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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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
    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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  8. 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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  9. Clara Gutteridge BW

    Kenya's recent renditions

    Clara Gutteridge on 16 August 2010

    The extra-judicial transfer of two Kenyan nationals from Nairobi to Kampala last week shows that rendition is here to stay for East Africans.

    Hassan Agade and Christopher Magondu were arrested in Kenya last week. On the eve of a habeas hearing challenging their detention in a Kenyan court, the men were flown with no process to Uganda, where they have been charged with 97 offences related to last month's bombings in Kampala.

    Kenya's practise of rendition dates from at least 1976, and accelerated in the years following 9/11, when Kenya became the leading regional ally of the ...

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  10. Death row - cell

    Death row inmate may be executed because of clerical error

    Chloe Strowger on 16 August 2010

    An inmate on death row in Alabama has failed to persuade the federal appeals court to allow another appeal to be filed on his behalf after a clerical error beyond his control meant that his papers sat unopened beyond the deadline.

    The law firm in New York that was handling inmate Cory Maples’ case returned the copies of his court ruling, unopened. By the time the mistake was realised, his time to appeal had passed. In what can only be described as unbelievably poor case management, the firm explained that the reason the delivery went unnoticed for so long was ...

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