Lead Attorney for Guantánamo Detainees to Speak Here Feb. 28

Issue Date: 
February 26, 2007

On Feb. 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a recent law that prohibits detainees from challenging their detention at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Gitanjali Gutierrez, lead counsel for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York representing Guantánamo detainees, will present a free public lecture titled “Guantánamo: The Fight for Human Rights” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Pitt Barco Law Building’s Teplitz Memorial Courtroom.

Gutierrez, who has made more than 10 trips to the base, was the first civilian attorney to visit a client at the Guantánamo prison. A member of the original legal team in Rasul v. Bush, the landmark Guantánamo case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Gutierrez advises hundreds of pro bono attorneys working with CCR in representing the detainees. In 2005, she authored a report chronicling the origins and scope of the major hunger strikes by Guantánamo Bay Camp prisoners.

Gutierrez’s high-profile clients include Mohammed Al Qahtani, the “Prisoner 063” whose brutal interrogations were documented by Time magazine, and Majid Khan, a former U.S. resident who was one of the 14 detainees transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons abroad. Gutierrez has been denied access to Khan on the grounds that allowing Khan to see counsel would threaten disclosure of the torture techniques used during his interrogations.

An adjunct professor at Cornell University Law School, Gutierrez teaches courses there on international human rights law and terrorism.

Her lecture here is sponsored by Pitt’s School of Law, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. For more information, call 412-241-6087.