Counter Terror With Justice Campaign Speakers List

Counter Terror With Justice Campaign Speakers List

Raise awareness and inspire action in your community by holding an event with one of these engaging speakers. To secure a speaker and other resources for organizing your event, please contact your Regional Office by calling 1.866.A.REGION or clicking here.

MID-ATLANTIC REGION

Karen Hanscom, Ph.D.

Location: Maryland

Areas of Focus: Rehabilitation of survivors, the asylum process, and the psychological effects of torture

Personal Profile: Dr. Hanscom is the executive director and founder of ASTT – a Baltimore area treatment center for survivors of torture. ASTT provides innovative psychological counseling and physical treatment to individuals that have experienced torture. In addition to direct psychotherapy, ASTT assists survivors in establishing safety in the United States by aiding in the preparation of political asylum documents, provides assistance with social adaptation to the U.S., and helping to educate the public regarding human rights issues. Under a program of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, ASTT is involved in training of physicians, mental health providers, and promoters in the treatment of torture survivors in rural Guatemala.
Dr. Hanscom earned her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and has 10 years’ experience working as a psychotherapist, including extensive experience in the treatment of torture survivors.


Doan Viet Hoat

Location: Virginia

Areas of Focus: Vietnam

Personal Profile: Doan Viet Hoat was adopted by Amnesty International as a “Prisoner of Conscience” after being arrested and imprisoned for 12 years without charges by the Vietnamese government, from 1976-88. He was re-arrested and imprisoned again in 1990, and sentenced to 20 years’ hard labor, for having published the “Freedom Forum”, an underground magazine published in Vietnam to discuss and exchange different viewpoints on human rights and democracy issues. He was released and transported directly to the US in 1998. Doan Viet Hoat served as the Editor and Writer of “Freedom Forum” between1988-90, and has also served as the Vice President of Administration at Van Hanh University in Saigon, a professor of English, Education and Social Studies, and the Editor of “Tu Tuong” (Thought) magazine. He has received numerous prestigious honors and awards from journalism and human rights organizations, and earned his Ph.D. at Florida State University in 1971. He currently serves as a Scholar in Residence at Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Munawar Laghari

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Focus: Sindh (Occupied by Pakistan)

Personal Profile: Mr. Laghari is a survivor of torture from Pakistan. He is currently working at the World Sindhi Institute. He is comfortable speaking about both his personal experience as a survivor, as well as the political situation in his country.
 

Orlando Tizon

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Focus: What torture does to individuals and communities, and what we can do to stop it worldwide. Also willing to speak about the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Personal Profile: I was arrested on Sep 21, 1982 In Davao City, during the regime of President Marcos of the Philippines and imprisoned until April 1986. In the first three weeks of my imprisonment I was kept blindfolded and incommunicado in a military camp. I suffered beatings, mock execution, solitary confinement. I am a sociologist working with other torture survivors. I am a member of and on the staff of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC). I speak English and Filipino fluently, and can speak Spanish with moderate fluency.

 

Harry Wu

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Focus: Torture in the Chinese prison system

Personal Profile: Harry Wu was first arrested as a young student at the Beijing Geology College for speaking out against the Soviet invasion of Hungary as well as his criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1960, he was sent to the Laogai – the Chinese Gulag – as a “counter-revolutionary rightist”. During the next 19 years, he was imprisoned in 12 different forced-labor camps around China, where he was forced to manufacture chemicals, mine coal, build roads, clear land, as well as plant and harvest crops. He survived beatings, torture, and starvation. Finally released in 1979, Wu came to the United States in 1985 as visiting professor of geology at the University of California, Berkeley. Later, he began writing about his experiences, and became a human rights activist determined to expose the truth about the Laogai, which is the most extensive forced labor and thought reform camp system in the world. In the summer of 1995 the Chinese government arrested him when he tried to legally enter the country. After 66 days of captivity, he was convicted in a four-hour show trial of “stealing state secrets”, sentenced to 15 years, and expelled as the result of an extensive international campaign launched on his behalf. Since his release, he has continued to travel the world to tell of the abuses the Chinese government inflicts on its own people. He is the Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to documenting the Laogai system, and heads the China Information Center, which publishes Chinese language news and commentary online. He has received numerous awards for his activities, including the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Award in 1991, Martin Ennals Human Rights Award in 1994, Human Rights Advocate Award of Harvard Foundation of Harvard University and the 1996 Geuzen Medal of Honor from the Dutch Foundation for the Geuzen Resistance Movement, as well as other international honors.

