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Daphne Eviatar
As Senior Counsel in Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program, Daphne Eviatar investigates and reports on U.S. national security policies and practices and their human rights implications.

Daphne is a lawyer and award-winning journalist who has written widely about law, human rights and economic development. A former legal correspondent for The Washington Independent, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Politico and many others. She’s been interviewed widely on radio and television, including on The Rachel Maddow Show and public radio stations across the country.

Daphne was a 2005 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, a 2003 Pew International Journalism fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and has taught law and journalism at New York Law School.

Daphne is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York University School of Law and Dartmouth College.

Entries by Daphne Eviatar

Stalled 9/11 Case Is Another Reason to Close Guantanamo

(26) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 5:28 PM

The military commissions have once again cancelled two weeks' worth of hearings scheduled in the case of the five alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks. Although the attacks themselves took place nearly 14 years ago, the five men accused of masterminding the deadliest terror attack to ever take place...

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Remaining Brit at Gitmo Highlights the Contradictions of Independence Day

(3) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 3:13 PM

While Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks and beach vacations, some prominent Brits were noting a certain irony.

"[W]hile the US is celebrating its freedom, and its foundation under the rule of law, the continuing detention of men at Guantánamo -- largely without charge...

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Guantanamo Military Commissions Stall Again: Time to Move On

(3) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 2:27 PM

How long will it take for the government to admit that the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay just aren't working?

While closing arguments began Monday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, moving toward some resolution for victims and their families, the trial of the September...

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Obama Says He Should Have Closed Guantanamo on Day 1 -- He Still Can

(21) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 1:44 PM

Asked by a seventh-grade student from the Citizens Leadership Academy in Cleveland yesterday what advice he would give himself if he could go back to his first day in office, President Obama responded, "I think I would have closed Guantanamo on the first day." That got a round...

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Judge Halts 9/11 Case as Defense Charges Unlawful Influence

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 2:33 PM

You almost have to feel sorry for anyone assigned to work on the Guantanamo military commissions these days. It's bad enough that they're handling death penalty cases for people who the U.S. government has admitted it tortured in secret CIA prisons for years. As U.S. military officers committed to upholding...

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9/11 Defendant Claims Ongoing Injuries From CIA Torture

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 1:37 PM

The one refreshing thing about the hearings in the 9/11 military commission case at Guantanamo this week is that defense lawyers are now allowed to say the word "torture" without the censor blacking out the audio feed. And the word "torture" came up a lot.

First thing Thursday morning,...

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9/11 Defendants Claim Military Commission Translator Assisted CIA Torture

(4) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 10:45 AM

It didn't take long for the Guantanamo military commission in the 9/11 case to stumble again -- this time when two of the accused co-conspirators said they recognized a translator in the courtroom from their time in a CIA black site.

This is the first time since August that...

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Carter Can Take Gitmo Closure Across the Finish Line

(19) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 2:12 PM

President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, can expect tough questions at his Wednesday confirmation hearing -- on issues ranging from the military campaign against ISIL and the legal authority (or lack thereof) for it to U.S. policy toward repressive regimes (Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) where the U.S....

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Senators Question Federal Court Terror Trials While Effective Prosecutions Continue Apace in NYC

(8) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 3:32 PM

As Republicans questioned U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch at her confirmation hearing in Washington on Wednesday for supporting trials of suspected terrorists in federal court, the trial of alleged al-Qaeda leader Khalid al-Fawwaz proceeded apace in New York City, with an FBI informant providing critical evidence linking the defendant...

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Another Bin Laden Associate on Trial in New York

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 6:17 PM

It's become almost routine -- the prosecutions of alleged al Qaeda operatives and spokespeople, men picked up halfway across the world brought to downtown Manhattan, where they're tried for acts they're alleged to have committed years ago in cahoots with Osama bin Laden. After a complex but orderly federal trial,...

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US Needs to Explain Decision Not to Prosecute Torturers

(48) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:50 AM

The Senate torture report released on Tuesday has led to the inevitable calls for prosecution of the government officials who may have committed crimes. Although the Justice Department this week reaffirmed its earlier position that it would not be prosecuting anyone, that leaves a burning question open: why...

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Secret Order Cancels Guantanamo Hearing on FBI Spying -- Government 'Transparency' in Action

(4) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 2:52 PM

I really hope family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks weren't planning on attending the hearings scheduled at Guantanamo Bay this week. It's bad enough that observers who planned to travel to Cuba to watch federal prosecutors try to explain why the FBI was spying on U.S. military defense...

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Life Sentence for Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Is Hardly 'Soft' on Terrorism

(9) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 1:05 PM

On Tuesday morning, a federal district court judge in New York sentenced Osama bin Laden's son-in-law to life in a U.S. federal prison.

When Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was arrested abroad last year, conservative lawmakers were outraged. "He is an enemy combatant and should be held in military custody,"...

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FBI Infiltration Of 9/11 Defense Continues To Delay Guantanamo Trial

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Four months after defense lawyers first told a Guantanamo military commission that they'd learned the FBI was spying on their colleagues, it remains unclear who or what the FBI was investigating.

What is clear is that it will continue to delay progress in the case of the...

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Judge Puts 9/11 Case Back Together Again

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 3:58 PM

After unexpectedly deciding to split the 9/11 case into two trials last month, a military commission judge reversed himself and decided on Wednesday to put the severed case back together again. At least for now.

Government prosecutors in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom on Monday had argued vehemently that...

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Exhibit A of the Guantanamo Failure Resumes This Week

(1) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 5:16 PM

As the United States considers engaging in yet another war, with the start of air strikes Friday in Iraq, let's not forget we're still stuck with the remnants of an old one. The U.S. still has some 32,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan, though we don't hear much about...

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The FBI's Secret Investigation of the 9/11 Defense Teams: The Mystery Continues, and Could Compromise the Case

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 3:15 PM

It was all sounding very cloak-and-dagger.

"I don't know what I don't know," claimed Cheryl Bormann, lead defense lawyer for Walid bin Attash, covered in a floor-length black abaya. "I don't know that those are the facts."

Bormann was referring to speculation Monday morning by some of the other...

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Another Terrorism Conviction, Another Reminder It's Time to Close Guantanamo

(19) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 6:36 PM

On Monday, a New York jury convicted the one-eyed, hook-limbed Sheikh Abu Hamza al Masri on charges arising from the deadly 1998 kidnappings of 16 American, British and Australian tourists in Yemen, and an attempt to start a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 2000. The jury took...

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Bin Laden Relative Could Be Held Responsible for Deaths of Thousands

(2) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 2:52 PM

When Osama bin Laden's son-in-law was arrested last year, Obama critics like Senator Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.) were outraged. "He is an enemy combatant and should be held in military custody," McConnell said last February. Senators Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) similarly chimed in that...

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The Trial of Bin Laden's Son-in-Law and Why Not to Torture a Terrorist

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 5:20 PM

Sniping between lawmakers and the CIA over a report on the U.S. torture of terror suspects reached a fever pitch this week, as Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on her intelligence committee as it was investigating the agency's activities. But even as the infamous Senate...

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