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Attorney to discuss closing of Guantánamo camp

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, 8 p.m. · Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

David Remes, a human rights attorney who has defended 16 detainees at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, will deliver a lecture on the closing of the facility at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The talk, titled "The Challenge of Closing Guantánamo: Experiences and Reflections of a Guantánamo Habeas Lawyer," is sponsored by the Program in Law and Public Affairs.

Upon taking office last month, President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure of the detention camp at Guantánamo over the next year, reflecting concerns about living conditions and the legal status of detainees at the center.

Remes has been deeply involved in the litigation on behalf of Guantánamo prisoners since 2004. He represents 16 Yemenis and has made several visits to Yemen to press for his clients' release and brief their families. He was among the first lawyers to visit Guantánamo after the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the prisoners had a right to legal counsel.

Remes was among the lead counsel for the petitioners in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the prisoners have a constitutional right to challenge their detention in court. He also represented retired generals and admirals and coordinated the friend-of-the-court briefing in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the court ruled, in 2006, that President George W. Bush's military commissions were unlawful.

Remes was a longtime partner at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C., but in July 2008 gave up his partnership to found Appeal for Justice, a nonprofit firm dedicated to Guantánamo and other human rights litigation.

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