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Human Rights First Leader to Speak

Michael Posner to come to Sanford Institute March 19

Michael Posner, president of Human Rights First, will discuss "Human Rights and National Security Post 9/11" at Duke University on Monday, March 19. The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy and is free and open to the public.

Posner will discuss the prospect for advancing a rights-based approach to national security in a world where the threat of terrorism wields significant influence on national and international policymaking.

Posner has been at the forefront of the human rights movement for nearly 30 years. In 2004, as executive director of Human Rights First, he launched the End Torture Now Campaign. The campaign challenges the U.S. policy framework that allows coercive interrogation techniques and unlimited, secret detention of those in U.S. custody. As part of the campaign, Human Rights First led the effort to support the McCain Amendment, which bans U.S. soldiers and officials from engaging in inhumane treatment of prisoners. The amendment became the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.


Since joining Human Rights First in 1978, Posner has become a national and international leader in the effort to protect refugees, advance a rights-based approach to national security, challenge crimes against humanity and combat discrimination. His opinion essays have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and many other papers.

In January 2006, Posner became president of Human Rights First. He now focuses on public outreach, writing and advocacy to advance the organization's core mission.

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