May 20, 2008 - Stephen Abraham testifies before House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight - “The Mistakes of Guantánamo and the Decline of America’s Image”
From the Center for Constitutional Rights: May 20, 2008, WASHINGTON, D.C. — Guantanamo attorneys, experts, and – for the first time - a former detainee today testified to Congress to call for a solution for the approximately 50 refugees still imprisoned at Guantánamo and unable to be safely repatriated to their home countries. Witnesses testified to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight about the mistakes of Guantanamo.
Witnesses included Murat Kurnaz, released from Guantánamo to Germany after five years of wrongful imprisonment; Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, who has previously described his experiences of command pressure in Guantánamo’s military tribunals; and Sabin Willett, an attorney for some of the 17 Uighurs still imprisoned in solitary confinement only because they cannot be safely repatriated to China and the United States has refused to accept them or find a safe third country for them. This is the first time that a released Guantánamo detainee has ever testified before the U.S. Congress.
February 28, 2008 - Stephen Abraham speaks before European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Feb. 28, 2008 - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - A joint hearing on human rights and Guantánamo Bay was held on Thursday at the European Parliament by the Civil Liberties Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee. Debate focused on how detainees' rights had been eroded, what should be done for those still in custody and in particular whether the EU might play a role in resettling detainees cleared for release. The first part of the hearing considered questions of due process and procedural rights, including habeas corpus, evidence and Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs). Stephen E. Abraham described to MEPs his experience as a US army intelligence officer and lawyer, notably his work as a member of the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants. His scepticism at the removal of detainees' rights had grown, leading him to conclude that the CSRT process "was little more than an effort to ratify the prior exercise of power to detain individuals in the war against terror". He spoke of the support he had subsequently received from people who showed "an unwillingness to quietly submit to an erosion of fundamental human rights".
November 1, 2007 - Stephen Abraham named as one of the recipients of the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award
Click to see the SCHR Press Release
Nov. 1, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC - On November 1, 2007, the Southern Center for Human Rights presented the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award to the lawyers at firms, public interest organizations, and in the military who are protecting the fundamental rights of so-called "enemy combatants" detained at Guantánamo Bay. The Awards Dinner, was held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., took place on November 1, 2007 at 6 p.m. Shayana Kadidal of The Center for Constitutional Rights, Thomas B. Wilner with the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP, and Major Michael D. Mori accepted the award on behalf of the honorees. Bob Herbert, Op-ed Columnist at The New York Times, delivered the keynote address.
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is a nationally-recognized public interest law firm that represents people facing the death penalty and brings class action litigation to protect the civil and human rights of people in the criminal justice system. Every year at the Awards Dinner in Washington D.C., SCHR honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights. In recognizing the counsel and advocates for Guantánamo Bay detainees, SCHR applauds their leadership and dedication to protecting the rights of the accused.
"As a public interest law firm challenging systemic abuse in the criminal justice system, we recognize the critical importance of standing by those with few champions," said SCHR Director, Lisa Kung. "We are deeply honored to present the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award to the attorneys who have chosen principle over popularity to stand by those detained at Guantánamo Bay."