Professor Ramzi Kassem spoke with The New York Times in an article about the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay and President Obama’s renewed efforts to close the prison. Kassem, who represents several of the detainees at the prison, reports that prisoners have been denied soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and their legal papers. One client, Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi, told Kassem that he had been shot with rubber-coated pellets at close range by a guard during a raid on the cellblock in early April. Kassem quoted al-Alwi as saying, “I do not want to kill myself. My religion prohibits suicide. But I will not eat or drink until I die, if necessary, to protest the injustice of this place. We want to get out of this place.”
Prof. Kassem is the director of the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic and oversees the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility project at CUNY Law. Before joining the CUNY Law faculty in 2009, Professor Kassem was a Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where he taught in the Civil Liberties & National Security Clinic as well as the Worker & Immigrant Rights & Advocacy Clinic. Professor Kassem also previously served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he taught in the International Justice Clinic.