Executive Director