Arjun Singh Sethi

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Arjun Singh Sethi
Arjun Singh Sethi.jpg
EducationB.S. Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
J.D. New York University School of Law
Alma materNew York University
Georgetown University
OccupationCivil Rights Writer
Human Rights Lawyer
Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center

Arjun Singh Sethi[1] is a Sikh American civil and political rights writer, human rights lawyer,[2] and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Vanderbilt University Law School.[3][4]

Background and career[edit]

Sethi grew up in Virginia. His parents are Sikhs originally from India. His family was one of the founding Sikh families in Virginia.[5]

Sethi received his B.S. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 2003[1] and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 2008.[1] Sethi previously worked as an attorney with the international law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington D.C.,[6][7] and as the legislative counsel/policy advisor with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), also in Washington, D.C.[8] He has represented victims of domestic violence, asylum seekers, national security detainees, and criminal defendants on death row.[9]


Sethi is, according to CNN, "a frequent commentator on civil rights and social justice-related issues."[10] The New York Times reports that he specializes in "counterterrorism and law enforcement," and he has been invited by the government to preview and assess numerous intelligence and law enforcement programs prior to launch.[4][11] He is considered a subject-matter expert on racial and religious profiling.[12] His essays on these subjects have appeared in The Washington Post,[13][14] the Los Angeles Times,[15] Politico Magazine,[16] and in CNN.[17] The Center for American Progress has recognized his work on these issues, noting that in "debates on national security, he has called out actions that stigmatize innocent groups, fan the flames of Islamophobia, and harm Muslim, Arab, and Sikh Americans."[9]

His articles have appeared in Al Jazeera,[18][19][20] Al Jazeera America,[21][22] The Christian Science Monitor,[23][24][25] CNN,[17][26][27][28] The Guardian,[29][30][31][32] The Huffington Post,[33][34] the Los Angeles Times,[15] Politico Magazine,[16] USA Today,[35][36][37][38][39] and The Washington Post.[13][14]

On September 6, 2019, Sethi co-authored an op-ed, "The Gates Foundation Shouldn't Give An Award to Narenda Modi."[40] The article was later cited by outlets across the world in connection with a global campaign calling upon The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to rescind its award to Prime Minister Modi.[41][42][43][44]


In the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, Sethi traveled the country and documented the stories of people targeted by hate violence.[45] NPR,[46] Salon,[47] Teen Vogue,[48] Crooked Media,[49] Center for Investigative Reporting,[50] and other outlets interviewed him about the book. American Hate: Survivors Speak Out was named a 2018 Best Book of the Year by NPR & The Progressive.[51][52]


On December 3, 2015, Al Jazeera America published Sethi's article, "Saudi Arabia Uses Terrorism As An Excuse For Human Rights Abuses."[53] On December 18, 2015, The Intercept reported that the corporate headquarters of Al Jazeera had blocked access to the article, noting that the network had "told local press that it did not intend to offend Saudi Arabia or any other state ally, and would remove the piece."[54] The Intercept republished Sethi's article in full.[55] The censorship was covered by The Independent, The Times of India, Gawker, Jadaliyya, and other media outlets.[2][56][57][58]


  • Arjun Singh Sethi, ed. (July 2018). American Hate: Survivors Speak Out. The New Press. ISBN 9781620973714.


