Conference: “Worldwide Movement for Accountability and Crimes Against Humanity”

updated at: published at:

Speaker: Aryeh Neier
Date: March 14, 2012
Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Place: Dolapdere Campus, Court Room

Aryeh Neier (born 1937) is an American human rights activist who serves as the president of the Open Society Institute. Neier had earlier been executive director for 12 years of Human Rights Watch, of which he was a founder in 1978. Before that, he worked 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, including eight years as national executive director. He served as an adjunct professor of law at New York University for more than a dozen years.

Neier was born in Nazi Germany and became a refugee as a child when his family fled in 1939 when he was two-years old. 

As a human rights activist, Neier has led investigations of human rights abuses around the world, including his role in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 

In 1981 when a small group of U.S. journalists wanted to help colleagues overseas who were in trouble, Neier provided invaluable advice about starting a non-profit group. That organization became CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists), and Neier served on its board for many years. In 2010 CPJ honoured Aryeh Neier with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award given for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in the cause of press freedom. 

He has lectured at many of the country’s leading universities. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees and the American Bar Association’s Gavel Award and the International Bar Association’s Rule of Law Award.

For a dozen years he wrote a column on human rights for The Nation. He has contributed more than a 150 op-ed articles in newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and the Foreign Policy. Author of six books, including his most recent, Taking Liberties (2003), Neier has also contributed chapters to more than 20 books.


Dossier: The Secret Files They Keep on You (1974) Crime and Punishment: A Radical Solution (1976) Defending My Enemy: American Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, and the Risks of Freedom (1979)  Only Judgment: The Limits of Litigation in Social Change (1982) War Crimes: Brutality, Terror, and the Struggle for Justice (1998) Taking Liberties: Four Decades in the Struggle for Rights (2003)