When British, American and other coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, the "United States and Britain were utterly unprepared for their obligations," to keep local residents safe, as mandated by international law for occupying powers, said Saman Zia-Zarifi '90, J.D. '93, director of Amnesty International for Asia.

In his April 22 talk, "Counter Terror with Justice: The Dispatches of Terror and the Axis of Evil," at the Cornell Law School," Zia-Zarifi discussed his experience as an international lawyer and human rights activist working in Iraq and Afghanistan, both shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 and after the invasion of Iraq.

Presenting images of mass graves and looted buildings in Iraq as well as unexploded ammunition and cluster bombs in Afghanistan, Zia-Zarifi discussed the insufficiency of "state-centric" international law and human rights law in holding non-state actors accountable for human rights violation.

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