Deadline March 21 for IU McKinney Alumni, Faculty and Staff to Apply to Visit Guantanamo Bay for Hearings
IU McKinney’s Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL) is putting together a contingent to travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during April to observe hearings related to the September 11 attacks and the attack on the USS Cole. PIHRL was granted nongovernmental organization observer status in February by the Pentagon’s Guantanamo Bay Convening Authority. Details and information on how to apply are available on the PIRHL portion of the IU McKinney website.
PIHRL has formed the Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP) to carry out the teaching, research, and service related to effort, and to make it possible for IU McKinney alumni, faculty, and staff to observe the hearings.
“The Pentagon selected IU McKinney because we have the ability to observe, assess, and draw informed conclusions about the Guantanamo Military Commission system,” said Professor George Edwards, director of PIHRL. “Our program’s pledge is to present findings based on what we observe, and not based on any preconceived views. Our students will be better judges after this type of Guantanamo Bay experience. One of McKinney’s goals is to expose our J.D., LL.M. and other students to experiences that will help those students achieve their post-degree career goals. Participating in a Guantanamo mission will help students prepare for their profession.”
(In the photo above: Professor Edwards, far left, is on board the U.S. military plane that flew him from Andrews Air Force Base to Guantanamo Bay in 2007. Next to him are, center, Professor Tim McCormack of the University of Melbourne School of Law and, far right, Australian lawyer David McLeod.)
The Pentagon grants observer status to NGOs based in part on a group’s academic or practical work involving international human rights law in the context of armed conflict and criminal trials, the group’s mission to advance human rights through advocacy, the group’s respect for the rule of law, and the group’s ability to reach large audiences around the globe. Among the 18 other groups with this Guantanamo Bay Status are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Bar Association.