  1. ^ a b c "Arjun Singh Sethi". Lawmantic. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  2. ^ a b "The article Saudi Arabia doesn't want you to read". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  3. ^ "Arjun. Sethi". Georgetown University Law Center.
  4. ^ a b "Arjun Sethi | Faculty | Law School | Vanderbilt University". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  5. ^ Ash, Lucy (August 21, 2012). "Outlook BBC World Service for August 21, 2012". Outlook BBC World Service.
  6. ^ "COVINGTON SECURES ASYLUM FOR SOUTH KORDOFAN BISHOP". Covington & Burling. January 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "COVINGTON SECURES ASYLUM FOR IRANIAN BAHA'I REFUGEE". Covington & Burling. April 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Arjun Sethi: ACLU Bio". American Civil Liberties Union.
  9. ^ a b "16 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2016". name. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  10. ^ "Editor's note to "Spying on Muslims is legal?"". CNN. Feb 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (2015-11-01). "F.B.I. Tool to Identify Extremists Is Criticized". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  12. ^ Subject matter expert sources
  13. ^ a b Sethi, Arjun (August 8, 2012). "Sikhs' inclusiveness is lesson in fighting bigotry". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ a b Sethi, Arjun (November 29, 2013). "Sikh Americans' 'raw deal' at airport security". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ a b Sethi, Arjun (August 3, 2013). "Oak Creek: An act of home-grown terrorism". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ a b "The FBI Needs to Stop Spying on Muslim-Americans". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  17. ^ a b Sethi, Arjun (Feb 26, 2014). "Spying on Muslims is legal?". CNN.
  18. ^ Sethi, Arjun (May 15, 2013). "The US and enemy prisoners post 9/11". Al Jazeera.
  19. ^ Sethi, Arjun (March 12, 2013). "President Obama: Protect LGBT workers through executive order". Al Jazeera.
  20. ^ Sethi, Arjun (April 24, 2013). "Immigration of unaccompanied minors on rise". Al Jazeera.
  21. ^ Sethi, Arjun (April 28, 2014). "Americans' complicity in the prison rape crisis". Al Jazeera America.
  22. ^ Sethi, Arjun (February 12, 2014). "Incarceration across state lines". Al Jazeera America.
  23. ^ Sethi, Arjun (November 22, 2011). "GPS tracking: Supreme Court must protect Americans from Orwellian control". The Christian Science Monitor.
  24. ^ Sethi, Arjun (June 5, 2012). "Don't penalize asylum-seekers at US ports". The Christian Science Monitor.
  25. ^ Martin and Sethi (April 9, 2013). "Equal Pay Day: Raising minimum wage will help women – and the economy". The Christian Science Monitor.
  26. ^ Sethi, Arjun (August 15, 2014). "A chance to limit spying on Americans". CNN.
  27. ^ Graves and Sethi (November 6, 2013). "Why unequal pay persists". CNN.
  28. ^ Sethi, Arjun (November 25, 2012). "Fairness needed for pregnant workers". CNN.
  29. ^ Sethi, Arjun (August 30, 2014). "The US government can brand you a terrorist based on a Facebook post. We can't let them make up the rules". The Guardian.
  30. ^ Sethi, Arjun (May 9, 2014). "It's time to close the workplace sexual harassment loophole". The Guardian.
  31. ^ Sethi, Arjun (February 13, 2014). "America's waiters, barbers, and bellhops haven't had a raise since 1991". The Guardian.
  32. ^ Sethi, Arjun (January 23, 2013). "Military contracting: our new era of corporate mercenaries". The Guardian.
  33. ^ Sethi, Arjun (June 2, 2012). "Strip Searching Americans Without Cause: A Blow to Personal Privacy". The Huffington Post.
  34. ^ Sethi, Arjun (September 1, 2011). "The Republic Of Sudan: Crisis Within". The Huffington Post.
  35. ^ Martin and Sethi (January 6, 2013). "Column: Why U.S. needs to ratify women's rights treaty". USA Today.
  36. ^ Sethi, Arjun (October 2, 2013). "Why is Brazil hosting 2014 World Cup? Column". USA Today.
  37. ^ Sethi, Arjun (March 13, 2013). "'Gideon' promise goes unfulfilled: Column". USA Today.
  38. ^ Sethi, Arjun (September 23, 2012). "Column: Is our judiciary up for sale?". USA Today.
  39. ^ Sethi, Arjun (February 14, 2012). "Column: Don't treat America's homeless as criminals". USA Today.
  40. ^ "Opinion | The Gates Foundation shouldn't give an award to Narendra Modi". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  41. ^ "Gates Foundation's Humanitarian Award To India's Modi Is Sparking Outrage". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  42. ^ Ruiz-Grossman, Sarah (2019-09-16). "Activists Petition Gates Foundation Not To Honor India's Prime Minister". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  43. ^ "Riz Ahmed drops out of Gates Foundation event honouring Narendra Modi". Daily Times. 2019-09-17. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  44. ^ "Gates Foundation urged not to give award to Modi". The Nation. 2019-09-08. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  45. ^ "AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Arjun Singh Sethi". The New Press. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  46. ^ "Inside The Stories Of Hate Crime Survivors In America". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  47. ^ "Hate spreads in Trump's America: "We need to root out white supremacy just like the cancer it is"". Salon. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  48. ^ Nast, Condé. "Arjun Singh Sethi Gave Hate Crime Survivors the Chance to Tell Their Own Stories in 'American Hate'". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  49. ^ "A Country Built On a Hate Crime w/ Arjun Sethi". Crooked Media. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  50. ^ "The Hate Report: How survivors tell the story of hate in America". Reveal. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  51. ^ "American Hate: Survivors Speak Out". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  52. ^ Magazine, The Progressive (2018-12-01). "Our Favorite Books of 2018". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  53. ^ "OPINION: Saudi Arabia uses terrorism as an excuse for human rights abuses". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  54. ^ "Al Jazeera Blocks Anti-Saudi Arabia Article". The Intercept. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  55. ^ "Here's the Article on Saudi Arabia That Al Jazeera Blocked". The Intercept. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  56. ^ "Al-Jazeera blocks article slamming Saudi Arabian human rights record - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  57. ^ "Al Jazeera Censors Its Own Anti-Saudi Arabia Article for International Readers". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  58. ^ "Al Jazeera Censors English-Language Article Critical of Saudi Regime". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-01-19.

External links[edit]