University of Pittsburgh
February 22, 2007

Lead Attorney for Guantánamo Detainees to Speak at Pitt Feb. 28

Gitanjali Gutierrez was the first civilian to visit a client at Guantánamo Gutierrez also was on legal team in "Rasul v. Bush" heard by the U.S. Supreme Court
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a recent law that prohibits detainees from challenging their detention at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Gitanjali Gutierrez, lead counsel for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York representing Guantánamo detainees, will present a lecture titled "Guantánamo the Fight for Human Rights" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 in the University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Building's Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Gutierrez, who has made more than 10 trips to the base, was the first civilian attorney to visit a client at the Guantánamo prison. A member of the original legal team in "Rasul v. Bush," the landmark Guantánamo case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Gutierrez advises hundreds of pro bono attorneys working with CCR in representing the detainees.

Gutierrez's high-profile clients include Mohammed Al Qahtani, "Prisoner 063" whose brutal interrogations were documented by "Time" magazine, and Majid Khan, a former U.S. resident who was one of the 14 detainees transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons abroad. Gutierrez has been denied access to Khan on the grounds that allowing him to see counsel would threaten the disclosure of the torture techniques used during his interrogations.

In 2005, Gutierrez authored a report chronicling the origins and scope of the major hunger strikes by Guantánamo Bay Camp prisoners. She is an adjunct professor at Cornell University Law School, teaching courses on international human rights law and terrorism.

The Feb. 28 event is sponsored by Pitt's School of Law, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. For more information, call 412-241-6087.