May 18, 2011, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) expressed profound concern over the University of Georgia School of Law’s decision to appoint former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson to its faculty. During Thompson’s time as Deputy Attorney General, he personally decided that Canadian citizen Maher Arar would not be allowed to proceed from the United States to Canada, where Mr. Arar lived, thereby participating in the plan to subject him to an extraordinary rendition by sending him to Syria, where he was tortured and detained for a year. CCR issued the following statement which may be attributed to Senior Staff Attorney and counsel to Mr. Arar, Maria LaHood:
"The Center for Constitutional Rights is profoundly concerned at the news that the University of Georgia School of Law has hired former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson as a permanent member of its law school faculty. Mr. Thompson played a prominent role in the extraordinary rendition of our client, Maher Arar, to Syria where he was tortured and detained for a year. Mr. Arar’s case caused international outrage that led the Canadian government to launch a public inquiry, exonerate him of any wrongdoing, acknowledge their role in his treatment, and compensate him. It would be shocking if the Law School were aware of Mr. Thompson’s role in this case and hired him nonetheless. The notion that Mr. Thompson should be held out as a model for future law students when in fact he should be, at a bare minimum, investigated for his role in Mr. Arar’s rendition to torture is astonishing. We call on the Law School to investigate and reconsider its appointment of Mr. Thompson accordingly. Anything short of a full investigation into this matter would bring into question the integrity of The University of Georgia School of Law."
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.