 

Susan L. Burke

Location: Pennsylvania

Areas of focus: Ms. Burke currently serves as lead counsel in a class action brought on behalf of the torture victims of the Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq. Ms. Burke also serves as lead counsel in an action to recover for defense contractor Blackwater’s actions on September 16, 2007, in Nisoor Square in Iraq

Personal Profile: Susan L. Burke is a founding member of Burke O'Neil LLC, a litigation boutique with offices in Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago, Charlottesville and Baghdad. Ms. Burke focuses on complex civil litigation, including class actions involving varied allegations such as breaches of ERISA fiduciary obligations, disability discrimination in public housing, failure to provide mental health services and toxic torts. In addition to class action experience, Ms. Burke has a wealth of other litigation experience in both federal and state courts. She has litigated antitrust, employment, insurance coverage, false advertising and defamation claims, and health care fraud actions. She also has advised clients on complying with complex regulatory schemes, primarily those governing health care providers. Ms. Burke currently serves as lead counsel in a class action brought on behalf of the torture victims of the Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq. The class action, known as Saleh et al. v. Titan et al, challenges the actions by two defense contractors (Titan, now L-3 and CACI), whose employees directly participated in the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The action is pending before Judge Robertson in the federal district court in the District of Columbia.Ms. Burke also serves as lead counsel in an action to recover for defense contractor Blackwater’s actions on September 16, 2007, in Nisoor Square in Iraq. On that date, Blackwater mercenaries killed 17 people and wounded many others. The action is pending before Judge Walton in the federal district court in the District of Columbia. In prosecuting these two actions, Ms. Burke repeatedly travels to the mid-east to interview Iraqi victims. Ms. Burke’s past positions have including managing the legal operations on the east coast for a nationwide hospital chain, practicing with the D.C. firm Covington & Burling, practicing with the Boston firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., and serving as a Department of Justice trial attorney prosecuting health care providers charged with defrauding the Medicare program.

 

Dr. Abdullah F. Ansary

Location: Virginia

Areas of Focus: National Security, Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism Legislation, International and Comparative Law, Human Rights, Islamic law and legal systems, and Saudi Arabia

Personal Profile: Dr. Abdullah Ansary received his Bachelor's Degree in Islamic legal studies in 1990 from King Abdul-Aziz University, Department of Islamic Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 1997 he received his Master's Degree in comparative Law from Umm al-Qura University, Faculty of Law and Shari'ah and Islamic Studies, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. In 2000, he received his Master of Law (LL.M.) degree from Harvard Law School, and continued as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School for the academic year 2000-2001. In 2005, Dr. Ansary received his Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Dr. Ansary taught Islamic Legal Studies for several years at King Abdul-Aziz University and worked as a Senior Foreign Law Specialist at the Law Library of Congress. Dr. Ansary provides legal consultancy and expertise to several branches of the U.S. and foreign Governments, commissions, federal courts, law firms and scholarly communities, and has been a member of several task forces charged with reviewing key issues related to homeland security. Dr. Ansary gave several presentations and speeches on various issues within his practice area, and authored or co-authored several congressional reports, published articles, and papers on the law and/or practice of foreign jurisdictions, national security law and policy, anti-terrorism legislation, human rights, and Islamic law and legal systems in national and international journals and newspapers. His work has influenced countries' legislation, executive policy, and judicial decisions. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) of George Washington University, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Arabian Peninsula & Gulf Studies Program (APAG) of the University of Virginia.


Professor Rick Wilson

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Focus: US legal obligations under the Torture Convention in the immigration field, and use of the Torture Convention as a way to strengthen domestic law.

Personal Profile: I'm a professor here at the law school, where I direct the clinical programs and the International Human Rights Law Clinic, which I founded in 1990. Last year the Clinic had 26 students and 4 faculty working on asylum and human rights cases. Many of our clients have suffered torture, and present symptoms of post-traumatic stress. We have also filed complaints on behalf of our clients with the UN Committee Against Torture. Our clinic also helped the Spanish lawyers with the complaints that led to the arrest of General Pinochet in London and with other aspects of claims against the military leadership of Chile and Argentina during the Dirty Wars years. I speak fluent Spanish.

 

Caroline Wadhams

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Focus: Military Manpower, Terrorism, National Security, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Personal Profile: Caroline Wadhams is a Senior Policy Analyst for National Security at American Progress. She focuses on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and terrorism issues and leads the Center for American Progress-Foreign Policy Terrorism Index. Prior to joining the Center, she served as a legislative assistant on foreign policy issues for Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). Wadhams also worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Director for the Meetings Program and in New York as a Research Associate on national security issues. Prior to the Council on Foreign Relations, she worked at ABC News in New York. Her overseas experience includes work with the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone and two years in Ecuador and Chile. She served as a U.S. election observer of Pakistan’s parliamentary elections in February 2008. She is a 2005 Manfred Wörner Fellow with the German Marshall Fund and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. She received a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Wadhams has been a guest analyst with numerous international, national, and local news outlets, including BBC, C-Span, CBC, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, FOX, Reuters, and NPR.

