UCLA School of Law to Host Discussion on Mirmehdi v. United States and Use of International Tribunals to Address Arbitrary Detention in the U.S.


April 21, 2014


WHAT: UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic will hold a discussion on Mirmehdi v. United States, a case involving the arbitrary detention of four brothers originally from Iran. The Mirmehdis and the lawyers and law students who have worked on their case against the United States will discuss the use of international tribunals in their search for justice, including a petition filed on April 21, 2014 to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

WHO: Mostafa Mirmehdi, Mohsen Mirmehdi, Mojtaba Mirmehdi & Mohammed Mirmehdi, Petitioners
UCLA Law Students, International Human Rights Clinic at UCLA School of Law
Catherine Sweetser, Esq., Schonbrun DeSimone, Seplow, Harris & Hoffman, LLP

WHEN: Tuesday April 22, 2014 from 12:15-1:30 pm

WHERE: UCLA School of Law, Room 1447

CONTACTS:  Tendayi Achiume, UCLA School of Law, (310) 267-4715, achiume@law.ucla.edu

Catherine Sweetser, Schonbrun DeSimone, Seplow, Harris & Hoffman, LLP, (310) 396-0731, catherine.sdshhh@gmail.com

BACKGROUND: Within weeks of the September 11, 2001 attacks, four Mirmehdi brothers were detained and held in immigration detention on the basis of false evidence. More than 40 months later, the United States freed the last of the brothers without bringing criminal charges against any of them. The Mirmehdis have spent more than a decade seeking justice for the deprivation of their rights and the abuse they suffered in detention. In 2012, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the Mirmehdis’ claims against U.S. government officials on the basis of immunity provisions. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. Now, with the assistance of UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, the Mirmehdis are taking their case to two international tribunals. The clinic filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights in November, and a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on April 21, 2014. 

The UCLA Law International Human Rights Clinic is a yearlong clinic that introduces students to human rights law theory and practice in the service of real clients.