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  1. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    Moazzam Begg – former Guantánamo prisoner helping the US State Department to close the prison

    Clive Stafford Smith on 02 December 2010

    This week’s disclosures by Wikileaks have been seen as an extended exercise in embarrassment. Yet some of the leaked cables bear positive news that should be shouted from the hilltops, rather than secreted in the bowels of the State Department.

    One such cable concerns my former client, Moazzam Begg. Dated January 15th 2010, emanating from the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg, it reports on a visit Moazzam made to persuade Europeans to take in some of the Guantánamo Bay prisoners who had been cleared for release.

    “Mr. Begg is doing our work for us,” wrote the American diplomat. “And ...

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  2. Death row - table through window

    Guatemala wobbles on the Death Penalty

    Maya Foa on 30 November 2010

    A summer of particularly violent unrest sparked renewed debates about capital punishment in Guatemala earlier this year. Right-wing political parties like the Libertad Democrática Renovada and Partido Patriota argued that reinstating the death penalty would act as deterrent to crime and help restore order in the troubled central American Republic.

    On the 5th of October, Guatemalan Congress approved a motion to reinstate capital punishment, a move which would have ended the country’s decade-old moratorium.

    One month later, however, on the eve of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, President Álvaro Colom vetoed the proposed legislation, stating that he ...

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  3. Death row - table through window

    International Commission against the Death Penalty calls for Sudan to suspend three child executions

    Annie Nisenson on 23 November 2010

    On 16 November 2010, the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP) issued one of their very first collective statements, opposing the possible executions of three alleged child offenders, who were sentenced to death in Darfur on 21 October.

    The ICDP, which was officially established on 7 October 2010, was founded as part of an effort to join in the on-going and extensive struggle against the use of the death penalty led by civil society and the United Nations.

    The most immediate objective of the ICDP is to promote a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty, to take place by ...

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  4. Ciarán Suter

    British journalist Alan Shadrake jailed for criticizing Singapore's death penalty

    Ciaran Suter on 18 November 2010

    A respected British journalist has been sentenced to six weeks in prison and fined S$20,000 (£9,622) for publishing a book questioning the independence of Singapore's judiciary.

    Alan Shadrake was jailed for “the offence of contempt by scandalising the court” following the publication of his book Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock.

    Once a Jolly Hangman is the result of interviews with Singapore’s former chief executioner, former police offices, human rights activists and lawyers. Shadrake asserts in his book that those who are wealthy and well connected typically escape the death penalty whilst ...

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  5. Emmanuelle Purdon 2009 BW

    Special thought for Linda Carty on Veterans Day

    Emmanuelle Purdon on 10 November 2010

    November 11th is Veterans Day and we are proud to announce that Chuck Hobson, an honorable US veteran who fought in World War II and the Korean war, has joined our campaign to help save Linda Carty's life.

    Linda Carty is a British grandmother who was convicted following a catastrophic trial in Texas. All her appeals are exhausted and she will get soon an execution date.

    Chuck  Hobson enlisted in the US Navy in January 1945, did the mandatory basic training "Boot Camp" and then attended the Electronics School until the War ended in August 1945. He then opted ...

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  6. Polly Rossdale

    Republican road trip must not derail prisoner resettlement

    Polly Rossdale on 27 October 2010

    The sceptic in me was outed this morning when I read the latest from the war of rhetoric surrounding the Obama administration's effort to close the Guantánamo Bay detention centre.

    Republican staffers on the US Senate Intelligence Committee have apparently traveled to Europe to probe the security arrangements in place for former Guantanamo prisoners resettled there.

    There is precious little substantive detail about the content of these visits. There is however plenty of insinuation. In Germany, France and Spain they refused to comment on whether there was any evidence that the men had been in touch with suspected al ...

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  7. Cori Crider BW

    Dear Harold Koh, my client’s name is Sharif, not Shane

    Cori Crider on 13 October 2010

    Just in re: Sharif Mobley (pictured right with his daughter)--

    This week Harold Koh, legal advisor to the Obama Administration, gave a talk at Columbia Law School. The thesis—Obama’s people had delivered ‘change you can believe in’ in the war on terror. Perhaps recognizing that law students like a clear assignment, he even urged the audience to pass the word on: The New Administration Is Not the Old Administration.

    Then a hand went up. What was the administration doing about its duty not to solicit disappearances—or to take part in interrogations that involve torture or CIDT (cruel ...

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  8. Clemency wells by E.Purdon BW

    40 years of Guts and Glory? A very curious day at Angola State Prison Rodeo

    Clemency Wells on 11 October 2010

    About halfway through the Angola Prison Rodeo last Sunday, a man drove into the arena and out of his star spangled banner-emblazoned truck jumped three dogs…with live monkeys tied to their backs.

    The dogs, “ridden” by the monkeys, proceeded to herd three goats into a red, white and blue pen before the entire merry band leapt back into the truck, cheered on by a delighted crowd. If it wasn’t already, this particularly surreal section made one thing achingly clear: the Angola Prison Rodeo is a circus. There are even “professional rodeo clowns” present to “ensure inmate participant safety ...

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  9. Emmanuelle Purdon 2009 BW

    Linda Carty talks from death row about her faith

    Emmanuelle Purdon on 10 October 2010

    Linda Carty is a British grandmother on death row in Texas. She is the victim of a catastrophically flawed trial.

    Please find out more about our campaign to help save her life. If you are religious or compassionate, please join our "Sing Amazing Grace for Linda Carty" campaign.

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  10. Volunteer Anna Chadwick BW

    MEPs vote for worldwide moratorium on executions

    Anna Chadwick on 08 October 2010

    MEPs from across Europe came together this week and voted overwhelmingly for an "unconditional worldwide moratorium on executions" making it clear where Europe stands as the World Day Against the Death Penalty approaches…..

    "Death can never ever be considered an act of justice" Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament at the opening of the plenary session on 6 October 2010.

    574 MEPs voted in favour of the worldwide moratorium at the voting session on 7 October with 39 abstentions and just 25 opposing the resolution. The vote was scheduled to coincide with the World Day Against the Death Penalty ...

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