An irreplaceable activist has left us. Michael Ratner died Wednesday (May 11) at the age of 72. The Nation magazine described him perfectly: “He pursued justice fearlessly, in the face of daunting odds.” May he rest in peace.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, where Michael was president emeritus, issued the following statement:
From Attica to Assange, Michael Ratner has defended, investigated, and spoken up for victims of human rights abuses all over the world. For 45 years, Michael brought cases with the Center for Constitutional Rights in U.S. courts related to war, torture, and other atrocities, sometimes committed by the U.S., sometimes by other regimes or corporations, in places ranging from El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala, to Yugoslavia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, and Israel. Seeking to hold Bush administration officials accountable for torture, he turned to filing cases under the principle of Universal Jurisdiction in international courts—in Germany, Spain, Canada, Switzerland, and France. Michael dedicated his life to the most important fights for justice of the last half century.