Ex-Amnesty International honcho discusses Guantanamo

08/02/07 Robert Lorei
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Dr. Bill Schulz, former director of Amnesty International USA, is going to be the keynote speaker at a music conference at the Unitarian Church in Clearwater on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.

Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater is hosting an evening of music and a social justice message on Saturday, August 4 at 7 PM.

More than 200 singers, an orchestra, special musical guests and New York City-based world music percussion quartet Heritage OP will perform a cantata "Sources," followed by a keynote address from the Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz.

Schulz was the executive director of Amnesty International USA, the U.S. Section of Amnesty International, from March 1994 to 2006.

He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1985 to 1993. He is married to the Rev. Beth Graham, also a Unitarian Universalist minister, and they live in Massachusetts.

Schulz is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and is an adjunct professor of International Relations at The New School University.

From the refugee camps of Darfur, Sudan, to the poorest villages in India; from the prison cells of Monrovia, Liberia, to the business suites of Hong Kong to Louisiana's death row, Dr. William F. Schulz has traveled the globe in pursuit of a world free from human rights violations.

During his 12 years at Amnesty, Dr. Schulz led missions to Liberia, Tunisia, Northern Ireland, and Sudan. He also visited other places as diverse as Cuba and Mongolia. He was tailed by Tunisian secret police and threatened with assassination by Liberian warlord Charles Taylor.

His appeal for reconciliation of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland brought tears to the eyes of then-Prime Minister David Trimble. All of this prompted the New York Review of Books to say in 2002, "William Schulz.has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States.

Among his books:

In Our Own Best Interests: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (Beacon Press, 2002) Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights (Nation Books, 2003).

Dr. Schulz spoke with WMNF's Rob Lorei about Vice President Cheney's recent interview on CNN defending the U.S. prison at Guantanamo. He also discussed plans by the U.N. to send a peacekeeping mission to Darfur, the deteriorating human rights situation in the Congo and what inspires him to fight for human rights.

For more information about Saturday's conference, call (727) 531-7704.

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