In the News


Eric Stover in the news:



Challenges ahead for international criminal court, says leading war crimes expert

Eric Stover interviewed by KPBS-TV, November 12, 2013

“These are the most serious crimes. These include genocide, as we saw in Bosnia, or we saw in Rwanda; crimes against humanity, which are crimes that can take place during war or after war which involve massacres throughout countries; and what are generally called war crimes. But most of them are going to be crimes against humanity and genocide…. You’re going for the big fish, not the little fish; you’re going for military leaders, you’re going for leaders of countries, commanders, and so on who have commander responsibility and often order these crimes.”


The International Criminal Court’s risky move

Eric Stover writes for Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2013

The Kenyan parliament’s recent vote to withdraw from the International Criminal Court could undermine the trials of Kenya’s president and deputy president. But even more alarming, the vote casts a shadow over the ICC’s global mandate to effectively prosecute those responsible for state-sponsored atrocities.


The dark ages: terrorism, counterterrorism, and the law of torment

Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover’s report cited in The New Yorker, March 18, 2013

The spread of such torture around the world is the subject of … “The Guantanamo Effect,” which is based on interviews with sixty-two former detainees, conducted by Laurel E. Fletcher, the director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, at Berkeley, and Eric Stover, the director of Berkeley’s Human Rights Center.


PTSD land

Eric Stover cited in Foreign Policy, August 13, 2012

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007, established that civilians who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ―about 74 percent of the Ugandans surveyed by University of California, Berkeley, scholar Eric Stover and his colleagues―were “more likely to favor violent means to end the conflict” than civilians who were not. Trauma begets trauma―and violence.


Charles Taylor’s conviction ‘pushes international law further’ for related cases

Eric Stover interviewed on PBS NewsHour, April 26, 2012

Charles Taylor wasn’t at the helm ordering these crimes, but he was behind the scenes planning and aiding and abetting, and making an incredible amount of money…. This has sent a message that those who will profit from arms trading, those who will profit from the suffering of others can be held accountable in international court.


Eric Stover Examines Civilians’ Role in War Crimes Trial

International Review of the Red Cross, June 2011 by Eric Stover, Mychelle Balthazard and K. Alexa Koenig
http://www.icrc.org/eng/index.jsp (go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article)

Testifying in war crimes trials can potentially be a positive experience for civil parties so long as the process is largely perceived as safe, respectful, and dignified….Yet, even when those conditions exist, civil parties can lose faith in a court if they believe that a sentence is too lenient or if they feel that a court has failed to provide reparations commensurate with the gravity of the crimes.


Eric Stover Faults US Guantanamo Policy

Swiss Public Radio, January 10, by Max Akermann
http://www.drs.ch/www/de/drs/sendungen/echo-der-zeit/2646.bt10207958.html

“Guantanamo is not an election issue at all as most Americans are too worried about jobs and the economy” (paraphrased).


Eric Stover Identifies War Victims

-PBS Newshour, March 25, 2011 Host Spencer Michaels
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/jan-june11/benetech_03-25.html

There’s torture. There’s abuse of prisoners. There’s disappearance. There’s movement of populations, sexual violence. And this ability, with these new technologies, to gather information, to map it all in, and to understand it in and be able to produce that and take that evidence to international criminal courts, is extremely valuable.

-The New York Times, November 18, 2011 by Rachel Nuwer
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/reading-bones-to-identify-genocide-victims/

The sheer magnitude of genocidal killing in some places–Rwanda or Cambodia, for instance–can make it exceedingly difficult to identify remains. But in Bosnia, Dr. Stover says, “There’s no question that families wanted the remains returned. There’s not closure here,” he said. “But this chapter in a way is closed, and people can better move on with their lives.”


Eric Stover Thinks Khmer Rouge Tribunal Helps Victims Heal

-The Huffington Post, July 24, 2010 by Robin McDowell
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100724/as-khmer-rouge-healing/

”I have found in my research at other tribunals that some victim-witnesses experience a boost immediately after testifying,” he said. ”But I always caution on proclaiming that testifying necessarily will have long-term benefits. Other events in their life—loss of a loved one, a job, for instance—could re-trigger past trauma.”

-PBS NewsHour, July 26, 2010 by Fred de Sam Lazaro
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec10/cambodia_07-26.html

”People will have basic needs and need to be attended to, but if you are going to have real progress, you also put in the infrastructure for democracy, infrastructure for the rule of law, infrastructure that will support human rights, because, without that, you will always be in an uphill battle.”


Eric Stover Believes ICC Needs to Reach Out to War Victims

The Guardian, Guardian Legal Network, June 10, 2010 by Stephen Hubbell
http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/jun/10/international-courts-osi

“People see this court and tend to say, ‘Well, why doesn’t this court come in and arrest my neighbor down the road who also committed crimes?’ That’s not in the mandate of the court. The court is only going out to those most responsible for the most heinous crimes. So it’s important for the court to engage with the population, to hear them and learn from them too. We have to understand that the communities that were affected by mass violence have different feelings. Some feel like the victimized communities, others feel they’re being singled out. So you have to develop different messages for different communities.”


