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  1. Generic for Dark Prison

    Accusations over Polish CIA prisons

    Reprieve on 27 March 2012

    Source:, Wojciech Czuchnowski, Adam Krzykowski

    Translation: Agathe Osinski

    The former head of Polish intelligence (AW) Zbigniew Siemiatkowski has been charged with participating in the organisation of a center, located in Poland, which held prisoners suspected of terrorism between 2002-2003.

    “I have repeatedly refused to provide any explanations to the prosecutors, and I will continue to refuse it at every step of the procedure, even in court,” Siemiatkowski, who is now a university lecturer, told the Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and television station Panorama. He justifies this silence as necessary for the sake of state security.

    He does ...

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  2. Aditi Gupta

    Torture by Music

    Aditi Gupta on 26 March 2012

    British Citizen, Ruhal Ahmed, spent two years at Guantánamo Bay. After his release he returned home to Tipton, England without ever being charged with a crime by the British or US governments. During his time at Guantánamo, he was repeatedly tortured. The method of torture that he feared most, however, was torture by music.

    This documentary by the BBC World Service explores the use of music as a weapon to induce sleep deprivation, prolong capture shock and disorient detainees - all in name of the ‘War on Terror’.

    Since the ‘War on Terror’ began, Michael Korzinski, a psychologist for ...

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  3. Ariane Adam 2

    Robert Towery: Death Watch Diary

    Ariane Adam on 23 March 2012

    “Potato, potato, potato” was Robert Towery’s last utterance before he took a few deep breaths and closed his eyes. His nephew will have recognized it as an approximation of the sound made by a Harley Davidson engine.

    This diary chronicles the last 35 days of his life, starting on 2 February 2012 when he went on “Death Watch,” that is, when he was removed from his cell and placed in a special holding unit. On 7 February 2012 he was moved to the death house. Arizona executed by lethal injection on 8 March 2012. He was 47 years old ...

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  4. Polly Rossdale

    Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki: "I'm a Human Rights Activist first, President second"

    Polly Rossdale on 22 March 2012

    We were feeling a little gloomy, as I think all of us who work on Reprieve’s Secret Prisons team do every time January comes around. 

    January is the month that the US military began to erect open air cages to house men supposedly caught on the new battlefield in the War on Terror. They built this prison on a patch of land at the eastern tip of Cuba still owned by the US, called Guantanamo. That was 10 years ago.

    Just before this year’s anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA ...

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  5. Marc Callcutt BW

    Investigation – Chinese Style

    Marc Callcutt on 20 March 2012

    "Awaken human nature and perceive the value of life."

    With these unwittingly ironic words began China’s hit television show, Interviews before Execution, about which a documentary was shown on BBC 2 last week. Focusing on the presenter Ding Yu’s travels from prison to prison, the BBC documentary showed the work of the presenter as she records teary interviews with prisoners shortly before their execution, with the aim warning people of the consequences of crime “so tragedies can be averted”.

    The show highlighted China’s extensive use of the death penalty, the brutal nature of their criminal justice system ...

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  6. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    Drone Summit: Killing and Spying by Remote Control

    Cortney Busch on 19 March 2012

    There are just over five weeks until CODEPINK hosts it’s drones conference, ‘Drone Summit: Killing and Spying by Remote Control,” in Washington, DC.  If you happen to be in the US capitol for the weekend of 28-29 April - make sure you attend! 

    Co-hosted by Reprieve and the Center for Constitutional Rights (‘CCR’), CODEPINK is hosting a weekend conference - the first of its kind - to explore the use of drones domestically and internationally.  From flying drones overhead to spy discreetly on US citizens to the murder of individuals in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, drones are increasingly becoming a tool of ...

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  7. Clare Algar BW

    Opposition grows to “chilling” plans for secret justice

    Clare Algar on 15 March 2012

    A "chilling threat to liberty and justice" an "excessive and dangerous" move which would "shake our constitution to its common law roots" tilting it "towards the closed favoured by despots" and miring individuals in "Kafkaesque cases."

    The disturbing potential of the government's plans to extend secret justice across the country's civil courts has hit the headlines, with the Mail, Times, Guardian, Independent and FT all united in condemnation.

    That sense of alarm is also becoming apparent among the Lib Dems. Tom Brake MP, chair of the party's backbench Home Affairs committee, has described the Justice ...

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  8. Gabriela Belmar-Valencia

    Why volunteer at Reprieve?

    Gabriela Belmar-Valencia on 07 March 2012

    My name’s Gabriela and I'm a 26 year-old law graduate. For the past six months I’ve been volunteering with Reprieve's Secret Prisons and Extraordinary Renditions team, doing work that I’ve fallen in love with. 

    So what do Guantanamo Bay prisoners, secret flights and drone strikes in Pakistan have to do with me? Why have I chosen to involve myself in this particular battle? The answer to that is complex.

    Although I was born and bred in the UK, I’m originally from a Chilean background. My parents fled Chile after the 1985 CIA backed military ...

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  9. Charlie Dunlavey

    The great British betrayal of Prisoner B

    Charlie Dunlavey on 24 February 2012

    For nearly eight years, the UK government has refused to even name him. Until we discovered his identity, he was a ghost detainee, known simply as ‘Prisoner B’.

    It was only after legal action charity Reprieve took the government to court over their refusal to demand his release from the prison at Bagram that they finally referred to him as Yunus Rahmatullah, one of two men abducted by British security forces in Iraq over eight years ago, handed to the US, and rendered to the notorious American-run prison at the Afghani airbase.

    On Monday morning, at the English Court of ...

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  10. Clive Stafford Smith

    The US has broken its promise over Yunus Rahmatullah

    Clive Stafford Smith on 23 February 2012

    When is a promise no promise at all? Sadly, when the US makes a promise and then decides it's inconvenient.

    This week, the US chose to break a highly significant promise made to the UK. Indeed, it was a binding legal obligation. A 29-year-old Pakistani man named Yunus Rahmatullah was detained by UK forces in Iraq in February 2004. The US and the UK had a memorandum of understanding (MoU), a promise between parties: if the UK transferred Rahmatullah into US hands, the US would treat him consistent with the Geneva conventions and, if the UK asked, would return ...

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