Qasim believes international human rights law must be upheld unconditionally, for all people. He has advocated for peace and condemned human rights violations, both in the US and abroad, throughout his career as a human rights lawyer and advocate. From raising funds for victims of the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar to demanding an end to the bombing of Yemen, and now demanding a ceasefire to the Israel-Hamas war that has killed over 27,478 Palestinians and 1,139 Israelis, Qasim stands for justice whether or not it is politically convenient.
In response to the tragic deaths of civilians in Israel and Palestine, Qasim supports:
- An immediate ceasefire in Gaza
- The unconditional release of all Israeli and Palestinian hostages and political prisoners
- An end to the illegal military occupation and settlements in Palestine
- Palestinians’ right of return
Qasim firmly believes the US must continue to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion and attack on Ukrainian civilians. This commitment is anchored in historical agreements. In 1996, Ukraine relinquished its nuclear arsenal in exchange for the international community’s commitment to protect them. Qasim’s support of Ukraine also aligns with his broader objective of safeguarding our European allies by preventing escalation into a full-scale war. Beyond geopolitical considerations, there is also a moral imperative. The lives of Ukrainian and American civilians are directly threatened by the escalating conflict. By containing the conflict, the US upholds its commitment to protecting innocent lives.
Qasim will also fight to uphold and strengthen domestic and international human rights law:
The Leahy Laws: These laws prohibit the US State Dept and the US DOD from providing military assistance to foreign governments suspected of violating human rights laws.
- Demand its enforcement during hearings on foreign military assistance.
- Work with relevant committees to assess the impact of the US’s military assistance on recipient countries’ human rights.
- Propose and support legislation to strengthen Leahy Laws and address any loopholes in its current implementation.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the “International Bill of Human Rights”: These international documents and treaties adopted by the United Nations General Assembly outline fundamental freedoms and rights entitled to all humans.
- Support foreign aid and international programs that promote human rights and democratic values.
- Engage in Congressional oversight to ensure the State Department upholds its commitment to protect international human rights.
- Push for the US to ratify other human rights documents, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The Geneva Convention and Rome Statute: This group of international laws and treaties ensures civilians are protected during armed conflict and gives the International Criminal Court the power to prosecute war crimes and genocide, among other grave international crimes.
- Advocate for international cooperation and diplomatic efforts to support peaceful conflict resolution through the International Criminal Court.
- Collaborate with colleagues and international allies to uphold the Geneva Convention and Rome Statutes and respond to any reported violations.