Blog: accountability

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October 7, 2011

Wednesday, Oct. 12: “Accountability After Katrina: Community Lawyering and Organizing for Justice”

Event Notice

                                                  October 12, 2011   

“Accountability After Katrina: Community Lawyering and Organizing for Justice”       

A Talk by Norris Henderson, of Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE)
and Davida Finger, Community Justice Clinic, Loyola University New Orleans

12:00-1:15 p.m.

Pound Hall 204

   
Join us for a discussion about the ways in which community organizers and lawyers are working together to address justice issues in New Orleans.  Norris Henderson is a community leader and the Founder and Executive Director of  Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE), a non-profit justice organization founded by and run by formerly incarcerated people.  Davida Finger, a former Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School, teaches the Community Justice Clinic at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, Office of Public Interest Advising, HLS Mississippi Delta Project, HLS Advocates for Human RightsHarvard Immigration Project, ACLU-HLS, National Lawyers Guild – HLS Chapter, HLS American Constitution Society, and Harvard Civil Rights-Civil  Liberties Law Review.

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October 3, 2011

Today: Raji Sourani, Director of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, on Accountability for Gaza

Posted by Meera Shah

Today, Raji Sourani, one of the foremost human rights lawyers and advocates in the Middle East, will come to speak at Harvard Law School.  Personally, as  someone who worked in the Middle East for several years, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to meet him.  The founder of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza City in 1995, Sourani began his human rights career challenging Israeli prison conditions and defending Palestinians facing deportation in Israeli military courts.  As a human rights defender, he was detained by Israeli authorities on multiple occasions, prompting Amnesty International to name him one of their Prisoners of Conscience in both 1985 and 1988.

With the creation of the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, Sourani’s work took on another dimension, exposing and documenting human rights violations on the part of both Israeli and Palestinian officials.  While this even-handedness was not always popular, it demonstrates Sourani’s commitment to a universal standard.

This principled stance and the courage to speak out continue to drive Sourani’s work.  Today, he will be talking about the need for accountability for violations committed as part of Israel’s offensive in late 2008 and the human rights implications of the ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip.  I hope you will join us for this important and timely discussion!

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March 25, 2011

Former GITMO Psychologist Claims to be Named to White House Task Force on “Enhancing the Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family”

Posted by Cara Solomon

UPDATED POST: See comment below.

Larry James, former Guantanamo psychologist and subject of a professional misconduct complaint filed by the International Human Rights Clinic, has claimed he was appointed to a White House Task Force on “Enhancing Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family.”

“That’s just a scary thought,” said Michael Reese, a former U.S. Army private, a member of Disabled American Veterans, and one of the Ohio residents who filed the complaint.  “I just don’t trust him.”

In an e-mail to colleagues and students of Wright State University, where Dr. James serves as Dean of the School of Professional Psychology, he announced “with great pride and pleasure” that he had been “appointed by the First Lady,” and that he would be attending the Task Force’s first meeting at the White House, to be hosted next Tuesday by Mrs. Obama and her staff.

In a Salon post today, Glenn Greenwald asks:

“Of all the psychologists to choose from, why would they possibly choose to honor and elevate the former chief psychologist of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib at the height of the Bush abuses?  More disturbing still, among those most damaged by detainee abuse are the service members forced to participate in it; why would the White House possibly want to put on a task force about the health of military families someone, such as Dr. James, who at the very least is directly associated with policies that so profoundly harmed numerous members of the military and their families?”

UPDATE (3/26/2011)

Today, Greenwald received an interesting response from the White House in which it disputes some—but not all—of Dr. James’s statements.  As a result of this response, we changed the language in the headline from “Named to White House Task Force” to “Claims to Be Named to White House Task Force,” and, in the text, changed the wording of the first paragraph from “reportedly appointed” to “claims he was appointed.”  We also included additional quotes from the e-mail circulated by Dr. James to the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology community.

In an update this afternoon, Greenwald wrote:

“In an email to me from the First Lady’s Communications Director, the White House claims:

Several members of the White House staff are convening a meeting with multiple mental health professionals on Tuesday to discuss issues pertaining to the wellness of military families.  SAMHSA and the American Psychological Association have both been asked to attend.  We understand that Dr. James is involved with these groups and may have been indirectly invited to attend this meeting.

She claims, however, that he now will not be at that meeting, and further states that ‘Dr. James has not been appointed to serve in any capacity with the White House.'”

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