Stop Torture

The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Students and Activists Demand Habeas Now

Posted by stoptorture on December 6th, 2007

Students and activists held protests on campuses and in front of federal court houses in solidarity with Guantánamo detainees in the lead up to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments December 5, 2007.

The Court in the Boumediene case is set to decide the question of whether detainees can challenge the lawfulness of their detention in court through the centuries old legal guaranteed of habeas corpus rights. Currently, the government claims the detainees, held indefinitely without charge on the island prison, have no right to appear before a judge.

Members of Witness Against Torture protested in front of the Supreme Court itself, making for a striking juxtaposition of the symbols of injustice and supposed justice.

At a protest in front of New York’s federal circuit court building involving NYU students and activist leaders, Betty Brassel, 77 and member of the Granny Peace Brigade and the Raging Grannies, said “everyone deserves a fair trial.” NYU student Elena Landriscina explained that the protest was to “to raise public consciousness about the issue of habeas.”

Nina Catalano, one of the coordinators of a protest on Harvard campus involving mock renditions, distilled the question before the Court in Boumediene in a less legalistic way: “If you are in a cell and there is no judge to hear you when you scream, do you make a sound?”

The protests were coordinated in large part through the work of Susan Hu at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

M�chel Angela Martinez, 2007 M�chel Angela Martinez, 2007

Photo Credit: Míchel Angela Martinez, 2007

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