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  1. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    Help free Krishna Maharaj: a plea from Clive Stafford Smith

    Clive Stafford Smith on 06 July 2012

    Innocent British businessman Kris Maharaj has been wrongfully imprisoned for 26 years by the state of Florida. He is now 73.

    When I last saw Kris, he was shackled to a hospital bed struggling to survive a flesh eating bacteria in his leg. He begged me to remember him every day, along with his faithful wife Marita. I have written this book so that he is never forgotten. But most importantly, I have written this book so that I am invited to write articles and do broadcasts on the case, so that the people who know what really happened to ...

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  2. Generic for ISI unit

    Big Issue feature on Rendition this week

    Reprieve on 04 July 2012

    The Big Issue have published an article on rendition drawing on the work of Reprieve investigator Crofton Black.  It not only provides an overview of rendition, but highlights how companies with strong UK links, like Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) have been heavily involved.

    In 2002, the United States Central Intelligence Agency began using private contractors to transport prisoners to secret “black sites” around the world, where they were held incommunicado, interrogated and tortured.

    What is less well known is the role of companies in this network.  Reprieve has been investigating this network of corporate complicity – companies, some small, some large ...

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  3. Julian Elderfield

    Arkansas execution laws held to be unconstitutional

    Julian Elderfield on 27 June 2012

    In a landmark decision on Friday the Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled 5-2 that the Method of Execution Act of 2009 was unconstitutional. 

    The law, which granted broad procedural discretion to the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) to administer the death penalty, was held to be a violation of the separation-of-powers provision of the US Constitution.  The Court found that “the legislature has abdicated its responsibility and passed to the executive branch … the unfettered discretion to determine all protocol and procedures, most notably the chemicals to be used, for a state execution.”

    Other states, particularly Texas, Delaware, Idaho and Florida ...

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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