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  1. Emmanuelle Purdon 2009 BW

    Will France show the same humanity towards stranded Guantanamo prisoner Nabil Hadjarab as it has shown Sakineh Ashtiani?

    Emmanuelle Purdon on 10 September 2010

    France has shown great humanity towards Sakineh Ashtiani in taking a stand against her execution. Will that same humanity be shown to stranded Guantanamo prisoner Nabil Hadjarab? 

    This week Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called on the 27 member states of the European Union to send a joint letter to the Iranian government threatening economic sanctions if Iranian Sakineh Ashtiani is executed.

    Carla Bruni Sarkozy and other high profile figures in France have spoken out against the death sentence handed down to Sakineh, braving personal insults from an Iranian newspaper.

    As both a French person and someone participating in an equally ...

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  2. Generic Front page - Hands through bars colour

    Alabama executes mentally disabled man Holly Wood

    May Carolan on 10 September 2010

    Despite consistently testing as mentally disabled, Holly was convicted and sentenced to death in 1993 for killing his former girlfriend, Ruby Gosha. His court- appointed lawyer had less than a year of trial experience and failed to explain to jurors that he was not mentally competent to be executed.

    The US Supreme Court banned the execution of the mentally disabled eight years ago, declaring “the lesser culpability of the mentally retarded offender surely does not merit that form of retribution”.

    Although Holly had an IQ of below 70, which classifies him as mentally disabled, he also held down a job ...

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  3. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    CIA torture case dismissed

    Cortney Busch on 09 September 2010

    On Wednesday, a US federal appeals court ruled that victims of torture could not sue over their mistreatment while in CIA custody. While unsurprising, this finding is highly disappointing and a blow to human rights.

    In a tight 6-5 ruling, the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan on the basis that such litigation could reveal national security secrets. The lawsuit was brought by multiple NGOs, including Reprieve, and was spearheaded by the ACLU. Jeppesen, a subsidiary of Boeing, provided flight planning and support to the CIA in transferring individuals to prisons abroad where they would be interrogated and ...

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  4. Death row - cell

    Public Viewing of Japan’s Chamber of Death

    Nao Terai on 08 September 2010

    For the first time since the end of World War II, Japan has allowed the public to see inside Japan’s chamber of death.  

    Well, sort of.  On August 27, 20 Japanese journalists, no foreign media or NGOs allowed, boarded a close curtained bus and were taken inside the execution chamber housed at the Tokyo Detention Center for a brief 30 minute tour.  First, they were taken into the prayer room where a Buddhist altar stands and the condemned prisoner is read his last rites.  Then, they were taken into a small room with a statute of a Buddha where ...

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  5. Owen Watkins

    Pakistani Police Torture Project team at the cricket

    Owen Watkins on 01 September 2010

    Following the success of our work at Edgbaston, the Birmingham PPTP team once again stepped up to the crease at The Oval, London.

    The aim: to knock Pakistani police torture for six! We were also joined by a new member, Afshaan, whose commitment to the project was immediately tested as she was forced to spend seven hours a day runing for buses and hopping on and off the tube, all while she and Tas continued their fast for Ramadan.

    Sir Trevor MacDonald and Michael Parkinson were among the stars spotted at the cricket, with Owen succeeding in handing a flyer ...

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  6. Clive Stafford Smith by I.Robins BW

    Britain's rough sleepers deserve a stay of execution this winter

    Clive Stafford Smith on 31 August 2010

    Linda Carty is waiting to die on Texas's death row, her appeals for the most part exhausted. She may face execution in the death chamber at any time. While she dreams of breaking out of her cell, on Wednesday someone broke in to stay the night.

    The human rights charity Reprieve has a replica of the cell where Linda has spent the last decade. It contains her entire world: a narrow metal bed, a blanket, a metal sink and a metal toilet. The folk at St Martin-in-the-Fields have been kind enough to let us put the cell there until ...

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  7. Emma Draper by Emmanuelle Purdon 2011

    Omar Khadr's trial flouts international norms

    Emma Draper on 18 August 2010


    There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers around the world. Yet the trial of Omar Khadr is the first instance in modern history of a government prosecuting a former child soldier for war crimes.

    At the age of 15, Omar was captured in Afghanistan after a four-hour firefight, and accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier. He is now 23 and has spent a quarter of his life imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, incarcerated with adults and subjected to a range of unlawful interrogation techniques, including stress positions, extreme sleep deprivation, repeated threats of rape and three ...

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  8. Clara Gutteridge BW

    New interrogation tapes reveal Moroccan role in CIA prison system

    Clara Gutteridge on 18 August 2010

    The AP reported yesterday that the CIA had produced new video-tapes showing the interrogations of Guantánamo Bay prisoner Ramzi bin al-Shibh, whilst he was being held at a secret CIA prison in Morocco in 2002.

    The stash of tapes - found under a desk at the CIA's counter-terrorism office - reveal that there is more evidence of the CIA's torture programme than has previously been admitted, and hint at the central role played by Morocco in the secret prison system. This new information comes days after reports that other CIA prisoners, including Abu Zubaydah, were taken for CIA detention in ...

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  9. Ahmed Belbacha

    Clive Stafford Smith asks Prime Minister David Cameron to save former Bournemouth resident Ahmed Belbacha from forced transfer to Algeria

    Clive Stafford Smith on 17 August 2010

    Rt. Hon David Cameron
    Prime Minister
    10 Downing St
    London
    SW1A 2AA
    August 13, 2010

    Dear Prime Minister:

    Re: Ahmed Belbacha, British Resident in Guantánamo at risk of forced Refoulement to Algeria

    I write today to propose another break from Labour’s unsound policies in the ‘war on terror’: its refusal to repatriate former Bournemouth resident Ahmed Belbacha from Guantánamo Bay.

    Ahmed was cleared by the Guantánamo authorities in the Bush years, which says a great deal about who he is. Before his hellish ordeal in US custody, Ahmed was a well-liked member of the Bournemouth community ...

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  10. Emma Draper by Emmanuelle Purdon 2011

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's televised 'confession'

    Emma Draper on 16 August 2010

    Iran's attempt to quell public outcry over stoning sentence falls spectacularly flat.

    Last Wednesday evening a woman appeared on a state-run television channel in Iran, confessing to her involvement in the murder of her husband. Almost completely shrouded in a black chador, she read out a statement in which she described how a relative had come to her home with electrical devices, wire and gloves, and electrocuted her husband while she watched. Her words were dubbed into Farsi, obscuring the sound of her real voice.

    Whether or not this woman was really Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, as was claimed, is ...

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