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  1. Anita Digernes

    "It sounds to me that this man might actually be innocent"

    Anita Digernes on 27 June 2012

    Ivan Teleguz is facing imminent execution in the US state of Virginia. However, during his final appeal hearing last month it became clear that new information has emerged that can prove Mr Teleguz's innocence. The result of the hearing is expected any day now, and we remain hopeful that he will be granted an evidentiary hearing.

    Below are statements made by Judge Davis and Judge Wynn during the hearing while questioning the Attorney General, in addition to a more extensive transcript.

    How can that not be ineffective assistance of counsel for a defence lawyer in a capital case to ...

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  2. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    The Drone Age

    Clive Stafford Smith on 21 June 2012

    Sometimes the future sneaks up on us, and we only notice once our world has changed almost beyond recognition.

    On August 6th, 1945, the nuclear age sprang, fully formed, upon Hiroshima and the world. None of us had a vote; we were not even consulted. The US had been developing its weapons in the top secret Manhattan Project, and the explosion took place before anyone knew what a nuclear weapon was. Then the Pentagon’s focus on military superiority combined with Soviet paranoia to give us decades of a Cold War, with its insane acronyms: MAD meant Mutually Assured ...

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  3. Anita Digernes

    Happy Birthday Magna Carta: To no one will we refuse or delay right or justice

    Anita Digernes on 15 June 2012

    On this day in 1215, Magna Carta dared to suggest the King must obey our laws. Now, our Government seeks to put itself above them.

    The Magna Carta – the Great Charter of the Liberties of England – was issued nearly 800 years ago. This historic document required the then King John to accept limitations to his power and to declare certain liberties - and arguably established the principle that no-one, not even the state, is above the law. The Charter stated: “To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.”

    But this important piece ...

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  4. Tara Murray

    The US Supreme Court condemns Guantanamo prisoners to indefinite detention without trial

    Tara Murray on 12 June 2012

    Nearly four years ago, in the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision Boumediene v Bush, Guantánamo Bay prisoners were finally given right of access to US courts to challenge the lawfulness of their detentions under the ancient right of habeas corpus

    What followed was years of the DC circuit court of appeals biting away at that right. 

    Now, in a single move, instead of responding to the lower court’s obliteration of the right, the Supreme Court has abdicated its role by denying each of seven requests made to the Court to clarify the prisoners’ rights. 

    Absurdly, not one ...

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  5. Clemency wells by E.Purdon BW

    Sesame Street torture

    Clemency Wells on 07 June 2012

    A recent documentary by Al-Jazeera has received a great deal of attention the past week for its focus on a certain, and particularly sinister, method of torture used at Guantánamo Bay: music. And not just any old music -  over 200 children’s songs from the immensely popular show Sesame Street have been used to brutally torture detainees for over a decade. The documentary follows Christopher Cerf – who composed the Sesame Street songs – while he learns exactly how his music has been used to torture the men held in that infamous legal abyss.

    While the Pentagon - the headquarters of the ...

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  6. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, unaware of the consequences

    Clive Stafford Smith on 06 June 2012

    Last October I was at a jirga in Islamabad where 80 people from Waziristan had assembled to talk about the US Predator drones that buzz around overhead, periodically delivering death by Hellfire missile. A jirga is the traditional forum for discussing and resolving disputes, part parliament, part court of law. The turbaned tribal elders were joined by their young sons on a rare foray out of their region to meet outsiders and discuss the killing. The isolation of the Waziris is almost total – no western journalist has been to Miranshah for several years.

    At our meeting I spoke as the ...

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  7. Clemency wells by E.Purdon BW

    Clare Algar talks about Reprieve's drones work at The Funding Network

    Clemency Wells on 01 June 2012

    On Thursday May 17th, Reprieve’s Executive Director Clare Algar spoke at The Funding Network’s Human Rights evening and raised a spectacular £6,000 for Reprieve’s work on CIA drone attacks in Yemen.

    The Funding Network is an innovative way for the philanthropically-minded to join together to fund social change projects. At each themed event NGO representatives give a presentation about their work to a room full of possible funders – as TFN describes it: a friendly dragon’s den for charities! After their presentation the charity representatives all leave the room while the generous TFN folk decide ...

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  8. Anita Digernes

    Remembering Jack Alderman – the longest serving death row prisoner in the US

    Anita Digernes on 29 May 2012

    Sixty-one years ago today, Jack Alderman was born in Savannah, Georgia. On 16 September 2008 he was executed by that same state for a crime he did not commit. By that time, he had spent 33 years on death row, making him the longest serving prisoner awaiting execution in the US.

    Based on the testimony of John Arthur Brown – Jack’s neighbour and a known drug addict and alcoholic – Jack was convicted for the murder of his wife Barbara in 1975. Since there was no forensic evidence against him, the District Attorney stated that he “structured the entire case” around ...

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  9. Cori Crider

    Deploying killer drones in Yemen will make us all less safe

    Cori Crider on 28 May 2012

    This week's suicide bomb in Sana'a came as no surprise here in Yemen. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been threatening an attack on Sana'a for some time now. But it may be something of a surprise to many Americans that many Yemenis would cite U.S. activity here as a root cause of the attack.

    It is of course oversimplification to blame AQAP's terrorism on U.S. intervention. Yet one of the grievances long expressed against Yemen's leadership is the extent to which it bends to U.S. counter-terrorism demands at the ...

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  10. Clive Stafford Smith

    What drones victims in Pakistan would do with $60,000 - the price of a Hellfire drone missile

    Clive Stafford Smith on 25 May 2012

    Last week I went to Peshawar, Pakistan to visit victims of CIA drone strikes. Deeply affected by the presence of the drones in their communities, they told me how they would have spent the money used to build these weapons of destruction. 

    Rasul Mana and the Voice of the Drone

    Rasul Mana comes from the village of Sirkut Burakhel Supulga in Waziristan. As we meet, he produces from his pocket a sheet of ES-PRAMCIT (Escitalopram), an anti-stress drug that is manufactured in Karachi. There is only one left in the packet of eight.

    I come from the village of Sirkut ...

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