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Oral history interview with Ramzi Kassem [electronic resource], 2011-2013.

Creator: Kassem, Ramzi, 1978-
Project: Rule of law oral history project
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Assistant Professor of Law, City University of New York Law School.

Scope and Contents

Born 1978, Beirut, Lebanon. Education: B.A., Columbia University, 1999; J.D. Columbia University, 2002, Maitrise, the Sorbonne, 2004. Career: legal intern, American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU]; Ella Baker Fellow, Center for Constitutional Rights [CCR]; Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Civil Rights Fellow, Cochran Neufeld & Scheck; Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School; Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law; Assistant Professor of Law, City University of New York [CUNY]. Reminiscences: childhood experiences in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Jordan; education in the United States and France; personal experience of 9/11; fellowship work defending wrongfully convicted inmates; teaching experiences at Fordham clinic and work with Guantánamo detainees. Discussions: cultural climates of Baghdad, Damascus and Amman prior to “war on terror”; shifted opinions on racial profiling among law school colleagues following 9/11; unwarranted imprisonment and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans immediately after 9/11; Guantánamo security clearance process; first trip to Guantánamo; U.S. government's censorship of communications between lawyers and detainee families; Saudi Rehabilitation Program as extension of imprisonment; Guantánamo hunger strikes; current conditions at Guantánamo; ongoing defense of detainees Shaker Aamer, Ahmed Zuhair Amin al-Bakri, and others; Bagram prison and its legality; Obama administration's “war on terror” policies as extensions of Bush administration policies; habeas corpus rights of Guantánamo and other black site detainees; legal precedents of 2006 Military Commissions Act; ineffectualness of torture as a means to gather credible information. Cases discussed: Boumediene v. Bush; al-Maqaleh v. Gates; Rasul v. Bush; Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.


Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2014. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.

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