Ramzi Kassem

Ramzi Kassem is Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York where he directs the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic.

With his students, Professor Kassem has represented prisoners of various nationalities presently or formerly held at American facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, at so-called "Black Sites", and at other detention sites worldwide. In connection with these cases, Professor Kassem and his students have appeared before US federal district and appellate courts, as well as before the military commissions at Guantanamo.

Professor Kassem also supervises the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, which primarily aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices.

Before joining the CUNY law faculty in 2009, Professor Kassem was a Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where he taught in the Civil Liberties & National Security Clinic as well as the Worker & Immigrant Rights & Advocacy Clinic. Professor Kassem also previously served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he taught in the International Justice Clinic.

As a Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Civil Rights Fellow at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck (now Neufeld Scheck & Brustin), Professor Kassem litigated high-impact cases stemming from wrongful convictions and police misconduct. He has also served as a legal consultant for the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Professor Kassem is a graduate of Columbia College and holds law degrees from Columbia Law School, where he was a Senior Editor for the Columbia Law Review, and from the Sorbonne. His interests include the legal and policy responses to the September 11th attacks and other national security crises, the rights of minorities and non-citizens, and international humanitarian law.

Human Rights

The end of injustice for Shaker

The last British prisoner was released from Guantanamo, but justice awaits for the 113 others left behind.

War & Conflict

'American Sniper' should not be nominated for an Oscar

Blockbuster film is an unholy cocktail of vile prejudice and historical revisionism.

US & Canada

Spying or no flying?

The FBI has used the No Fly List to coerce American Muslims into spying on their community.

US & Canada

Hungry for justice at Guantanamo

Today marks four months since prisoners, denied access to due process, began a hunger strike in protest of conditions.

Arts & Culture

The controversy around Zero Dark Thirty: As misleading as the film itself

Both treat torture at secret CIA prisons as if it were a thing of the past, masking the reality of an enduring practice.


The militarisation of 'war on terror' in the US

The National Defence Authorisation Act continues the onward march of the 'war on terror' through the American homeland.

US & Canada

Are Muslims allowed rights?

The New York Police Department and the FBI's targeting of Muslim communities is unfounded and must stop, authors say.

US & Canada

Giving up liberty in the pursuit of security

The CIA has been spying on New York City's Muslim communities for years, in violation of US law.


Obama chains himself to Bush terror policies

The treatment of Ahmed Warsame shows little has changed for detainees captured overseas by the US.