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  1. Crofton Black

    Romania's CIA Prison Illuminates Failure of European Accountability

    Crofton Black on 12 December 2011

    On Thursday, after countless official denials, the location of the CIA's secret prison in Romania was revealed. According to the Associated Press and SDZ, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda suspects were held in a concealed basement beneath Bucharest's National Registry Office for Classified Information in 2003 and 2004.

    The Romanian government have always dismissed allegations of a secret prison on their soil, and they still do; a senior official has said that the existence of the prison was "impossible". "We have no knowledge of this subject," AP quoted President Traian Basescu as saying.

    The evidence tells ...

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  2. Katie Taylor by Emmanuelle Purdon

    Out of Guantanamo and into an Egyptian jail

    Katie Taylor on 08 December 2011

    As parliamentary elections begin in Egypt, Reprieve's Life After Guantanamo team is working against the clock for the luckless Egyptian ex-Guantanamo prisoner Adel al-Gazzar, now re-imprisoned in Cairo.

    Like that of most Egyptians, Adel's future hangs in the balance, as does his liberty, and everything depends on whether Egypt is indeed moving towards a civilian-led democracy or whether the events of this past spring were not so much a successful defeat by the people of Mubarak's regime as a military coup.

    In the new Egypt, as with all fledgling democracies, a major battlefield has been in the ...

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  3. annabel dickson

    Yunus Rahmatullah's hearing: Take 2

    Annabel Dickson on 25 November 2011

    I stepped inside the Royal Courts of Justice for the first time, about six months ago to hear the case of Yunus Rahmatullah. I was new to Reprieve, and conscious I should be in the office working so I didn’t stay long; but last week I had the chance to spend the whole day in the Court of Appeal there, unfortunately because the first case didn’t work out.

    Yunus was captured in Iraq and has been detained in Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, for over seven and a half years without trial. He was captured by the British and handed ...

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  4. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    Guantánamo Bay: An Unpalatable Visit

    Clive Stafford Smith on 25 November 2011

    This week I visited Shaker Aamer, the last remaining British resident being held in Guantánamo Bay.

    He was originally detained on 24 November 2001, so he is marking ten years in prison without any charge. I cannot disclose what he said to me because, as ever, complaints he might have about his mistreatment, or his chronic health problems, are deemed classified until the United States sees fit to allow me to discuss them. However, Guantánamo is more depressed than ever, as perhaps illustrated by my own experiences on the gastronomic front.

    I was looking forward to dining in ...

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  5. Clemency wells by E.Purdon BW

    Headlines or bread and butter? Behind the scenes with the fundraising team

    Clemency Wells on 24 November 2011

    Bread and butter. These are not the exciting items on my shopping list. They are definitely not as exciting as the All Saints jacket I really want or the red dress I was eyeing up for Reprieve's annual fundraiser on 10 November. I'd always much rather spend my money on exciting things - wouldn't you? But the exciting items aren't the really important ones. It is the mundane items on my shopping list that keep me alive.

    Fundraising is difficult at the best of times. In case anyone hasn't noticed it is currently far, far from ...

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  6. Harriet McCulloch

    Towards collaboration, abolition - and dinner - in Hong Kong

    Harriet McCulloch on 21 November 2011

    Last week Marc Callcutt and I travelled to Hong Kong for a death penalty conference, where our attempts to make friends with brilliant academics resulted in a labyrinthine, often fractious search for consensus... and for a meal.

    Marc had said that conferencing doesn't feel like work work and this is definitely true – the Scooby gang didn’t sit around listening to talks about the death penalty, and neither (our guilty consciences whisper) should Reprieve investigators and caseworkers! 

    The thing is that at Reprieve we can’t do our work without the help of academics, activists and other practitioners and ...

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  7. Cori Crider

    The Government's Un-British Plans to Keep Torture Secret

    Cori Crider on 21 November 2011

    Last month I spent time with Khadidja al Saadi, a 19-year-old girl who MI6 and CIA rendered back to Gaddadfi's regime when she was 14. Her three siblings, her mum, and her father Sami were with her. Her father, the target of the operation, spent years being beaten and electrocuted in Libyan Intelligence chief Moussa Koussa's torture chambers.

    Khadidja's story, and the UK's shameful role in it, only emerged in the last few months, and only because Libyan rebels found the smoking gun in Moussa Koussa's office: letters from Mark Allen of MI6 to Koussa ...

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  8. Death row - cell

    The Question No-one’s Answering

    Joseph Sanderson on 17 November 2011

    With Texas Governor Rick Perry, who holds the distinction of having presided over the highest number of executions of any governor of any state since 1976, making waves in the Republican Presidential race, it’s time to remind ourselves about the death penalty in Texas.

    For one thing, there are a few questions which probably deserve answers. For example, does Texas have systems which prevent a court-appointed defence attorney who admitted being incompetent, scientifically unsound forensic evidence and a judge sleeping with a prosecutor sending people to death row? Do these mean that its capital punishment system is fatally flawed ...

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  9. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    Senator mistaken on NDAA and Guantanamo

    Cortney Busch on 11 November 2011

    Back in May, when the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year of 2012, I wrote to my state Senator, Mike Johanns of Nebraska.  There are some things that I should explain first before moving on:

    • The National Defense Authorization Act FY 2012 (or NDAA 2012) is an appropriations bill (that is, a bill defining where and how much money can be spent over the next fiscal year).  Like its sister bill in 2011, the NDAA 2012 basically precludes Guantánamo inmates from every entering the US mainland - to be resettled or for ...

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  10. Kate Higham

    Armed drones, deployed in Texas

    Kate Higham on 10 November 2011

    Police in Montgomery County, Texas,  have deployed their first armed drones.

    The first thing I thought on reading this was, frankly, “Uh-oh.”

    Even the farcical idea of these little winged robots crashing into one another – operators are worried about the possibility of mid air collisions since the drones’ single camera can’t focus on a suspect and where they are going at the same time – didn’t distract me for long.

    The current generation of drones in Montgomery County may only be armed with “tazers” and “stun batons,” but they, like most drones, have the capability to carry much more ...

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