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A painting of Haitian refugees detained in a camp in Guantanamo, CubaHealthRight’s story began in Cuba in 1993, when a group of physicians led by Dr. Jonathan Mann, HealthRight’s founder and a world renowned human rights advocate, went to Guantanamo where Haitian asylum seekers were being detained indefinitely, many with HIV.

Back in the United States the group used the data from interviews and assessments to file a lawsuit in Federal Court against the refugees’ detainment, arguing that the conditions in the camps were not conducive to care and that the patients must be brought into the U.S. The lawsuit was successful. This work – and advocacy documenting these asylum seekers’ trauma – led to the creation of the Human Rights Clinic.

The image pictured here is a painting created by one of these refugee detainees, now on display in HealthRight’s New York Headquarters. Read more about this history here.