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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

There Is No Fix For the Military Commissions

(11) Comments | Posted April 21, 2016 | 2:07 PM

The problem with the Guantanamo military commissions is not the defendants' right to appear at hearings in their own trial. It's that the government keeps meddling in the cases in such cockamamie ways that they have to adjourn for months at a time while the lawyers scramble to figure out...

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Despite Guantanamo, Obama Makes Visit to Latin America a Win for Human Rights

(19) Comments | Posted March 19, 2016 | 11:32 AM

On Monday, President Obama will visit Cuba - the first time a U.S. president has traveled there since Calvin Coolidge. It's an important step toward normalizing relations between the two countries, opening up important economic possibilities for Cuba and the potential for U.S. investment and influence there.

Sadly, the U.S....

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The Tragedy of the 9/11 Case

(5) Comments | Posted February 19, 2016 | 12:57 PM

The lawyers handling the 9/11 case still in pretrial hearings at Guantanamo Bay were arguing this week about how much information the government has to turn over to defense counsel about the secret CIA prisons where the men were held and tortured. How much to reveal and how to handle...

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A Cloud Hanging Over the Military Commissions

(1) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 4:49 PM

It shouldn't have been such a difficult issue. After all, defendants on trial for mass murder in a death penalty case often aren't happy with how things are going. That may include being disappointed with their lawyers.

But that's in federal court. The military commissions are different....

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Military Commission in 9/11 Case Stalls Again, This Time Because Defendant Doesn't Trust His Lawyers

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 10:28 AM

When the Guantanamo military commission opened this morning in the 9/11 case, the first hearing in the case since October, it quickly became clear that once again, things weren't going to get very far. Within minutes of the start of the hearing in the case against the five...

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Military Commissions Drag on at Guantanamo While Obama Keeps Promising to Close It

(7) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 1:49 PM

On Tuesday, the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay are scheduled to start up again, this time hearing yet more procedural arguments in the case against the five alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks.

More than 14 years after the attacks, not only haven't the men been tried yet, but lawyers...

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Guantanamo, 14 Years and Counting

(12) Comments | Posted January 10, 2016 | 10:22 AM

Fourteen years ago this Monday, President George W. Bush opened the Guantanamo Bay detention center as an emergency measure to hold and interrogate men suspected of participation in the September 11 attacks and the subsequent fight against the United States in Afghanistan. Intended to operate beyond the reach of U.S....

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Latest Polling on Syrian Refugees Reflects Fear, Not Sense

(14) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 12:32 PM

A new poll finds that a slight majority of New York registered voters, fearing terrorism, oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the United States now. That's in sharp contrast to the more principled and courageous position of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said that rejecting refugees would...

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5 Truths About Counterterrorism Presidential Candidates Should Keep in Mind

(18) Comments | Posted November 14, 2015 | 3:06 PM

Within hours of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, CBS News announced it would re-focus Saturday's Democratic presidential debate on issues of terrorism, national security and foreign relations. Given the horrors we just witnessed, that's understandable. But before jumping on the "tough on terrorism" bandwagon, candidates should reflect...

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Defense Secretary's Criticism of Military Judge Order Could Derail 9/11 Case

(5) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 2:43 PM

When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called a military judge's order "outrageous" earlier this week, they probably didn't intend to throw a wrench into the pending 9/11 military commission case. The case is now in its...

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Judge in 9/11 Case Denies Accused's Request to Fire His Lawyer

(5) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 12:49 PM

An Army judge at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday refused to allow one of the five defendants charged with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks to dismiss his lead lawyer, ruling the accused hadn't shown the necessary "good cause" to do so.

Not even military commission prosecutors know why Walid bin Attash,...

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Confusing Commission Rules Continue to Hamper 9/11 Case

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 12:13 PM

After more than a week of confusion at the Guantanamo military commissions over the representation of Walid bin Attash, one of the five accused plotters of the September 11 attacks, the defendant clarified Wednesday morning that he doesn't want to represent himself, he just wants to fire one of the...

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9/11 Military Commission Stalls Again Over Defense Representation Rights

(5) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 12:00 PM

It was a typical Monday morning at the Guantanamo military commissions. Within the first 15 minutes, the judge had to adjourn the pre-trial hearing in the case of the five defendants accused of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, this time because one of the defendants had asked a question....

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Stalled 9/11 Case Is Another Reason to Close Guantanamo

(27) 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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