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Civil rights lawyer gets new free expression award

IFEX - News from the international freedom of expression community _________________________________________________________________

PRESS RELEASE - INTERNATIONAL

26 September 2005

Civil rights lawyer chosen for new free expression award

SOURCE: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Toronto

**For further information on CJFE's International Press Freedom Awards, see IFEX alert of 20 September 2005**

(CJFE/IFEX) - The following is a 23 September 2005 CJFE press release:

Civil Rights Lawyer Chosen for New Free Expression Award

Seymour Hersh to address Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Gala

TORONTO, ON - Friday, September 23, 2005 - 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. Ms. Edwardh is currently one of the senior counsels representing Mr. Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.

About CJFE

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.

The information contained in this press release is the sole responsibility of CJFE. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit CJFE.

ENDS

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