 

Lawrence Korb

Location: Washington, DC 20005

Areas of Focus: U.S. military, U.S. foreign policy and national security, defense budget, weapons systems, nonproliferation, military history

Personal Profile: Lawrence J. Korb is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information. Prior to joining American Progress, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From July 1998 to October 2002, he was Council Vice President, Director of Studies, and holder of the Maurice Greenberg Chair. Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Korb served as Director of the Center for Public Policy Education and Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution; Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh; Vice President of Corporate Operations at the Raytheon Company; and Director of Defense Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Dr. Korb served as Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations, and Logistics) from 1981 through 1985. In that position, he administered about 70 percent of the defense budget. For his service in that position, he was awarded the Department of Defense's medal for Distinguished Public Service. Mr. Korb served on active duty for four years as Naval Flight Officer, and retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of captain. Dr. Korb's 20 books and more than 100 articles on national security issues include The Joint Chiefs of Staff: The First Twenty-five Years; The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon; American National Security: Policy and Process, Future Visions for U.S. Defense Policy; Reshaping America's Military; and A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. His articles have appeared in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Public Administration Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings, and International Security. Over the past decade, Mr. Korb has made over 1,000 appearances as a commentator on such shows as "The Today Show," "The Early Show," "Good Morning America," "Face the Nation," "This Week," "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," "Nightline," "60 Minutes," "Larry King Live," "The O'Reilly Factor," and "Hannity and Colmes." His more than 100 op-ed pieces have appeared in such major newspapers as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Christian Science Monitor.

 

Dr. Sarah E. Mendelson

Location: Washington, DC 20006

Areas of Focus: Human Rights; International Security.

Personal Profile: Sarah Mendelson became the director of the Human Rights and Security Initiative at CSIS in January 2007. She is also a senior fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program. Before joining CSIS in 2001, Mendelson taught international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. From 1997 to 2000, she directed a collaborative study, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, evaluating the impact of Western democracy assistance to Eastern Europe and Eurasia. From 1995 to 1998, she was an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Albany, and from 1997 to 1998, she was a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1994 and 1995, she served on the staff of the National Democratic Institute’s Moscow office, where she worked with Russian political activists. She has been a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Princeton University’s Center of International Studies. Mendelson serves on the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the editorial board of International Security.

MID-WEST REGION

John Conroy

Location: Illinois

Areas of Focus: 1) Torturers: the transformation of an ordinary person into a torturer, profiles of individual torturers he has interviewed; 2) Bystanders: how societies justify and rationalize torture: 3) Impunity: why torturers are so rarely punished; 4) Torture by Chicago Police detectives from the Area 2 Violent Crimes unit, and the vast indifference to the plight of those men in Chicago; 5) Three case studies of torture (Chicago, Israel, Northern Ireland) and what they tell us about perpetrators, obedience to authority, societal justification, and impunity.

Personal Profile: John Conroy is the author of “Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture”, published by Knopf in March 2000. During the course of researching that book he interviewed former torturers from 5 nations as well as torture survivors. An award-winning journalist and author of “Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life,” Conroy has been writing about the police torture scandal in Chicago since 1990 (these articles can be found on the net at http://www.chicagoreader.com/torture/index.html). He has been a frequent guest lecturer at universities and law schools, willing to address classes in journalism, sociology, law, ethics, and other subjects in addition to his primary evening presentation. Unique among experts in the field, he brings the voice of the torturer into the room, playing audiotape of a torturer describing his work and rationalizing it.

Dr. Mario Venegas

Location: Illinois

Areas of Focus: Chile, Pinochet’s military dictatorship, survivors of torture and concentration camps in Chile, healing process, mutual support groups.

Personal Profile: Dr. Venegas is the coordinator for the Permanent Committee for Chile in Chicago. He is the coordinator for the Andean Region at Amnesty International, Group.50 (Evanston and Rogers Park). He is in the Advisory Board of Chicagoans for a Peaceful Colombia. Currently works for a Pharmaceutical Company as a Research Scientist. Dr. Venegas earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Royal Holloway College at the University of London, UK. Dr. Venegas was a political refugee in London before coming to the United States. He can speak about his experience in Chile as well as the political situation in that country.

Ally Beckman

Location: Minneapolis

Areas of Focus: Psychological effects of torture, Secondary trauma, interviewing torture survivors from a psychological perspective, Introduction to Torture and Its Consequences

Personal Profile: Alison Beckman is a clinician and trainer who has worked at the Center for Victims of Torture since 2000. She provides psychological evaluation and treatment services to survivors of torture in group and individual capacities. She coordinates CVT’s Minnesota training to educate health care providers, social workers and school staff to recognize and heal the wounds of torture and war. As a member of the National Capacity-building team, she provides training and technical assistance to U.S.-based torture treatment programs. In 2003, Ms. Beckman worked for CVT in Guinea, West Africa, as a member of a team that provided mental health services for adult and child refugees who fled political violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia. These refugees endured some of the most horrific and violent atrocities in human history. She also trained and supervised Sierra Leonean and Liberian paraprofessional psychosocial counselors.
Ms. Beckman worked at Walk-in Counseling Center from 2000-2002 where she provided direct mental health services to individuals and produced and wrote the video, “Torture and War Trauma Survivors: Initial Assessment and Treatment Issues for Counselors and Therapists. She volunteered in Burkina Faso from 1996-1997 and studied in Madagascar in 1995. Ms. Beckman has a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Minnesota in May of 2000 and is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Social Work as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Professor Joseph Margulies

Note: Professor Margulies is not able to accept new speaking invitations at this time

Location: Illinois

Areas of Focus: Legal issues of ‘war on terror,’ torture, extraordinary rendition, military commissions.

