Blog of Rights

Hina
Shamsi
Hina Shamsi (@HinaShamsi) is the Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights. She has litigated cases upholding the freedoms of speech and association, and challenging targeted killing, torture, unlawful detention, and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and religious minorities.
 
Her work includes a focus on the intersection of national security and counterterrorism policies with international human rights and humanitarian law. She previously worked as a Staff Attorney in the National Security Project and was the Acting Director of Human Rights First's Law & Security Program. She also served as Senior Advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.
 
Hina appears regularly in the media and has been quoted as a national security expert by numerous outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, and Reuters, and has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, ABC News, and the BBC. She is the author and coauthor of publications on targeted killing, torture, and extraordinary rendition, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. She is also a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course in international human rights. Hina is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Northwestern University School of Law.
 
CIA Considers Releasing Its Torture Reports to ACLU

CIA Considers Releasing Its Torture Reports to ACLU

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 10:39am
There's good news in the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking greater transparency about the CIA's now-discontinued torture program: The CIA has agreed to review and consider for public release two of the three key reports we seek. The release would take place on May 22.
The FBI’s Trojan Horse?

The FBI’s Trojan Horse?

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 3:21pm

Over the past few decades, a paradigm shift has occurred within policing. Known generally as community policing, the basic idea is that state and local law enforcement officers should integrate themselves into the communities they serve.

The…

ACLU Sues NYPD Over Unconstitutional Muslim Surveillance Program

ACLU Sues NYPD Over Unconstitutional Muslim Surveillance Program

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:14am

The ACLU, together with the NYCLU and CUNY's CLEAR Project, filed a lawsuit today challenging the New York Police Department's unconstitutional policy and practice of targeting entire Muslim communities for discriminatory and suspicionless surveillance.…

Urgent White House Action Needed to Avert Guantánamo Human Rights Crisis

Urgent White House Action Needed to Avert Guantánamo Human Rights Crisis

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:37am

There is a serious human rights crisis brewing at the prison at Guantánamo Bay. A hunger strike that began in early February has spread...

The Constitution Applies When the Government Bans Americans From the Skies

The Constitution Applies When the Government Bans Americans From the Skies

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:58pm

The government does not have the unchecked authority to place individuals on a secret blacklist without providing them any meaningful...

At Guantánamo Today: ACLU Asks Judge Not to Censor Torture Testimony

At Guantánamo Today: ACLU Asks Judge Not to Censor Torture Testimony

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 9:53am

I’m in Guantánamo today, expecting to argue the ACLU’s constitutional challenge to the censorship of torture in the military commissions this afternoon or tomorrow. 

The Guantánamo military commissions were created…

Guantánamo Military Judge Grants ACLU’s Request to Argue Against Censorship of 9/11 Defendants’ Testimony

Guantánamo Military Judge Grants ACLU’s Request to Argue Against Censorship of 9/11 Defendants’ Testimony

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 6:18pm

In an order made public today, a military commissions judge at Guantánamo Bay announced that he will hear oral argument on the ACLU’s challenge to censorship of torture at the trial of the 9/11 defendants.

In May, we filed a motion…

The Legacy of 9/11: Endless War Without Oversight

The Legacy of 9/11: Endless War Without Oversight

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 4:33pm

Almost ten years after 9/11, in May of this year, a majority of the US House of Representatives voted to give President Obama — and all future presidents — more war authority than Congress gave to President Bush two days after the 9/11…

DHS Should Focus on Criminal Activity, Not Beliefs

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:34pm

Last week, The Washington Post reported that for the last two years, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) intelligence gathering and analysis unit devoted to rightwing groups and militias has been "effectively eviscerated," while…

Targeted Killing: "A Unique and Extraordinary Case"

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 4:55pm

"A unique and extraordinary case" is how a federal judge described our lawsuit, with the Center for Constitutional Rights, challenging the Obama administration's targeted killing policy.

We brought the case on behalf of Nasser Al-Aulaqi,…

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