As we begin a new year fighting for justice (our 50th!), we’d like to thank the thousands of CCR supporters and donors who helped make last year’s victories possible and who, through their continued support, ensure CCR has the necessary resources to take on the fights of 2016. Here’s what’s coming up in the year ahead:
- Holding Bush Officials Accountable. After last year’s victory in our longstanding efforts to hold high-level Bush officials accountable for the post-9/11 sweeps, disappearances, and abusive detention of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrants (that some on the right are seem eager to revive), the government appears poised to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. If they do, we will be there demanding accountability for Ashcroft’s destructive profiling policies.
- Ending Muslim Surveillance and Religious Profiling. A federal appeals court reinstated our case Hassan v. City of New York, in a stirring, landmark decision that drew the historical parallels between the blanket surveillance of our clients and the treatment of “Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare, African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese-Americans during World War II.” We move to the next stage of the case to demonstrate that overbroad claims of “national security” cannot justify religious profiling. In light of the toxic rhetoric in the air regarding Muslims, this will be a key civil rights fight this year.
- Advancing the Stop-and-Frisk Reform Process. With the massive NYPD reform process from our landmark case Floyd v. City of New York officially underway, we will continue to press for meaningful, additional reforms to end the legacy of race-based policing in New York. This year, as part of the community driven reform process CCR asked the judge to implement in the ruling, the court will consider reforms directly requested by impacted communities.
The reform process has already resulted in new policies regarding bias-based policing, trainings for 36,000 NYPD officers on constitutional policing, and revised forms to document and review the legality of stops, among other things.
In 2016 we will also continue our support for the burgeoning Movement for Black Lives.
- Standing with LGBTQ Activists. CCR’s one-of-a-kind case on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda (an umbrella group for LGBTQI advocacy groups) against anti-gay religious extremist Scott Lively, for his pivotal role in the persecution of LGBTQI Ugandans, is proceeding into the next phase of litigation in 2016.
- Supporting Palestinian human rights organizations. CCR is partnering with human rights defenders in Palestine in efforts to bring high-level Israeli government officials before the International Criminal Court for international law violations.
- Closing Guantánamo and Ending Indefinite Detention Without Charge. CCR has led the legal battle to close Guantánamo for 14 years, representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men detained at Guantánamo. With the prison entering its 15th year in operation and only a year left for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close it, CCR will continue to lead the fight to release men unjustly detained and shutter the prison once and for all.
- Challenging Corporate Impunity for Torture. Having obtained the first settlement for post-9/11 torture against one private military contractor, we are still pursuing our suit against another – CACI – for its role in torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison. This year we will be back in the federal appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling that concluded – like John Yoo did – that the definition of torture is too ambiguous, and instead have the court find that torture cannot be a policy choice, whether for the military or the president, but is always illegal, and corporations like CACI that participate in such unlawful conduct can be held accountable.
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- And whatever else it takes to keep fighting for civil and human rights!
January 11, 2016