Events Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140


Closing Guantanamo: Mission not Accomplished

Lecture by Professor Rick Wilson

Time: Thursday 8 May at 16.15 - 18.00

Venue: Room P674 (Yliopistonkatu 3, Porthania 6th floor)

The event is open to everyone.

Abstract: The United States government continues to detain more than 150 men at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a detention facility that has housed nearly 780 prisoners since it was first opened in January of 2002. Most of the remaining men have been cleared for release; some face trial by military commission while others face the prospect of indefinite detention, a policy supported by both major political parties in the U.S. Professor Rick Wilson, who teaches at American University in Washington, DC, has represented three detainees over the past decade, and has traveled to Cuba at least a dozen times to visit with his clients.

His best-known client was Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and transferred to Guantanamo, where he stood for trial by a military commission for his alleged role in the murder of an American soldier during the conflict preceding his capture in July of 2002. Prof. Wilson, assisted by students working in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American U., represented Mr. Khadr in the U.S. federal courts, the failed military commissions at Guantanamo itself, and in the Inter-American human rights system, based in Washington, DC. Representation of detainees present unique challenges to the many volunteer, unpaid lawyers who agreed to take on these cases after the United States Supreme Court held, in 2004, that detainees had a right to access to the courts and counsel. Prof. Wilson will discuss the challenges and rewards of this representation, which continues today.

Bio: Rick Wilson is Professor of Law and Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University in Washington, DC. He and his students have represented three detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison, two of whom have been released and one who remains there, without charges and cleared for release, after more than a decade

A complete review on the Omar Khadr can be found here.