American human rights lawyer Ramsey Clark (93) died. The lawyer, as Minister of Justice, established a number of important laws against racial discrimination under President Johnson. At a later age, he became known as a legal adviser to controversial dictators and countries hostile to the United States.
Everyone deserves the same rights and the best legal support, thought the Texan, who came from a well-known political family. His father served as Minister of Justice under post-war President Truman and as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He gave up that position when his son began to make his own career within the Ministry of Justice. This is to prevent possible conflicts of interest.
Clark was passionately committed to equality and civil rights and contributed to the adoption of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, laws banning various forms of racial inequality and discrimination. Among other things, segregation in education and housing were made impossible.
After his ministry, Clark continued his work as an internationally operating lawyer. As an avid critic of American interventions abroad, he advised and defended controversial leaders such as Libyan leader Gaddafi, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Liberian President Charles Taylor.
In the late 1990s, Clark protested against NATOs military operations against Yugoslavia in the Kosovo war. Later, he gave legal advice to Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who was on trial for war crimes at the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague.
Clark visited Milosevics funeral in 2006 and always defended him. Figures like him and Saddam Hussein were “warriors brave enough to stand up against great powers,” Clark said.
Until late, he continued to travel the world for meetings with Heads of Government and Dissidents, from Bulgaria to Syria:
Clark continued to stress that he acted as guardian of international human rights. “Equality is the mother of justice. Without equality in the law, there is no justice,” he said at the start of the trial against Milosevic in The Hague.
Thank you from Cuba and Palestinian Territories
Supporters and former clients of Clark express their gratitude on social media for the work done by the activist and lawyer. This is what Hanan Ashrawi, a former member of the Palestinian PLO, calls him a tireless defender of human rights.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel calls Clark an “honest man who stood on our side in the fight against the great inequality that his country has committed worldwide”.
The presidential library dedicated to President Johnsons legacy claims to mourn the loss of Clark, who is called a dedicated servant of the public cause. His commitment is also praised for the Civil Rights Act, which will be 53 years old tomorrow.
Clark died yesterday at his New York apartment.