Personal Profile: In June 2005, at the invitation of Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter, Margulies testified at the first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on detainee issues. He writes and lectures widely on civil liberties in the wake of September 11 and his commentaries have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Legal Times. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed book, Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power (Simon and Schuster 2006). Among other accolades, Guantánamo was named one of the best books of 2006 by The Economist magazine. It also received the prestigious Silver Gavel Award of 2007, given each year by the American Bar Association to the book that best promotes “the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.” It also won the Scribes Award of 2007, given each year by the American Association of Legal Writers for the best work of legal scholarship. Margulies has also won numerous awards for his work since 9/11.

NORTHEAST REGION

Francis Bok

Location: Massachusetts

Areas of Focus: Chattel slavery, Sudan, life as a refugee

Personal Profile: Francis Bok is a 21-year-old native of Southern Sudan. At the age of 7, he was captured and enslaved during a raid. He witnessed children and adults being brutalized and killed, and was then strapped to a donkey and taken north to Kirio. For ten years, he served as the family slave to Giema Abdullah, forced to sleep with cattle, endure terrible beatings, and eat terrible food. Always called “abeed” (slave), Mr. Bok was given an Arabic name – Dut Giema Abdullah – and forced to perform Islamic prayers. Mr. Bok tried twice to escape, unsuccessfully, but was caught and tortured by his master. In December 1996, Mr. Bok escaped to the nearby town of Matari, where he was enslaved by a local policeman for two months. An Arab truck driver helped him escape and eventually reach Khartoum, the capital. In Khartoum, Mr. Bok was then arrested by the national security forces, jailed and tortured for seven months. After being released, Mr. Bok was able to purchase a visa to Egypt, and soon made his way to Cairo. In 1999, the UN resettled him in North Dakota. Mr. Bok is now an Associate at the American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston.

 

Allen S. Keller, M.D.

Location: New York

Areas of Focus: Caring and advocating for survivors of torture, political asylum, & conducting field investigations.

Personal Profile: Dr. Keller is Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, a program that provides multi-disciplinary care to victims of torture, refugee trauma, and other human rights abuses. The program is jointly sponsored by Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States, and the New York University School of Medicine. Nearly 600 men, women and children from over 50 different countries have received care through this program since it began in 1995. Services provided include comprehensive medical, psychological care and social services to victims of torture and their families. In addition, the program provides training for health professionals in the evaluation and treatment of victims of torture and is an educational and resource center for organizations working with victims of torture.
Dr. Keller is on the international advisory board of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and has written and spoken about a number of issues relating to torture, including the physical and psychological consequences of torture, evaluating and caring for survivors of torture, and preserving political asylum. In 1992, Dr. Keller lived in Cambodia where he developed a United Nations sponsored program to teach human rights to Cambodian health professionals. In 1996, Dr. Keller led a PHR investigation to Dharamsala, India to assess the problem of torture in Tibet among Tibetan refugees now living in India. This past April, Dr. Keller participated in a PHR investigation conducted in the refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia documenting human rights abuses in Kosovo. Since 1996, Dr. Keller has taught an undergraduate seminar on health and human rights abuses in Kosovo. Since 1996, Dr. Keller has taught an undergraduate seminar on health and human rights at Princeton University.


Sowore Omoyele

Location: New York

Areas of Focus: Country conditions in Nigeria and personal experience as a survivor of torture.

Personal Profile: Mr. Sowore is a 29-year-old national of Nigeria. From 1989-1995 he was a well-known student leader and pro-democracy activist at the University of Lagos. Since 1989, he has endured multiple arrests, imprisonment, interrogations and torture for his outspoken and uncompromising stand against successive military regimes as well as his advocacy for minority rights in the Delta.
Mr. Sowore moved to New York in 1999 to seek treatment at the Bellevue-NYU Program for Torture Survivors, his costs covered in part by the World Organization Against Torture. He has very strong intentions to return to Nigeria when his treatment is complete. He is fluent in both English and Yoruba.

 

Dr. Michael Grodin, MD

Location: Massachusetts

Personal Profile: Dr. Grodin is Director of the BCRHHR’s Education, Human Rights and Advocacy Program, and Professor of Health Law, Psychiatry and Socio-Medical Sciences and Community Medicine at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, where he is the recipient of the Norman A. Scotch Award for Excellence in Training. He has been on the faculty of Boston University for the past twenty-two years, the Medical Ethicist at BMC, and has served on the board of directors of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, and is a consultant on Ethics and Research with Human Subjects for the International Organizations of Medical Sciences and the World Health Organization. Dr. Grodin is the Co-Founder of Global Lawyers and Physicians: Working Together for Human Rights, an international NGO, and he has received a special citation from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in recognition of his “profound contributions – through original and creative research – to the cause of Holocaust education and remembrance.” He has had extensive experience working with survivors of torture and refugee trauma.
Dr. Grodin has delivered several hundred national and international addresses, written more than one hundred scholarly papers, and edited or co-edited 4 books, including a reader published by Routledge on Health and Human Rights, that was selected as second of the top 10 humanitarian books of 1999.