Eric Stover Thinks ICC Trials Signal Hopeful Future for Kenya

Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2010 by Victor Peskin and Eric Stover
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stoverandpeskin-kenya-20100607,0,6971.story

Ideally, the ICC will be the harbinger of a new culture of accountability. Many in Kenya—and Moreno-Ocampo himself— hope indictments will rekindle interest in creating a domestic tribunal to adjudicate the violence.


Eric Stover Considers Khmer Rouge Trial a Step toward Democracy in Cambodia

PBS The NewsHour, May 25, 2010 by Fred de Sam Lazaro
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june10/cambodia_05-25.html

“People will have basic needs and need to be attended to, but, if you’re going to have real progress, you also put in the infrastructure for democracy, infrastructure for the rule of law, infrastructure that will support human rights, because, without that, you will always be in an uphill battle.”


Eric Stover Describes Hardships of Former Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Public Radio International, The World, October 7, 2009 by Katy Clark
http://www.theworld.org/2009/10/07/life-after-gitmo/

We heard of cases in many countries where former detainees were trying to find work but unable to do so.  You know, they were away, and a three or four years hole in resume, and if they said they were in US custody, they often didn’t get the jobs they were seeking.


Eric Stover Shares His Passion for Human Rights Work

Berkeleyan, September 10, 2009 by Barry Bergman
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2009/09/10_hrc-anniversary.shtml

It wasn’t until 1996, in Srebrenica, that he fully realized the devastation felt by people who are unable to identify their lost or “disappeared” family members. “That was a deep learning moment for me,” he recalls. “The court was supposed to be working for these victims. But the thing family members want most is identification of these bodies. More than justice, they want proper burial.”


Eric Stover and Laurel Fletcher Publish Guantanamo Book, a Resource for Scholars

The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2009 by Jennifer Howard
http://chronicle.com/cgi-bin/printable.cgi?article=http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i41/41a00103.htm

That book, The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices, by Laurel E. Fletcher and Eric Stover, draws on a two-year study of more than 60 former Guantánamo detainees, and includes some interviews with lawyers and other personnel involved in those cases. Ms. Fletcher, a professor of law at Berkeley, directs the International Human Rights Law Clinic there; Mr. Stover, an adjunct professor of law and public health, is faculty director of Berkeley’s Center for Human Rights.


Eric Stover Calls for Independent Commission to Investigate Detainee Abuse

NiemanWatchdog.org, April 22, 2009 by Dan Froomkin
http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=341

Stover sees the overarching goal of such a commission as being “to find out what should be our national security response to a dangerous enemy that fights in unconventional ways.” But what that requires, he says, is a meticulous examination of what we’ve done so far, the rationales, and the results.


Eric Stover Demands Guantanamo Investigation

Independent Online, January 22, 2009 by Agence French Presse
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=22&art_id=nw20090122183126854C669769

“We cannot sweep this dark chapter of our nation’s history under the rug by simply closing the Guantanamo detention camp. The new administration must investigate what went wrong and who should be accountable,” said Eric Stover, a University of California, Berkeley, researcher.


Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover Oppose Guantanamo Bay Tribunals

Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2009 by Carol J. Williams
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-closing-gitmo12-2009jan12,0,5144124,full.story

“We need to bring this to closure, and that needs to be done accountably and done swiftly,” said Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Berkeley. “Guantanamo has been devastating for the United States’ image in the world and for the rule of law.”


Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover Demand Investigation of U.S. Detention Policies

International Herald Tribune, Nov. 21, 2008 by Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/21/opinion/edsobel.php

The commission should determine what went wrong and who should be held accountable, and recommend ways to help those falsely imprisoned clear their names and recover from the abuses they have suffered…. Commission members should be armed with subpoena power, given full access to classified material and be able to conduct their work unhindered by presidential pardons or amnesties designed to shield the culpable from accountability.


Eric Stover Calls for Guantanamo Investigation

-San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 17, 2008 by Bob Egelko
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/17/MNMU1440SK.DTL&type=printable

“We cannot sweep this dark chapter in our nation’s history under the rug by simply closing the Guantánamo prison camp,” said Eric Stover, director of UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center. “The new administration must investigate what went wrong and who should be held accountable.”

-Middle East Times, Nov. 18, 2008 by Cesar Chelala
http://www.metimes.com/Opinion/2008/11/17/closing_guantanamo_is_only_first_step/1605/

Eric Stover, a co-author of the “Guantánamo and Its Aftermath” report, stated, “Guantánamo, like Abu Ghraib, has become a stain on the reputation of the U.S.”