Sunday, January 02, 2011

Defending Khadr

Defending Khadr shows Edmonton's mettle

January 2, 2011 - In a coffee shop near the provincial museum, Edmonton lawyer Dennis Edney let his cup of java get cold.

He was too busy describing Guantanamo Bay military prison and his meeting with a very controversial client, Canadian Omar Khadr, silent and in chains.

As we talked, Edney watched the e-mail on his BlackBerry. He paused to read another message attacking him for defending "that terrorist." Edney couldn't resist responding. He has turned around a lot of critics by explaining the need to fight for the right to a fair trial, he said.

As I listened, I thought how remarkable this scene was. Of all the lawyers in Canada, it was two men from Edmonton, Edney and Nate Whitling, who took on the Khadr case, one of the most important legal battles since the 9/11 bombings, certainly the most controversial.

This case goes to fundamental principles -- the rule of law and the balance between security and preserving the legal rights that define our democracy. Indeed, this is a cautionary tale that we mustn't take these rights for granted. {continued}

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think these lawyers are admirable for standing up for what was right in this case, among the few who were in a position to do so and did. They are a credit to Edmonton. I believe they also gave their services free of charge.

I hope Mr. Edney will be able to find out more about what's happening to Omar Khadr now. Apparently he has been placed in solitary confinement. Officials even took away a small box of personal souvenirs from him, something I think they've done to punish him before, perhaps when interrogators weren't happy with his answers.

There is something so petty about the cruelty of Gtmo. Reminds me of Hannah Arendt and the "banality of evil".

Even the Prosecution's paid psychiatrist says Omar Khadr should now be in a rehabiliatation program because he will likely be released in Canada at some point within the next 8 years.

What sort of stupid monsters would put him in a situation least conducive to him being able to be safely released, either for his own sake or the sake of the public?

Diane W.