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What's really going on at Guantanamo Bay? Loyola event reveals answers

February 14, 2014

Speakers at a free panel discussion Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Loyola University New Orleans will seek to prove that human rights violations at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention facilities are not a forgotten thing of the past. Loyola’s event, aiming to educate the public on what’s really going on inside the detention center, features Pardiss Kebriaei, J.D., a Center for Constitutional Rights attorney representing men currently and formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay, and an assistant U.S. attorney, John Murphy, J.D., formerly the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay.

Public interest lawyer William P. Quigley, J.D. ’77, also the director of the Loyola Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, along with Loyola law student advocate M. Zakir Khan and Tulane University history professor Jana K. Lipman, Ph.D., are also featured panelists.

“12 Years of Guantanamo: What Does It Mean to Us?” is set for 7 p.m. in Miller Hall, room 114 on Loyola’s main campus. It is open to the public and sponsored by Loyola’s Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, Middle East Peace Studies, the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Legal Studies, the Department of History, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and the Student Peace Initiative. A public reception will take place immediately following the panel in the same location, room 114 of Miller Hall.

The topic of human rights violations and prisoner responses at Guantanamo Bay is a timely one. In fact, just this week a U.S. appeals court ruled in favor of keeping prisoners on hunger strike alive through forced feeding tubes. In addition to discussing the detention center’s history of human rights violations, the panel will discuss how Guantanamo Bay has been used to imprison alleged terror suspects, the challenges of representing people detained at Guantanamo Bay, the government’s efforts at Guantanamo and what all of this means for America’s general population.

Panelists include:

  • Kebriaei, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, is lead counsel in Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, which seeks accountability for the killing of three American citizens in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, and was counsel in Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, which challenged the authorization for the targeting of an American citizen placed on government “kill lists.” Her work focuses on challenging government abuses post-9/11 and she represents men currently and formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay in their efforts for release and reintegration.
  • Khan is a Loyola law student, advocate for the voiceless and poet. He currently represents criminal defense clients in Orleans Parish Criminal Court through the clinic program at Loyola’s College of Law. He has previously worked for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Asian Law Caucus and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
  • Lipman, associate professor of history at Tulane University, serves as an adviser to the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, which creates an online space for people to share memories and connect about the U.S. naval station. She is the author of “Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution.”
  • Murphy, an assistant U.S. attorney, spent more than four years working as the chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay.
  • Quigley has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977 and has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including Hurricane Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience.

For more information, contact event coordinator and Loyola law student Nadia Samad at 504-338-6650.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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