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.
 
Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 4:51pm
Should the federal government task teachers, religious leaders, and mental health professionals with rating and reporting to law enforcement about the strength of a family's parent-child bond? A child's involvement in religious activities or his connection to a group identity? Whether there are "ideologues" within an American community or what its level of "cohesiveness" is? These and other deeply invasive and problematic questions are being considered as part of the government's strategy for "countering violent extremism." That strategy has been targeted at Muslims, at home and abroad.
#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:05pm

Whatever you may think of the harms carried out by the group referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the fear of ISIS is now creating a double threat to our system of checks and balances. We now have a Congress so anxious to avoid…

Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, a teenage boy with combed hair wearing glasses, smiling

Relative of Americans Killed by Drone Strikes: No Justice in U.S. Courts

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 1:29pm

Having lost faith in the ability of U.S. courts to provide justice and accountability for their relatives' deaths, the family members of three U.S. citizens killed by drone strikes in Yemen in 2011 have decided not to appeal a court decision dismissing…

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:00pm

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

It began with an unexpected rapping on the front door.

When Wiley Gill opened up, no one was there. Suddenly, two police officers appeared, their guns drawn, yelling, "Chico Police Department."

"I…

Death Without Due Process

Death Without Due Process

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 11:37am

This post was originally published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. On Wednesday, Hina Shamsi will take part in an Intelligence Squared debate on the question "Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S.…

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 5:16pm

After five long years of investigation, declassification, and redaction – not to mention outright obstruction by the CIA – the Senate Intelligence Committee today shone more light on CIA torture and made a historic and necessary contribution to…

Victory: No Fly List Process Ruled Unconstitutional

Victory: No Fly List Process Ruled Unconstitutional

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:00am

A secret government watchlist that traps innocent Americans in a Kafkaesque nightmare was dealt a major blow yesterday.

A federal court in Oregon struck down as unconstitutional the government's system for challenging inclusion on the No Fly…

Grounded: Life on the No Fly List

What You Should Know About America’s Secret Watchlists

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 10:01am

The U.S. government is blacklisting people as terrorism suspects based on secret standards and secret evidence. People on government watchlists are questioned, harassed, detained, and even barred indefinitely from flying — and the government denies…

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...

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