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March 10, 2008

Former Guantanamo Bay Army Chaplain to speak at The University of Texas School of Law, March 20, 2008

Former U.S. Army Officer and Chaplain James Yee will discuss his experience as a Muslim minister accused of spying at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 6 p.m. in The University of Texas Law School Auditorium.

Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available in the San Jacinto garage.

While ministering to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Yee advised camp commanders on the detainees’ religious practices and voiced objections to how detainees were treated. Although he was officially recognized twice for outstanding performance as a minister to detainees on behalf of the U.S. Army, Chaplain Yee was arrested and held in solitary confinement for seventy-six days in 2003. He was accused of spying, espionage, and aiding prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He was subsequently exonerated, given an honorable discharge, and commended for his service.

Kristine Huskey, Strauss Fellow and director of UT’s National Security & Human Rights Clinic, was instrumental in bringing Chaplain Yee to campus. “Mr. Yee, an American citizen and military officer, has an amazing story to tell, one that we should all know and keep in mind when discussing the fundamental importance of the Rule of Law and restraint on executive power, especially in times crises or conflict,” Huskey said.

Chaplain Yee is a third-generation Chinese American who, after graduating from West Point, converted to Islam in April of 1991 and served in the U.S. military for over a decade. He has been featured on a variety of news programs, including The O'Reilly Factor and MSNBC's Hardball, and has spoken at college campuses around the country.

Chaplain Yee also tells his story in his book, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. The book is available at UT Co-Op East, and Yee will sign copies brought to the event.

The event is sponsored by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law; Mayer Brown LLP; the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights; the National Security & Human Rights Clinic at The University of Texas School of Law; and the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section of the State Bar of Texas.

For more information about the event, please e-mail tjclcr@law.utexas.edu or call (512) 232-1278.

Related Links:

James Yee's Bio

National Security & Human Rights Clinic

Strauss Center

Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Media Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu.