In the News

Laurel Fletcher in the news:

The Dominican Republic must stop expulsions of Haitians

Roxanna Altholz and Laurel E. Fletcher write for The New York Times, July 5, 2015

For decades, Haitians and their progeny have served as a scapegoat for Dominican politicians who blame them for poverty, disease and crime. The Dominican Republic should put a halt to the sporadic roundups and summary expulsions. If it doesn’t, the international community must step in.

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.

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.

Above the law: U.S. crimes during the war on terror

Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover’s Guantanamo study cited in World Policy Blog, May 11, 2012

This problem is also demonstrated by the reckless 840-odd detentions at Guantánamo, where no more than 20 percent had committed a crime of any kind, according to studies by UC Berkeley School of Law and Seton Hall Law School in Newark.

Laurel Fletcher Addresses Conference on War Crimes

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, January 17, 2012 by BSS News

Laurel E. Fletcher and Allard Lowenstein … called for witnesses’ protection alongside maintaining transparency at all levels.

Laurel Fletcher Seeks Reparations for Khmer Rouge Victims

The Straits Times, November 24, 2011 by Laurel E. Fletcher, Megan Karsh and Mahdev Mohan

Victims deserve a pride of place in any justice process where massive human rights violations are concerned. The court’s reparations scheme has the potential to be its most remarkable contribution—both to Cambodian victims and to the development of international law.

Aarti Kohli and Laurel Fletcher Criticize Deportation of Legal Immigrant Parents

-Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2010 by Teresa Watanabe,0,3720769,print.story

“It is a travesty that this is happening without any judicial discretion,” said Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy for Berkeley Law School’s Warren Institute. “We’re not saying you can’t deport people. We’re saying there should be a fair judicial process that takes into account the impact on their children.”, April 12, 2010 by Claudia Morain

“As Congress considers immigration reform, it’s time to focus on how the current system tears apart families and threatens the health and education of tens of thousands of children,” says Aarti Kohli.

“The rights to health and education are firmly entrenched in international human rights law, and nearly every major human rights treaty recognizes the need for special protection of children,” says Laurel Fletcher…. “The U.S. should consider revising its policy to mirror European human rights standards, which permit judges to balance a nation’s security interest with the best interests of the child when considering deporting a parent.”

Laurel Fletcher Prepares Clinic Students for UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

-The Oakland Tribune, December 4, 2009 by Matt Krupnick

In Denmark, the students will rub shoulders with world leaders, including the former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, who agreed to let the pair speak at an event she will host. Robinson, also a former U.N. human-rights commissioner, is a friend of Alice Miller, a UC Berkeley law lecturer.”The reason we were able to do that is because we’re at Berkeley, quite frankly,” said Laurel Fletcher, a Berkeley law professor…. “We’re able to leverage our academic capital.”

-National Law Journal, December 7, 2009 by Karen Sloan

A pair of 2Ls from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law will make the rounds at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen discussing their research on climate change and human rights…. The Berkeley students, Zoe Loftus-Farren and Caítrín McKiernan, wrote and will deliver a research paper urging policymakers to take into account the human implications of climate change.

-Youth Radio and KQED, “In Other Words” blog, December 14, 2009 by Molly Samuel

Zoe Loftus-Farren and Cáitrín McKiernan are presenting a paper they wrote as interns at Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Clinic…. Loftus-Farren says, “A legal education is applicable to many types of work, and opens doors in terms of how to focus my work.” McKiernan adds, “People of good faith can work for change both in and out of the system. Neither side has a monopoly on the truth or how to preserve hard fought gains.”

Laurel Fletcher Says Congress Undercut President’s Effort to Close Guantanamo

The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2009 by Warren Richey

Talks with allies in Europe suffered a setback when Congress barred the administration from bringing detainees to the US other than for prosecution. The move undercut US credibility in asking its allies to help close Guantánamo when the US itself is unwilling to accept detainees. “It is not just that Congress has acted. This is a policy statement from the legislature that is directly at odds with the president’s policy for [Guantánamo’s] closure,” says Laurel Fletcher.

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

The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2009 by Jennifer Howard

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.

Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover Call For Reintegration of Released Detainees

Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2009 by Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover,0,3628694.story

As the U.S. prepares to close Guantanamo, it also needs to plan for post-release services to help detainees reintegrate into their communities. U.S.-supported programs should provide former detainees with job training and psychological support and help them secure stable employment. Such programs are very much in our interest. By helping to re-anchor released detainees in their communities, we will reduce the risk of terrorist attacks against the United States.

Laurel Fletcher Describes Long-Term Impact on Guantanamo Detainees

National, Explorer: Inside Guantanamo, May 2009

“There was an association, even though they hadn’t been convicted of a crime, with Guantanamo, and an assumption that therefore they were dangerous in their communities and were shunned, often times by their own families.”

Laurel Fletcher Lauds Obama’s Executive Order to Close Guantanamo

KGO-TV, January 22, 2009 by Mark Matthews

“It’s very significant, this has signaled the end of Guantanamo. Period,” said UC Berkeley law Professor Laurel Fletcher.

Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover Oppose Guantanamo Bay Tribunals

Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2009 by Carol J. Williams,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 Credits Witkin Foundation for Clinic’s International Work

San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 29, 2008 by Charles Burress

Laurel Fletcher, clinic director and co-author of the Guantanamo report, said, “All that we’ve been able to accomplish wouldn’t be possible without their support.” Particularly important was funding for an endowment contributed more than a decade ago, Fletcher said.

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

International Herald Tribune, Nov. 21, 2008 by Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover

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 and Laurel Fletcher Reveal Impact of Guantanamo, Call for Investigation

-Reuters, Nov. 12, 2008

“We cannot sweep this dark chapter in our nation’s history under the rug by simply closing the Guantánamo prison camp,” said one of the study’s authors, Eric Stover.

-KGO-AM, Nov. 12, 2008 by R.J. Peruman

“We interviewed 62 former detainees in 9 countries. On average those detainees had spent 3 years in Guantanamo,” said Eric Stover.

“We feel that the findings here warrant a full and complete investigation and are therefore calling for an independent, nonpartisan commission,” said Laurel Fletcher.

-National Journal, Nov. 12, 2008 by Amy Harder

Establishing the commission right away would “create a very strong symbolic message to the American public and to our international community that the Obama administration is going to turn the page on this dark chapter and is willing to take a critical look at the last eight years about what went wrong and what went right,” Fletcher said.

Stover said the commission would include a wide range of experts on subjects such as constitutional and military law, public health and medicine. Who those experts should be, and how many of them should be selected, is for the Obama administration to decide, Stover said.

-Mother Jones, Nov. 12, 2008 by Bruce Falconer

“This is not a witch hunt,” said Laurel Fletcher…. “But it is a recommendation that will lead to a serious examination of both what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong, and how to make it better. We believe that Guantanamo cannot be swept under the rug.”

Laurel Fletcher Critiques U.S. Attempt to Link Serbian Refugees to Srebrenica Massacre

U.S. News & World Report, March 17, by Emma Schwartz

The limited enforcement “raises this perception of legitimacy and fairness,” says Laurel Fletcher, a human rights law specialist. “[These cases] are essentially associational crimes, and people are feeling that in the context of a war, when they weren’t given a choice and political dissent was not permitted, that they shouldn’t be judged for their actual association.”