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Mahvish Rukhsana Khan is an American lawyer, born to immigrant Pashtun parents in Michigan. While persuing a law degree at the University of Miami, she became enraged by the illegal[…]

In a law class, Mahvish Khan was outraged by the legal debate over torture.

Question: How did you first get involved with Guantanamo cases?

Mahvish Khan: Sure. I got involved while I was still a law student at the University of Miami and I was taking an international law class and just remember feeling outraged that Washington policy makers were debating the legality of these medieval torture techniques which... back in the day it was called Chinese water torture and today in America it’s water boarding, and beyond that the men who had never been charged of anything criminal were being rounded up and arrested and held seemingly indefinitely, and they weren’t afforded the same rights that any alleged rapist or murderer in America receive. And so that was my initial interest and how that was sparked and I ended up Googling the cases that I was studying and found out who the attorneys were that had taken the Guantanamo cases to the Supreme Court, and I got in touch with them and got my foot in the door as an interpreter for a habeas counsel because I speak Pashto, which is a major language in Afghanistan.


Recorded on: 7/17/08