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  1. Emma Draper by Emmanuelle Purdon 2011

    Please write a letter of support to Saifullah Paracha

    Emma Draper on 13 January 2011

    Saifullah Paracha is 63 years old and has been held in Guantánamo Bay since 2004. Since arriving in US custody, Saifullah’s health has been devastated.

    He has suffered three heart attacks – two while imprisoned at Bagram in Afghanistan and one during his time in Guantánamo – and still experiences debilitating chest pains. He is also diabetic. However, the military has refused to give him the treatment he so desperately needs. He cannot have open heart surgery because authorities at Guantánamo insist that he be chained to the bed throughout the procedure, which would be medically unsafe.

    He has requested transfer ...

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  2. Drone from beneath

    David Miliband's "difficult" questions

    Crofton Black on 12 January 2011

    The former Foreign Secretary's position on torture has become much more straightforward since he left office.

    Last night a distinguished panel took to the stage in London's School of Oriental and African Studies to debate, among themselves and with the audience, important topical issues. Towards the end of the evening the members of the panel queued up to demolish George W. Bush's claim that torture had made us safer. "My intuition is certainly not,” said Harvard law professor David Kennedy. "I think it just breeds greater discontent and resentment and we're asking for trouble," said SOAS ...

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  3. Emma Draper by Emmanuelle Purdon 2011

    Please write a letter of support to Younous Chekkouri

    Emma Draper on 12 January 2011

    Younous has spent almost nine years imprisoned in Guantánamo - a letter from the outside world would let him know that he has not been forgotten.

    Younous Chekkouri was born in 1968 in Safi, a seaside town in Morocco. He was one of twelve children, and the family was extremely poor. Younous’ boyhood dream was to study one day at a European university, and to return to Morocco to build a better life for his brothers and sisters. Cost, however, put the grandes écoles out of Younous’ reach. As a young man he studied at various universities in the Middle East ...

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  4. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    Please take a few minutes to write a letter to a Guantánamo Bay prisoner

    Cortney Busch on 11 January 2011

    Today is the ninth anniversary of Guantánamo Bay, but although many prisoners have been cleared for release for years they are still denied freedom.

    While the 173 men still imprisoned on the island are no longer kept in open-air cages as they were when it first opened, they have spent almost a decade of their lives there. In an effort to bolster hope and let them know they have not been forgotten, Reprieve and other Guantánamo lawyers are asking the public to write a letter, a small note or even just a few words of encouragement. Please take ...

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  5. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    Write a letter to a Guantánamo Bay prisoner

    Cortney Busch on 11 January 2011

    Today is the ninth anniversary of Guantánamo and 173 men - many of whom have been cleared for release by the US authorities for years - are still imprisoned.

    We are asking you to send one or more of them a letter to let them know that the world has not forgotten about them.

    Please address all letters to:

    Detainee Name
    Detainee ISN
    U.S. Naval Station
    Guantánamo Bay
    Cuba
    Washington, D.C. 20355
    United States of America

    Include a return address on the envelope.

    A sample of men to whom you can write:

    Abdul Razak (ISN 219). Abdul is ...

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  6. Generic Front page - Hands through bars colour

    Iraq president “against the death penalty” but executions continue without his sign off

    Alex Laskowski on 22 December 2010

    Jalal Talabani has said that he will “not sign any death sentence” because he is against the death penalty.

    He is refusing to sign an execution order for Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi foreign minister and one of Saddam Hussein’s closest confidantes, who was sentenced to death last month. The statement comes after calls from the Vatican and Russia to halt the execution on humanitarian grounds. Tariq Aziz is 74 years old and in poor health.

    Mr Talabani has never signed off on a death sentence but this has not stopped the Iraqi authorities from carrying out executions. For ...

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  7. Death row - table through window

    As the Wikileaks saga has reminded us, some governments like to keep secret that which is simply embarrassing.

    Alex Laskowski on 20 December 2010

    The Texas Department of Criminal Justice have likened anti-death penalty campaigners to terrorists and hostage-takers in a bid to keep State supplies of lethal injection drug secret.

    A Freedom of Information request was recently filed in Texas seeking information on the supplies of sodium thiopental, part of a lethal three-drug cocktail used to execute condemned prisoners. Lawyers for those who would be killed with the drugs wanted to know the quantities of the drug on hand, its expiration date, and the names of suppliers.

    Just how the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) plans to kill people should remain a ...

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  8. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    My first Guantánamo

    Cortney Busch on 14 December 2010

    Stepping off the plane onto the tarmac, we’re told to enter the gates, put our bags on the ground in front of us and stand with our backs against the wire-link fence. It's my first time at Guantánamo Bay.

    Dogs are brought through, sniffing each bag one by one.“Go,” we’re told as soon as our bags pass the sniff test. The three of us walk to the podium where they take our paperwork. “Welcome to Guantánamo!” the guard says waving us through the checkpoint.

    As a paralegal with Reprieve's Guantánamo team, this is my first ...

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  9. Generic - cell exterior small window

    False hopes and real danger for Asia Bibi, a victim of Pakistan’s unjust blasphemy laws

    Eliana Zur-Szpiro on 07 December 2010

    Beaten, fined and sentenced to death, hopes are fading for Asia Bibi, a 45 year-old Christian mother of five and the first woman to be charged with blasphemy in Pakistan.

    Things were looking up for Asia last week when it was rumored that President Zardari would pardon her quickly and that a repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy laws was being considered. It now appears that both steps were thwarted by extremist voices within the government. In addition, the Lahore High Court blocked Asia's pardon, a move which undermines the constitutional power of the President to issue pardons and commute ...

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  10. Ciarán Suter

    Texas's death penalty on trial

    Ciaran Suter on 06 December 2010

    In a hearing due to start today Judge Kevin Fine will be asked to rule on whether the risk of executing an innocent person makes the death penalty in Texas unconstitutional.

    Judge Fine, state District Judge of Harris County (the county which sends more people to death row than any other in the United States) will examine the arguments put forward by the lawyers of John Edward Green, 25, who says he is innocent of a 2008 shooting in Houston.

    John Edward Green’s lawyers argue that "capital punishment schemes that create a 'substantial risk' that innocent people are wrongfully ...

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