Indiana law students, faculty, staff and graduates have a long history with Guantanamo Bay. Much of their work relates to the U.S. Military Commissions – a military tribunal – created by Congress in 2006 to try detainees for alleged conduct associated with war.
The students, from Indiana University McKinney School of Law, are holding a photo Exhibition that highlights aspects of Guantanamo that do not focus on their legal work on important cases like that of alleged masterminds of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The Exhibition focuses on Guantanamo as a tropical island outpost that “holds a rare natural beauty in the Caribbean Sea”.
Guantanamo is a “place globally associated with stories of terrorism, torture and lengthy detention without charge”, but it has another side to it that is rarely reported, the students note.
The Exhibition comprises photos of nature at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (also called “Gitmo”).
Brilliant sunrises and sunsets, sand covered beaches with lapping waves, iguanas, and vultures appear in vividly vibrant, large-scale photographs, clear and sharp.
Indiana McKinney’s Guantanamo involvement.
Indiana McKinney law students, faculty, staff and graduates have been associated with Gitmo for most of the 15 years since the first detainees arrived there in January 2002. Their Gitmo roles have included law student researcher, expert witness, media representative, chief defense counsel, prosecutor, detention camp legal advisor, detention center guard, Defense Department public affairs representative, and fair trial observer.
Today’s Exhibition explores Gitmo through the eyes of McKinney students who traveled to GTMO as fair trial observers.
The Department of Defense grants “NGO observer status” to Non-Governmental Organizations such as McKinney’s Program in International Human Rights Law, for the stated purpose of promoting transparency at the Commissions. The McKinney human rights program then formed the MCOP – Military Commissions Observation Project. The MCOP sends McKinney faculty, staff, students and graduates to Gitmo Bay to attend, observe, analyze, critique, and publish materials on the hearings. They are fair trial observers.
The Exhibition, sponsored by the law school’s Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL) & Master of Laws Association (MLA), is titled “Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Through the Eyes of Indiana University McKinney School of Law Observers”.
The Exhibition is in the Law School Atrium, 530 West New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. It runs from 20 April to 15 May 2017, from the end of classes, through the exam period, until the graduation ceremonies.
The Exhibition was created and organized by Judge Aline Doral Stefani Fagundes, LL.M. candidate, MLA President. Judge Fagundes traveled to Gitmo twice, and traveled to the Pentagon and to Ft. Meade, Maryland for other Guantanamo Bay – related hearings.
The students noted that the Exhibition would not have been possible without the help of the McKinney Graduate Programs, the Office of External Affairs, and the Office of Students Affairs.
Learn more at www.GitmoObserver.com
Some photos from the Exhibition appear below.