Bina Ahmad (she/her) is a senior attorney at Civil Rights Corps (CRC) where she works primarily on the criminalization of poverty, prosecutor accountability, and police abuse. She is a social justice attorney, making the choice to become a lawyer to help dismantle and push back against the crushing might of the government. Before coming to CRC, Bina practiced for eight years as a public defender. She tried several felony cases working in state criminal defense with the Legal Aid Society of New York City and federal criminal defense with The Office of the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles. As a state public defender, Bina challenged New York State’s heinous automatic remand detention of fugitive warrant cases, changing the state’s practice to allow for both bail and release in these cases.
As part of her work supporting radical movements and state-targeted communities, she has provided legal advice and support to numerous organizations. Since graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in 2005, she has conducted hundreds of Know Your Rights trainings from a curriculum she created. Bina has spoken on panels across the country on animal liberation, police and prison abolition, and international human rights along with fellow activists and thinkers such as Angela Davis, Amy Goodman, Laura Whitehorn and Bill Quigley. As both a lawyer and an activist, she has worked with numerous animal rights and human rights organizations. Bina lived and worked in Palestine with Al-Haq, served on the legal team for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine with Noura Erakat and tribunal jurors such as Angela Davis, Alice Walker and Russell Banks, and was a legal consultant to Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights as well as to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Palestine Division. She served on the Steering Committee of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and is currently an advisory board member of Food Empowerment Project. She also recently served as Global Strategic Litigation Fellow with the International Legal Foundation. In addition, Bina worked as a volunteer attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, provided legal support and advice to the international human rights non profit WITNESS, and supported hundreds of activists in their legal cases during Occupy Wall Street.
Her writings include co-authoring the paper “Shrinking Space and the Movement for BDS”, and articles such as “Criminal Defense for Political Activists: A Lawyer’s Solidarity with the Movement” in the ABA’s GPS Solo Magazine, and “Eric Garner’s Public Defender Says Cop and Prosecutors ‘Are a Team in Every Case’” for Vanity Fair.
Together with her partner, Bina obsesses over their rescue dog Annie, her family’s various birds, and vegan chai.
“As the daughter of refugees who survived the partition of India and religious persecution in Pakistan for being Ahmadi Muslims, this work matters to me as part of my and my family’s struggle for human rights and liberation.”