Senior Staff Attorney
Pardiss Kebriaei is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where her work encompasses "national security" and criminal justice issues. Current clients include Sharqawi Al Hajj, a citizen of Yemen detained indefinitely without charge in Guantánamo (Al Hajj v. Trump), and men and women sentenced to Death By Incarceration, a.k.a. Life Without Parole, in Pennsylvania state prisons (Scott v. PABPP).
She joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2007 as part of its then-dedicated Guantánamo Justice Initiative, and has represented detainees continuously since then. She also represented the families of two men who died in the prison in 2006 in federal court (Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Al-Zahrani v. United States). She was lead counsel for the Center for Constitutional Rights in the first cases challenging the U.S. "targeted killing" program (Al-Aulaqi v. Obama and Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta). She has also represented or served as amici to people unjustly charged with terrorism, in the process of their appeals or in challenging their uniquely harsh conditions of confinement, including Special Administrative Measures. These individuals include Ahmed Abu Ali, who is currently serving a Life Without Parole sentence in the Communications Management Unit in Terre Haute, IN, after a conviction based on a tortured confession during a two-year period of incommunicado detention in Saudi Arabia.
Prior to the Center for Constitutional Rights she worked in the international program at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She has also taught at Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges of the City University of New York. She graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in history and cello performance, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Her writing includes "My Client Has Spent More Than a Third of His Life Imprisoned in Guantánamo," The Nation, January 2018; "Why a Guantánamo Detainee Would Refuse a Chance to Leave," Rolling Stone, June 2016; "'I have become a body without a soul': 13 years detained in Guantánamo," The Guardian, August 2015; "Life After Guantánamo," Harper's Magazine, April 2015; "The Torture that Flourishes from Gitmo to an American Supermax," The Nation, Janunary 2014; “We are dying a slow death here,” MSNBC, April 2013; and "U.S. Targeted Killing Policy: A Response to Jeh Johnson," Yale Law & Policy Review, 2013. She has appeared on numerous media outlets, including PBS News Hour, CBS Evening News, Democracy Now! and MSNBC.