When: Tuesday, February 5th at 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Where: Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL
SPEAKERS:Omar Farah of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); Professor Marc Falkoff of Northern Illinois University; Patricia Bronte of the Civil Liberties Committee of the Chicago Council of Lawyers (chair and moderator)
PROGRAM:The program will sketch a broad overview of Guantánamo today, and focus on the plight of the 86 men who remain trapped there despite having been cleared for release by the unanimous agreement of the nation’s top intelligence, national security, law enforcement, and military officials. These 86 cleared men make up more than half the population imprisoned at Guantánamo, and taxpayers continue to spend $70 million per year to keep them imprisoned. The program will also address the detained men’s efforts to obtain habeas corpus relief in federal courts and examine the congressional restrictions on their release. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.
ISN 310: Djamel Ameziane’s Decade in Guantánamo—a brand new short documentary—will also be screened for the very first time. It tells the story of Djamel Ameziane, a client of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and an Algerian man who was cleared in 2008 and who has been detained since 2002 without charge.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Marc Falkoff is a professor at Northern Illinois University College of Law, and since 2004, he has represented seventeen men detained by the U.S. military at Guantánamo. Marc was one of the attorneys for Adnan Latif, the young Yemeni man who in September 2013 became the ninth prisoner to die at Guantánamo, and the fourth man to die there since President Obama came into office. Adnan was repeatedly cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations, but remained imprisoned until his death because the President has imposed a moratorium on all transfers to Yemen. Marc is also editor of the book Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak, and published one of Adnan’s poems there. For his work, Marc was named the Charles F.C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2005 by Covington & Burling, LLP. Along with other habeas counsel, he received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award in 2007 from the Southern Center for Human Rights, and the Bill of Rights in Action Award in 2008 from the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Chicago.
Omar Farah is Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Since 2008, he has represented several men detained at Guantánamo Bay in habeas corpus litigation in federal court. Omar is co-counsel in Ameziane v. United States, the first case about a Guantánamo detainee heard by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The case centers on Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian man who was cleared in 2008 and who has been detained since 2002 without charge. Ameziane is also the subject of CCR’s new documentary film, ISN 310: Djamel Ameziane’s Decade in Guantánamo. Omar is also counsel in Al-Hamiri v. Obama, the case of a Yemeni man wrongfully arrested in Pakistan while seeking medical treatment, but who remains at Guantánamo despite being cleared for transfer. Omar is counsel in Ba Odah v. Obama, the case of another uncharged Yemeni man who has been on a hunger-strike since February 2007 to protest his indefinite detention. Omar comments regularly on Guantanamo and related national security matters. Beyond his Guantánamo work, Omar is co-counsel in Hassan v. City of New York, a case challenging the NYPD’s expansive program to target and surveil Muslim Americans in New Jersey, and he focuses on a range of CCR’s other litigation and advocacy in response to abusive counterterrorism practices.
Patricia Bronte is a sole practitioner in Chicago who represents employees in discrimination cases. She has represented several men detained at Guantánamo Bay since 2005, when she was a partner of Jenner & Block LLP. Patricia also co-authored an amicus brief submitted to the federal appellate court in Boumediene v. Bush on behalf of seven retired federal judges. Patricia received the Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award in 2005, and she was the first recipient of the Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the Civil Liberties Committee of the Chicago Council of Lawyers.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, American Constitution Society, Chicago Bar Association, Union League Club of Chicago