Press Releases

CAIR-St. Louis to Join Coalition Opposing Hiring of Gitmo Psychologist

(ST. LOUIS, MO, 2/4/13) — On Wednesday February 6, the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) will join a coalition of civil rights and academic groups at a press conference in Columbia, Mo., to speak out against the possible hiring of retired military psychologist Dr. Larry C. James as the division executive director at the Missouri University College of Education.

 

James worked at the Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) and Abu Ghraib (Iraq) prisons and commanded the Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT), a group of mental health professionals whose job it was to advise on and participate in interrogations.

 

WHAT: Coalition to Hold News Conference in Opposition to Possible Hiring of Dr. James

WHEN: February 6, 10:30 a.m. (Central)

WHERE: University of Missouri Columbia Student Center, Room 2206A

CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, faizan@cair-stlouis.com

 

A complaint filed against James by a representative of the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic states in part:

“During Dr. James's tenure as the senior intelligence psychologist in Guantánamo, boys and men were threatened with rape and death for themselves and their family members; sexually, culturally, and religiously humiliated; forced naked; deprived of sleep; subjected to sensory deprivation, over-stimulation, and extreme isolation; short-shackled into stress positions for hours; and physically assaulted. The evidence indicates that abuse of this kind was systemic, that BSCT health professionals played an integral role in its planning and practice, and that Dr. James, as the Chief Psychologist of the intelligence command, at minimum knew or should have known it was being inflicted.”

Read the full complaint.

 

Opposition to the possible hiring of Dr. James has been growing over the last several days, with protests and written opposition by civil rights groups, faculty, students, and concerned citizens.

 

SEE: Students and Columbia Residents Protest Possible Hiring of Dr. Larry James

 

Petitions signed by University of Missouri-Columbia students and concerned citizens will be presented to university officials.

 

SIGN THE PETITION: Mizzou: Deny Hiring of Dr. James Chief Psychologist at Torture Prisons

 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

 

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CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, fsyed@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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