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Majid Khan Publicly Describes Torture at Sentencing Hearing

For the first time, a United States military commission jury urged clemency for a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Majid Khan, at a sentencing hearing. The jury’s recommendation, noting the severe abuse Khan endured while in detention, highlights the profound…
Photo of a man with black hair and a bear
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Despite US Federal Court Ruling, Continued Detention Likely

In a small step toward justice, a United States federal judge ruled this week that because Haroon Gul, an Afghan held at Guantanamo Bay, was not a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force, the US had no legal basis for detaining him. The US…
Afghan refugee Roman Khan at a refugee camp near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in September 2020, displays a photograph of his brother Asadullah Haroon, who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
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Hate Incidents on the Rise in the US Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

One year after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of new Covid-19 infections is falling, but violent attacks and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and people of Asian descent continue to rise. Since March 2020,…
A man holds a sign reading “#StopAsianHate” outside Youngs Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia on March 17, 2021, where four people were fatally shot the day before. 
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Federal and Local Governments Should Invest in Community Safety

  Cities across the United States are seeing numerous unprovoked attacks against Asian-Americans, particularly older people, according to a new study by a coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination. On January…
Decorative lanterns hang above Mott street in Manhattan's Chinatown district before the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, New York, NY, February 9, 2021. 
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Secretary of State Dismisses Concerns over Recent Police Abuses

Comments this week by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo show little recognition that United States human rights violations in its own backyard have implications for its foreign policy. While all US administrations have downplayed US violations of…
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, April 29, 2020.
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Secretary of State Pompeo Riled by Possible Palestine Investigation

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo once again threatened the International Criminal Court (ICC), this time saying the Trump administration will “exact consequences” if the ICC “continues down its current course” – that is, if the court…
Then-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2018. © 2018 Reuters
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Member Countries Should Signal Support

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 17 threatened two staff members of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He called them out by name, claimed they were putting Americans at risk, and intimated that the US could act against…
ICC permanent premises
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Guantanamo Testimony on Waterboarding, Black Sites

In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States, Dr. James Mitchell vividly described his role in torturing detainees in the program he helped design…
The closed Camp X-Ray detention facility is seen in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, April 16, 2019.
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Court Hears from Architects of CIA Torture Program

In the gallery at the back of the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay’s military commission hearing, I could open a copy of Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell’s widely available book chronicling his role in the United States Central…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
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Bolton Tirade Prompted by Looming Afghanistan Investigation

Yesterday, US national security advisor John Bolton denounced the International Criminal Court (ICC), announcing in a speech that the Trump administration would no longer cooperate with the court and rattling off a number of threats…
International Criminal Court
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US Student Rape Victims Still Need Title IX

Eighty percent of female university students who have been sexually assaulted do not report it. I am one of them. Now, I fear that the US Department of Education will make it even harder for survivors like me to come forward. …
Protesters hold signs to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus at the Stanford University commencement ceremony in Palo Alto, California on U.S. June 12, 2016.
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When Sexual Harassment and Abuse Hits Close to Home

“Why would anyone do that?” My son asked this as he looked at the photo of Al Franken, Senator of our home state of Minnesota, posing with his hands over radio host Leeann Tweeden’s breasts as she slept, a stupid grin on his face. My son…
A boy looks at a writing on the ground during a protest in support of women's rights, in New York City, U.S. on October 7, 2017.
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More Resources for Review Boards Could Aid Those Wrongfully Discharged

Many US military personnel who reported being raped or sexually assaulted by other armed service members have been discharged on erroneous mental health grounds. But being assigned a mental disorder – one they were never even diagnosed with – has…
Gary Noling holding dogtags belonging to his daughter, Carri Goodwin, a rape victim who died of acute alcohol intoxication less than a week after receiving an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Marines.
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Keeping Facility Open Threatens US National Security

US president-elect Donald Trump’s tweet yesterday that everyone held at Guantanamo Bay is “extremely dangerous” is ill-informed. What’s worse, his proposed course of action – stopping all releases – shows a lack of understanding about the danger of…
A detainee paces around a cell block while being held in Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp VI at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 22, 2016.
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Judge orders evidence destroyed related to defendants’ secret detention, torture

A trial of the five men charged with the 9/11 attacks is still years away – a fact that became obvious while sitting in on last week’s pre-trial hearings in the Guantanamo Bay military commissions. The co-defendants were arraigned in May 2012, yet…
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (2nd R) the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, addresses the judge during the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval
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When members of the US military report a sexual assault up their chain of command, they often experience terrible retaliation from other military personnel. But a bill introduced into the US Senate today could help stem this harmful practice. …