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Lawyer for Guantanamo Detainees to Speak at Ithaca College for Constitution Day

ITHACA, NY — An attorney who has worked on behalf of prisoners held by the United States at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba will speak at Ithaca College as part of the annual observance of Constitution Day. Shayana Kadidal will present “WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and the First Amendment” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, in Park Hall Auditorium. His talk is free and open to the public.

Kadidal is the senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He has worked on a number of significant cases for the center in the wake of 9/11, including challenges to the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

Bradley Manning is a U.S. Army soldier who was arrested on suspicion of having passed classified material to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He has been charged with a number of offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy. Kadidal’s talk will address how the First Amendment influences political dynamics concerning dissent in cyberspace. During his campus visit he will also speak in several classes.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1994, Kadidal worked in a number of legal areas — including patent, drug and obscenity law — before taking up civil liberties law. At the Center for Constitutional Rights he has served as counsel in litigation involving challenges to the “material support” statute (decided by the Supreme Court last term), the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program and alleged discrimination by the New York City fire department in the hiring of African American firefighters.

Kadidal coauthored the CCR’s book “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush,” and in 2009 he was honored with the Access to Justice Award by the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

Constitution Day is an annual observance that commemorates the September 17, 1787, signing of the document that established the framework of the U.S. government and the rights and freedoms to which all in America are entitled. On or around that day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.

The Ithaca College Library has compiled on its website a collection of links to information about Kadidal, Manning and WikiLeaks as well as resources on the Constitution and post-9/11 issues.

Kadidal’s visit is cosponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Educational Affairs, Department of Politics, Legal Studies program and Park Center for Independent Media. For more information contact Beth Harris, associate professor of politics, at bharris@ithaca.edu or (607) 274-3517.



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