April 2, 2013
Professor Ramzi Kassem is featured in a CBS News story about Shaker Aamer, a former U.S. Army translator who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the past 11 years. Aamer, a British legal resident, has never been formally charged with a crime and the British government has asked for his return. According to Prof. Kassem, Aamer’s attorney, he moved to Afghanistan in June 2001 to work for a Muslim charity building schools for Afghan orphans and was captured after the September 11 terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. “He was swept up in a very broad dragnet that was created by U.S. military and intelligence forces,” Kassem said. “Shaker is not atypical in the sense that a large reason that he was taken into custody was the bounty that was being routinely paid by the United States to anyone who basically reported or handed over an Arab, and because he was an Arab in Afghanistan, he was automatically subject to one of those five- to fifteen-thousand-dollar bounties, which is a huge sum of money anywhere, but particularly in a poor society like Afghanistan.”
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.