Margaret (Meg) Satterthwaite

Location: New York

Areas of Focus: Human Rights in the “War on Terror”; special expertise on “extraordinary renditions,” disappearances, and the use of proxy prisons.

Personal Profile: Margaret Satterthwaite is a professor and Research Director for the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law. Her research and advocacy currently focuses on human rights abuses in the “war on terror.” Under her direction, the CHRGJ published (with the ABCNY) the first comprehensive report on the issue of “extraordinary renditions,” entitled Torture by Proxy, and she has co-authored several follow-up reports since. Her recent scholarship includes Rendered Meaningless: Extraordinary Rendition and the Rule of Law, 75 GEORGE WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW (2007). Prof. Satterthwaite is an expert in human rights law, and also served from 2005-2007 on the Board of Directors of AIUSA. For more information, see www.chrgj.org.

 

Sondra Crosby, M.D.

Location: Massachusetts

Personal Profile: Dr. Sondra Crosby is the Director of Medical Services at the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and a member of the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center. To date, she has examined almost 300 survivors of torture and provides instruction to physicians and health care workers about caring for survivors of torture. She has a specific interest in HIV infected refugees and torture survivors, and has published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) about the special needs of this population as well as in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). She graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Crosby is currently developing a curriculum for primary care doctors.


Joe W. (Chip) Pitts III

Location: Massachusetts

Areas of Focus: Torture, Extraordinary Rendition, Secret Prisons, Guantanamo, Darfur, Congo

Personal Profile: Law Educator (lecturing at Stanford and Oxford this semester), Investor, and Human Rights/Civil Liberties Activist (former Chair AIUSA, current President, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, www.bordc.org, and People's Campaign for the Constitution, www.constitutioncampaign.org). Co-Author and Editor of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis (2009), as well as "A Guide to Corporate Accountability" (2008) (published under auspices of BLIHR and the Harvard Kennedy School), and various other book chapters, publications, and articles on human rights topics. Current Board and Advisory Board roles include the Negotiations Center (University of Texas at Dallas), The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (London), ACLU (Dallas), United Nations Association (Dallas), Business Leaders Initiative for Human Rights (www.blihr.org). Former Chief Legal Officer, Nokia, Inc.; former partner Baker & McKenzie law firm. Frequent speaker and writer on issues of torture, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, Guantanamo, Darfur, Congo, and other human rights issues.

 

Scott Horton

Location: New York

Personal Profile: Scott Horton is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hofstra Law School for the academic year 2008-09, where he will teach courses dealing with national security law and public and private international law. He is also a legal affairs contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine and writes on law and legal policy issues for several other publications. A life-long human rights advocate, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, where he currently serves as a trustee, and has been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror, including major studies of the introduction of highly coercive interrogation techniques and the program of extraordinary renditions for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also an associate of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, Center on Law and Security of NYU Law School, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of a recent study on legal accountability for private military contractors, Private Security Contractors at War. He appeared as an expert witness for the House Judiciary Committee three times in the past year testifying on the legal status of private military contractors and the program of extraordinary renditions.

 

Vincent Warren

Location: New York

Areas of Focus: Guantanamo, global detention, torture, abuse of executive power, civil rights, racial justice, defending dissent, legal analysis, surveillance and political repression

Personal Profile: Vincent Warren became executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in 2006. He spent seven years as national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he led national constitutional and impact litigation to advance civil rights and civil liberties. In that capacity, he litigated Gratz v. Bollinger, the companion to the landmark case upholding affirmative action in college admissions. Beyond the courtroom, he was a leading African American voice for affirmative action, collaborating with the African American Policy Forum to launch a national public education project about local policies to remedy systemic discrimination. At the ACLU he also litigated Dasrath v. Continental Airlines on behalf of plaintiffs removed from an airplane shortly after 9/11 because they were perceived to be Arab or Muslim. Vince coordinated the ACLU's Hurricane Katrina Response Team; established the ACLU Native American Working Group to advance civil rights and combat educational discrimination in the Dakotas; and created and chaired the New York Indigent Defense Litigation Roundtable. Vince has also worked as a staff attorney in the criminal defense division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, the single largest provider of criminal defense services for the City of New York. His public service includes working as a judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court in New York; monitoring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearings in South Africa under the auspices of the National Lawyers Guild; and serving as a volunteer with the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami.

