News Release

* Syria * Supreme Court and “Gutted Habeas Corpus”


Hagopian is a Syrian-American sociologist, a professor emeritus of sociology at Simmons College in Boston and political interviewer for Arabic Hour TV. She said today: “The situation in Syria has intensified. The regime is determined to defeat the militarized opposition and the fractured and incoherent militarized opposition, which is trying to develop a united strategy, is determined to bring down the regime. Both parties refuse to accept a cease fire as part of the Annan plan, blaming each other for its failure. Each blames the other for the series of massacres that have taken place. But there are conflicting reports on these, and the UN monitors have confirmed the massacres, but have not stated who committed them. They did identify artillery shells that were fired in the area by the regime, but did not connect the up close murders of civilians to the regime. A leading German daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), reports that the rebels did the killing, and the victims were Alawites. Mainstream media report that the Shabiha (civilian Alawite mafia) did it on behalf of the regime. Who to believe? Two things are clear, both the regime and the militarized opposition lie, and both commit atrocities. In the meantime, the original, non-violent reform movement, now calling for Assad to step down as well, has been overshadowed by the violent exchanges going on between the regime and the militarized opposition. As Syria deteriorates and feels the pressures of the economic sanctions, the violence escalates. Russia and the U.S. suggest different ‘solutions,’ but have not found common ground to move toward halting the violence…”

The New York Times reports: “The Supreme Court on Monday, June 11, refused to hear appeals from seven men contesting their imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, passing up an opportunity to clarify its last Guantanamo decision, in 2008.”

Worthington is author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. He is co-director of the film “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo.”

He said today: “The Supreme Court’s refusal to rebuke the right-wing judges of the D.C. Circuit Court, who have gutted habeas corpus of all meaning, has led to a situation in which, although 87 of the remaining 169 prisoners at Guantanamo have been cleared for release — some as long ago as 2004 — it is probable that none of them will ever be released, as they have been failed by every branch of the U.S. government.” Worthington was on Democracy Now this morning.