The Globe And Mail - Renowned international human-rights lawyer Irwin Cotler is nominating Syria’s famed White Helmets, a group of volunteer humanitarian workers Canada helped rescue from the war-torn country, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minister who helped co-ordinate last summer’s rescue effort with Israel, said he plans on nominating the White Helmets for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
The civil-defence organization, which has been credited with saving more than 100,000 civilians during Syria’s ongoing civil war, has been nominated for the international award before, but never won.
“They are the embodiment of what heroism and hope and the search for peace and our common humanity is all about,” Mr. Cotler said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.
Canada sparked a daring overnight mission in July to evacuate 422 people – members of the White Helmets and their families – from Syria, where they faced increasing danger as the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad encircled them this summer.
The Israel Defence Forces led the rescue effort, which was done at the request of Canada, Britain and Germany, who all committed to resettling evacuees. The United States also supported the operation.