 

Dr. Maureen Jones-Ryan

Location: Arizona (Winter) / Maine (Summer)

Areas of Focus: Country Specialization - Turkey

Personal Profile: Dr. Jones-Ryan is Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Recovery Institute (SARI) in Phoenix, AZ and the National Director of the International Sexual Abuse Memorial. Dr. Jones-Ryan has treated victims, survivors and offenders for over 30 years. She is in Arizona from November through March and in Maine/New Brunswick from April through October.

SOUTHERN REGION

Darija Pichanick

Location: Georgia

Area of Focus: Countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia); Non-traditional approaches in working with torture survivors, especially women

Personal Profile: Darija Pichanick is a documentary filmmaker and an asylee from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a survivor of war trauma. She has worked with refugee women and children and female torture survivors, first at the Save the Children Atlanta, then at the Refugee Women’s Network, Inc., a national organization of refugee women based in Atlanta, and for the past 6 years as a community volunteer. Ms. Pichanik has testified before the United Nations for the establishment of an International Criminal Court. Darija is a recipient of the 1996 Refugee Woman of Promise Award given by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and 2001 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Coalition of Concerned Africans. She served as a Board member of Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Refugee Women's Network, Inc., Women in Film/Atlanta, and various other not-for-profit organizations. Ms. Pichanick is fluent in Bosnian (Serbian, Croatian), English and French.

 

Rick Halperin

Location: Texas

Areas of Focus: The Holocaust, and its historical legacies for today's human rights activists; Genocide (since 1945) and its profound ramifications for today's world; The history of torture, spurring people to understand this as a human rights education issue and getting them active with torture centers in their locales; the death penalty—the current status of global and US realities on this issue.

Personal Profile: I teach graduate and undergraduate Human Rights courses, and have worked extensively with the Center for Survivors of Torture here in Dallas, as well as with the Dallas and US Holocaust Memorial Museums and with other similar entities. I am currently the Director of the SMU Human Rights Education Program, and serve as the President of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; I am currently the Director of the SMU Human Rights Education Program, and serve as the President of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

 

Ajamu Baraka

Location: Georgia

Areas of Focus: Human Rights

Personal Profile: An experienced grassroots organizer, activist, and educator, Ajamu Baraka currently serves as Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network, a US based network of over 250 human rights and social justice organizations committed to ending US Global impunity and "exceptionalism." Ajamu's human rights work, teaching and activism spans more than three decades with a number of national and international organizations and academic institutions. Ajamu has taught political science at several universities including Clark Atlanta University. In 1998, Ajamu was honored by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as one of the 300 human rights defenders from around the world.

 

Kristine. A. Huskey

Location: Texas

Areas of Focus: International human rights law, war crimes, military commissions

Personal Profile: Kristine Huskey directs the National Security & Human Rights Clinic. She recently taught in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law and represented Omar Khadr, the young Canadian citizen detained at Guantanamo and charged with war crimes under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Professor Huskey also represented the Guantanamo detainees in Rasul v. Bush, which went before the Supreme Court in 2004 and won the right of the detainees to challenge their detentions in federal court. She has been to Guantanamo over a dozen times and has frequently appeared in the media to discuss Guantanamo and “war on terrorism” issues. Professor Huskey was profiled in the December 2006 issue of Marie Claire as a “Woman to Watch”, was the subject of the bi-weekly program, “Working Women,” on ABC News, and was featured in Texas Lawyer. She is a Fellow at the Robert S Strauss Center for International Security and Law and a contributing author to One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers, an anthology addressing the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Professor Huskey was an attorney in the International Litigation and Arbitration practice group at Shearman & Sterling LLP for eight years, representing primarily international entities, including OPEC, the Mexican tomato industry, and PDVSA, Venezuela's national oil company. She was also an adjunct professor in the International Human Rights Clinic at George Washington University Law School, an adjunct faculty advisor to the Howard University School of Law International Law Moot Court Team, and a visiting professor on international human rights and humanitarian law at Victoria University Law School in New Zealand.

 

Azadeh Shahshahani

Location: Georgia

Area of Focus: Anything having to do with torture/detention in the post-9/11 context.

Personal Profile: Azadeh Shahshahani is the Director of the newly launched National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia. The project is aimed at advocating for immigrant communities in Georgia who have experienced grave erosion of their civil liberties in the post 9/11 atmosphere.
Shahshahani previously served as Interim Legal Director for the ACLU of Georgia. Before her move to Atlanta, she worked with the ACLU of North Carolina as Muslim/Middle Eastern Community Outreach Coordinator. In that capacity, she initiated a statewide campaign against racial profiling; coordinated a Continuing Legal Education seminar to train attorneys to represent Muslim and Middle Eastern clients facing civil liberties violations; and led a statewide campaign calling for the investigation of a North Carolina-based air carrier which has transported foreign nationals to torture and detention. Shahshahani is a 2004 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a participant in the Third Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law and served as Article Editor for The Michigan Journal of International Law. While in law school, Shahshahani completed a fellowship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, DC; a research fellowship with a women’s rights organization in Iran; as well as an internship with an immigrants’ rights organization in Los Angeles.

