In the News

Eric Stover in the news:

Prosecuting war criminals in the era of the war on terror

Eric Stover and Alexa Koenig interviewed by KQED-FM, July 29, 2016

Eric Stover: “Before you can have a trial, you actually need to have an accused. So, how do you go after those war crime suspects? And when you look at the post-9/11 environment, going after suspected terrorists, how did the United States conduct that pursuit? And was it illegal?”

Alexa Koenig: “How do you actually muster the political will to have countries aid and search for these individuals, or when they are–as our book is called–hiding in plain sight, when they’re right in front of us? How do you break down the political protections around them to make them vulnerable enough to get them into courts?”

Arrest Bashir

Alexa Koenig, Eric Stover and Victor Peskin write for Foreign Affairs, July 13, 2016

In 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese leader for crimes against humanity, including the killing of 300,000 people and the displacement of 2.5 million more in Darfur. A year later, the court added the charge of genocide. Since then, Bashir has made more than 75 trips to nearly 30 countries, including to seven states that are members of the ICC and are therefore legally obligated to arrest him.

‘Mission accomplished’ for UN war crimes court?

Eric Stover quoted in Yahoo! News, March 22, 2016

“Courts are backwards looking. They look at the facts and adjudicate individual responsibility. They’re not designed as social engineering institutions,” said Stover.

“When I returned home, it was another hell”: Now’s the time to talk about what we do after Guantánamo

Alexa Koenig and Eric Stover write for Salon, Feb. 25, 2016

Right now, as we take first steps toward finally closing Guantánamo, we have a choice: Do we continue to transfer individuals with little to no social, economic or psychological support, leaving them desperate for a productive future? Or do we make a relatively tiny investment in their future to set them on a path toward productivity? Even as Guantánamo finally and rightfully closes, the damage endures—as does our responsibility.

Book excerpt: American exceptionalism at its worst

Eric Stover, Alexa Koenig, and Victor Peskin write for Alameda Magazine, Sept. 2015

By late summer 2003, Abu Ghraib was packed with nearly 3,000 prisoners. Many of the detainees were Iraqi civilians who had been picked up in random military sweeps or at checkpoints for “suspicious activities.” Most were men, but there were also women, adolescents, and even children as young as ten, the majority of whom were deemed not a threat to society but who were not immediately released due to orders from above.

After Kenya, lessons for witness protection

Alexa Koenig, Stephen Smith Cody and Eric Stover write for International Criminal Justice Today, April 17, 2014

International criminal prosecutions depend on credible witness testimony. In particular, victim-witnesses can provide essential evidence regarding both crimes and those who committed or orchestrated them. However for many, testifying in an international trial requires an act of great courage, especially when perpetrators still walk the streets of their villages and towns.

Berkeley Human Rights Center awarded $1 million for investigating war crimes

Eric Stover interviewed on KQED, Forum, February 6, 2015

We’re taking 100,000 to really recognize the exceptional work that the Sexual Violence Program has done. And we want to keep that a permanent feature of the Center. We have just around a 2-million-dollar budget. We raise 95 percent of that. And so, an award like this is really kind of a stamp of approval.

UC Berkeley program on human rights, war crimes wins $1-million grant

Alexa Koenig and Eric Stover quoted in Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2015

The MacArthur grant will establish an endowment for the center and help fund its work on researching and preventing sexual violence, Koenig said. The new endowment will “provide a sense of stability and that makes this really important,” she said.

Eric Stover … said the center is working to ally Silicon Valley companies with international prosecutors on the use of digital videos, emails and other technologies that bolster evidence in trials of those accused of atrocities. Stover said that he was grateful for the MacArthur gift and that he hoped it “will attract others to recognize our work.”

A commitment to justice means more than just closing Gitmo

Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover write for San Francisco Chronicle, January 27, 2015

Justice requires more than shutting down Guantanamo. It means accepting responsibility for the torture and illegal acts that we, as a nation, committed against detainees held there and in secret CIA “black sites” around the world.

How we outsourced CIA torture and why it matters

Eric Stover quoted in The Huffington Post, December 16, 2014

While the contractors could be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, it’s extremely unlikely that will happen, said Eric Stover. … If it decides to take action at all, the court is more likely to go after the high-level officials who authorized the torture, rather than the contractors who carried it out. “They usually go after those most responsible for the most serious crimes,” Stover said.

Global conflicts create record numbers of missing

Eric Stover quoted in Newsweek, November 24, 2014

“The Geneva Conventions and UN declarations are unequivocal that states are obliged, on humanitarian grounds, to cooperate in the search for the missing in war.”

Off the Cuff: Eric Stover

Eric Stover interviewed for The Oberlin Review, November 14, 2014

“What’s interesting here in the United States is … the establishment of Guantanamo, and the fact that it was unquestionable that we deliberately used torture on suspects … and that this country hasn’t had a discussion about what that meant and whether there are those who need to be held accountable.”

How can photography impact the struggle for human rights around the globe?

Eric Stover and Alexa Koenig interviewed on KALW-FM, Your Call, August 25, 2014

Stover: “The featured photographs remind us that human rights photography is at its best when it shuns the sensational and sentimental, and instead finds human dignity in the face of injustice.”

Koenig: “In a world where we are so saturated often with media images, it’s important to focus on the positive, the possibility for survival, the possibility for making sense out of something that often comes across as quite senseless.”

Human rights made strikingly visible at Berkeley show

Alexa Koenig and Eric Stover quoted in Berkeleyside, August 22, 2014

“We have an amazing opportunity to be affiliated with the campus, but we function as an independent NGO of sorts,” Koenig says. “We’re very boots on the ground, yet when we’re facing an issue we need to address we benefit from the expertise available at Cal.”

Eric Stover serves as faculty director…. “We tend to be so focused on the work and service we’re not thinking about outreach. The 20th anniversary celebration is our chance to acknowledge that there have been dozens of students and faculty involved with our work.”

Science and human rights

Eric Stover quoted in Buenos Aires Herald, August 11, 2014

“I still remember Chicha Mariani and Estela Barnes de Carlotto bringing me a newspaper clipping from Mar del Plata that discussed (genetic) paternity testing that was being conducted in the US, and asking me whether it could also be done to identify grandparents,” Stover told the Herald.

Anthropologist who identified Nazi doctor Mengele found the dark secret in old bones

Eric Stover quoted in The Age, May 31, 2014

Snow mentored students around the world. “‘He told them to be scientists first but not to forget their humanity,”” said Eric Stover, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who worked with Snow in Argentina and elsewhere. “‘Cry at night,” he’d say.”

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.