BSF and the American Civil Liberties Union: Project Human Cost
Pro Bono Highlights
Firm Newsletter Spring 2011
BSF continues to assist the American Civil Liberties Union in addressing the public’s right to know about the conduct of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006 the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the U.S. Military for all records of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan caused by U.S. forces. The ACLU was able to obtain a number of records, but the military then stopped cooperating. The ACLU subsequently filed a lawsuit in 2007 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Months later, the parties entered a settlement agreement and the military agreed to produce thousands of additional records to the ACLU. The ACLU continues to receive records pursuant to the settlement agreement and BSF is taking the lead in organizing and disseminating these records to the public and the human rights community for further analysis and action follow up.
The ACLU and advocates for civilians in war zones have made substantial use of the records. The ACLU and BSF have created a database that summarizes and chronicles documents relating to civilian casualties.
BSF associate Nasrina Bargzie helped create the civilian casualty project while she was an attorney with the ACLU. Nasrina and BSF partner David Shapiro continue the work of bringing transparency and accountability to the civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Related Practices: Pro Bono, Constitutional Law and First Amendment / Mass Media