 

WESTERN REGION

Professor William J. Aceves

Location: California

Areas of Focus: International Law; Human Rights; International Criminal Law; Law of War; Impunity Issues.

Personal Profile: William J. Aceves is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at California Western School of Law. Professor Aceves frequently works with Amnesty International, the Center for Justice & Accountability, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union on projects involving the domestic application of international law. He has also represented several human rights and civil liberties organizations as amicus curiae counsel in cases before the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of The Anatomy of Torture: A Documentary History of Filartiga v. Pena-Irala (Martinus Nijhoff 2007) and the influential Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) Safe Haven report. He has served on the Board of Directors of AIUSA and is presently the Ombudsperson. He is a member of the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union and serves on the Board of the Center for Justice & Accountability. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association. In 2007, he served as Co-Chair for the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law. Professor Aceves has appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Migrants, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

 

Adrianne Aron, Ph.D.

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Political asylum and the significance of a safe environment in recovery from the psychological effects of torture, as well as a particular, though not exclusive, focus on Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Personal Profile: Dr. Aron has worked for many years with individuals who have suffered torture and other forms of traumatic abuse, and are seeking protection and/or seeking to denounce their abusers and bring them to justice. For persons applying for political asylum in the United States she performs psychological evaluations to demonstrate a correspondence between their current psychological functioning and their accounts of what happened to them in their home countries. As clinical director of the Centro Ignacio Martin-Baro, a project of the Committee for Health Rights in the Americas (CHRIA), she trained other mental health professionals to work with torture survivors. She has published articles on psychological effects of torture, treatment strategies, and gender differences in the application of sexual abuse as a form of political repression. Her work is informed by concepts of liberation psychology as developed by Dr. Ignacio Martin-Baro of El Salvador. She co-edited a selection of his writings, translated from the Spanish: WRITINGS FOR A LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY (Harvard University Press). In private practice in California, Dr. Aron has also attended to persons persecuted because of their sexual identity or orientation. She is fluent in Spanish.

 

Nestor M. Fantini

Location: California

Personal Profile: Nestor Fantini is an Argentine educator and journalist who resides in California. During the Argentinean Dirty War of the 1970s, he was arrested, tortured and held by the military over the course of four years. Throughout 1976, as a political prisoner in Cordoba’s UP1, he was a witness to General Luciano Benjamin Menendez’s soldiers extra-judicially executing 30 fellow political prisoners. Adopted as a Prisoner of Conscience by AI, Fantini was finally released on July 14, 1979. A key factor in his release was the work of members of an AI group from Austin, Texas –particularly, the efforts of Mary Evelyn Porter, who was responsible for Fantini’s case. Porter became so involved in his situation that she ended up traveling to Argentina when Fantini was released. Ultimately, they both decided to move to Canada where Fantini was offered protection by the Canadian government. There, they married and had a child who some nicknamed the “Amnesty Kid.” Since then, Fantini has been actively promoting the goals of AI and insisting that the work of this organization does make a difference to people who, in various regions of the world, are still oppressed by totalitarian regimes. Lately, he has doubled efforts to warn that the Argentinean Dirty War should serve as a cautionary lesson of what U.S. institutions should avoid in its War on Terror.
Mr. Fantini speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese

 

Carlos Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Refugee Issues.

Personal Profile: Carlos has done research and treatment in the area of torture survivors and Latin American refugees. He has also trained other health professionals doing torture rehabilitation in El Salvador.

 

Gerald Gray

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Clinical (psychological) treatment of torture impunity issues.

Personal Profile: Gerald has 18 years’ experience in psychotherapy with torture survivors. He founded Survivors International, the San Francisco torture treatment center, in 1986, and served as the SI Board President from 1988-98. He founded the Center for Justice & Accountability in 1998, and used to serve as the first Executive Director. He is currently an Ashoka Foundation fellow working on impunity problems. With the two experiences of providing therapy for 18 years to torture survivors, and establishing legal centers (US and Canada) to track their torturers, he works a lot on bringing clinical support to the human rights legal system. Interpreters, lawyers, judges and others (as well as clinicians) are finding themselves with PTSD symptoms from exposure to survivors, and that can affect work adversely unless attended to.
He is otherwise still involved in setting up legal centers to find and take action against torturers.

 

Diego E. Zavala

Location: Puerto Rico

Area of Focus: Mexico specialist, Latin America in general, Rehabilitation and fundamental principles for treatment of survivors of torture.

Personal Profile: Mr. Zavala has been an AIUSA member since 1981. AI Sweden sponsored an international conference on torture and Mr. Zavala organized and participated in a workshop for health professionals on the U.S. – Mexico border at that conference. Mr. Zavala has extensive presentation materials and he is also fluent in Spanish.

 

Jose Quiroga, MD

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Epidemiological & statistical aspects; medical & psychological consequences; medical & psychological evaluation; legal aspects of political asylum; medical & psychological treatment; social support.

