Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Craig Pyes will speak about prisoner abuse by the U.S. military at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy on Tuesday, February 2, from 4-6 p.m. More info here:
More than 160 detainees have died in American military custody in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, many classified as homicides. But were these deaths properly investigated? Craig Pyes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose reporting launched an Army probe into two detainee deaths and their cover-up by a U.S. Special Forces team in Afghanistan, will argue that cases of homicide where abuse is suspected should be re-examined because the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) did not vigorously pursue suspected war crimes. Pyes will discuss his own multi-year investigation of a rogue Special Forces detachment in Afghanistan that adapted harsh interrogation techniques promoted by the Pentagon, that were later judged responsible for the vast majority of prisoner abuse. Ten detainees held at the base said they had been tortured, yet questions remain unanswered about the culpability of the Special Forces team six years later, despite the decision by the U.S. Army to close the criminal investigation – not once, but three times.
Craig Pyes is a human rights investigator and an award-winning investigative reporter with extensive experience in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. As a special investigator for the non-profit Crimes of War Project, Pyes looked into possible breaches of U.S. and International law in the armed conflict in Afghanistan. While working as an investigative reporter for The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, he wrote about the looming threat of the al Qaeda terrorism network both before and after the September 11th attacks on America, and profiled the corrosive and national security effects of drug corruption in Mexico. During the civil war in El Salvador, he and a colleague were the only reporters to reveal the inner workings of Salvadoran death squads that had killed more than 40,000 people with impunity. Pyes has received two Pulitzer Prizes, as well as awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Los Angeles Times, and the Latin American Studies Association. In 2002, he was a finalist for Harvard’s Shorenstein Center’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Currently based in Los Angeles, he investigates human rights abuses for lawyers and non-profits, and is a court-appointed death penalty mitigation specialist.