The Clinic works to obtain humanitarian parole for Afghans

An Afghan family, in hiding in Pakistan, turned to the University of Southern California Gould International Human Rights Clinic for help applying for humanitarian parole. The process hasn't been easy, says Henna Pithia, acting director. “What’s frustrating is that the method of accessing humanitarian parole has not been updated to reflect the current crisis for this particular community,” she says. https://bit.ly/3Gd5OA4

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Professor Garry’s Op-Ed for The Hill: Senate can help Ukraine by confirming Beth Van Schaack now

In the op-ed, Garry explains why Dr. Beth Van Schaack should be confirmed as the first woman U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice: “With Van Schaack in office, the U.S. can provide pragmatic, targeted support to the [International Criminal Courts] prosecutor on specific cases that align with U.S. interests, seeking accountability for massive crimes such as those currently happening in Ukraine."

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Over-Policing Sex Trafficking: How U.S. Law Enforcement Should Reform Operations

The USC Gould International Human Rights Clinic will release Over-Policing Sex-Trafficking: How U.S. Law Enforcement Should Reform Operations, on Monday, November 15, 2021. The report is one of the first comprehensive reports about U.S. anti-sex trafficking law enforcement operations, jointly coordinated at the federal, state and local levels, and often known as “raids”, “stings” or “sweeps”. They involve law enforcement working undercover or investigating private establishments to identify persons who are sex trafficked (referred to as survivors or victims), and perpetrators. The U.S. government has long used these operations as a primary means for addressing sex trafficking, presenting them as an effective anti-sex trafficking tool through compelling media releases and press conferences. Meanwhile, there is little public data about operations’ outcomes and funding, despite distressing claims that operations harm and retraumatize persons who are sex trafficked, while perpetuating systemic racism as well as discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and undocumented immigrants.

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Clinic Director Hannah Garry files SCOTUS brief on behalf of torture survivors

Professor Hannah Garry filed a SCOTUS amicus brief on August 20th on behalf of torture survivors in the first case to make it to the Supreme Court on the U.S.’s enhanced interrogation program following 9/11. The case is timely in that it’s being heard on the year that marks the 20th anniversary since the attacks of 9/11.

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Moroccan Journalist Omar Radi Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Based on reports from TrialWatch's monitors inside the courtroom, the court’s treatment of evidence was unacceptable throughout the proceedings. Mr. Radi was not allowed to call a number of key witnesses, including Arnaud Simons—the man the prosecution said was Mr. Radi's Dutch intelligence ‘handler’ as part of the national security allegations against him. This was despite the fact Mr. Simons identified himself publicly, volunteered to testify, and said the allegations against Mr. Radi were not true. “The prosecution presented little evidence that Mr. Radi did anything other than journalistic and investigative work. It is hard to see the basis for convicting him of national security offenses,” said Professor Garry. “Further, it is deeply concerning that Mr. Radi has been held in detention before and during trial for nearly a year”.

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Great news on our work in response to systemic racism in U.S. law enforcement

This past academic year, in response to a call for input from Michelle Bachelete, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Laura and Ava took the lead (collaborating with partners at Access Now), in drafting a 24-page submission providing data on U.S. law enforcement’s responses to anti-racism peaceful protests across the U.S. from June-Dec. 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, including excessive, militarized and discriminatory use of force, arbitrary arrests, detention and cruel treatment, and use of surveillance tactics as well as inflammatory language against protestors, journalists, medics and legal observers. In their submission, Laura and Ava  also provided an overview of federal, state and local laws and policies affecting protestors’ rights in the U.S. and the lack of accountability mechanisms for abuse of those rights. Their submission made 41 concrete recommendations for addressing systemic racism in U.S. law enforcement.

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