Personal Profile: Dr. Quiroga has worked with survivors for more than 20 years. He is currently the Medical Director of the Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles. He has participated as consultant in the UCLA School of Medicine project “Torture Prevalence and Sequelae in Primary Care Clinics” that was presented for funding to the NIH. He has also been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Danish Government to write, in collaboration with Dr. Roger Gurr of Australia, a report on “Approaches to Torture Rehabilitation: A desk study covering effects, cost effectiveness, participation and sustainability.” Dr. Quiroga speaks both Spanish and English.

 

Laurel Fletcher

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Illegal detentions

Personal Profile: She is a co-author of a new report by Cal Human Rights Clinic called: "Guantánamo and its Aftermath." She is prepared to talk about the report. The report, "Guantánamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees," based on a two-year study, reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of Bush Administration policies on the lives of 62 released detainees. Many of the prisoners were sold into captivity and subjected to brutal treatment in U.S. prison camps. Once in Guantánamo, prisoners were denied access to civilian courts to challenge the legality of their detention. Almost two-thirds of the former detainees interviewed reported having psychological problems since leaving Guantánamo.

 

Darius Rejali

Location: Oregon

Areas of Focus: Violence, Torture and Interrogation

Personal Profile: Darius Rejali, professor of political science at Reed College, is a nationally recognized expert on government torture and interrogation. Iranian-born, Rejali has spent his scholarly career reflecting on violence, and, specifically, reflecting on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture in our world. His work spans concerns in political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, and critical social theory. Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007) is Rejali’s most recent book. It is an unrelenting examination of the use of torture by democracies in the 20th century. As democracy, human rights, and the free press blossomed after World War II, so did the market for “clean” torture techniques that leave no evidentiary scars, such as the use of drugs, stress positions, and waterboarding. Rejali reveals the most controversial Western intelligence-gathering techniques, explains their origins, and questions if their use actually hinders the torturer’s ability to gather credible intelligence. Torture and Democracy won the 2007 Human Rights Book of the Year Award from the American Political Science Association. The award is decided on the merits of the book’s scholarship and for its capacity to influence policy or bring about change in human rights conventions. Torture and Democracy has also placed Rejali in the international media spotlight, positioning him among the world’s preeminent scholars on torture. He has been interviewed so often, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, that a Google search of his name returns over 20,000 results from news sources that range from Democracy Now! to Al Jazeera and from the BBC to the Washington Post. In 2003, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named Rejali a Carnegie Scholar and awarded him a grant of $100,000. This grant supported Rejali’s research, and in particular his forthcoming work, Approaches to Violence (Princeton, 2008), which is based on a course he pioneered at Reed College. Rejali was one of thirteen scholars selected in 2003 in this prestigious and highly competitive national competition across multiple fields. Carnegie Scholars cannot apply for this honor; they must be nominated. Rejali is the first Iranian American to receive the honor. Rejali is also the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, Society and State in Modern Iran (Westview, 1994) as well as many recent articles on violence including masculinity and torture, media representations of torture, the political thought of Osama bin Ladin, the history of electric torture, the practice of stoning in the Middle East, the treatment of refugees who have been tortured, and theories of ethnic rape. Rejali has been a member of the Reed faculty since 1989. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from McGill University and a B.A. in philosophy from Swarthmore College. He is a member of the editorial board of Human Rights Review.

 

Professor David Kaye

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Illegal detentions, Guantanamo, and the legal aspects of the war on terror

Personal Profile: David Kaye is the Executive Director of the UCLA International Human Rights Program and the director of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on International Justice

 

Professor Barbara Olshansky

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Illegal detentions, Guantanamo, and the legal aspects of the war on terror

Personal Profile: Professor Olshansky is known for her groundbreaking work on the 2004 Rasul v. Bush case, in which the Supreme Court of the United States overruled a lower court ruling and found that American courts have jurisdiction over claims brought by Guantánamo detainees who are foreign nationals. She is also the co-author of several books, including Against War with Iraq and Democracy Detained: Secret, Unconstitutional Practices in the U.S. War on Terror.

 

Ana Deutsch

Location: California

Areas of Focus: Psychological consequences of torture, psychotherapy, Integral Services for Survivors.

Personal Profile: Ana has a degree in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of Cordole, Argentina (1964). She came to the US in 1977 as a political exile. She founded the Program for Torture Victims, with Dr. Jose Quiroga, in 1980, and has worked with victims since then. She has lectured on the topic in the US and abroad and has been called as an expert witness in landmark federal court cases involving victims of torture.

 

Dr. Maureen Jones-Ryan

Location: Arizona (Winter) / Maine (Summer)

Areas of Focus: Country Specialization – Turkey

Personal Profile: Dr. Jones-Ryan is Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Recovery Institute (SARI) in Phoenix, AZ and the National Director of the International Sexual Abuse Memorial. Dr. Jones-Ryan has treated victims, survivors and offenders for over 30 years. She is in Arizona from November through March and in Maine/New Brunswick from April through October.