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  1. Katie Taylor

    Drones: Bringing the ‘war on terror’ to children’s bedrooms and classrooms

    Katie Taylor on 24 March 2013

    No human rights convention in history has had as much support and as many ratifications as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is because we have decided collectively and globally that children matter and deserve protection.

    But the ugly question which arises from state practice is whether all children matter, whether some children might matter rather more than other children, and whether in fact some children may not matter at all.

    The US, through its drone programme in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, seems to be affirming that it holds the latter view.

    At least 204 child ...

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  2. Nabil Hadjarab (young man)

    When is indefinite detention not indefinite detention?

    on 18 March 2013

    By Richard Tomsett, Reprieve volunteer

    The US government has continued its penchant for rebranding the facts at Guantanamo Bay.

    This latest example of rose-tinted fact distortion follows a long list of euphemistic spin on the abuses of human rights at Guantanamo Bay by the US government.  Top of any list of such doublespeak would of course have to be the terrifyingly transparent rebranding of ‘torture’ as ‘enhanced interrogation’.  And a few weeks ago, the prison authorities said there was no hunger strike, despite evidence presented by lawyers that almost all of the men in Camp 6 are on hunger strike ...

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  3. Hilary_Stauffer_head_shot

    What is going on in Guantanamo's Camp Six?

    Hilary Stauffer on 04 March 2013

    Last week, Reprieve received a despairing letter from Ahmed Belbacha, one of our clients in Guantanamo Bay. 

    Cleared for release since 2007, Ahmed fears being forcibly repatriated to his native Algeria, where he was convicted in absentia during a sham trial, and where he would almost certainly be tortured or thrown in prison upon his return.

    Yet like other detainees, he is prohibited from being re-settled in a third country due to the Kafka-esque provisions of the NDAA 2013 (and its predecessors of the last three years). 

    Thus, as Ahmed’s lawyers, we have unfortunately become accustomed to receiving despondent ...

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  4. Donald Campbell

    5 reasons to oppose the Government's Secret Courts plans

    Donald Campbell on 19 February 2013

    Here are five key reasons you should oppose the Government's plans for Secret Courts, contained in the Justice and Security Bill. Please write to your MP to help us stop these dangerous plans - for more information and advice on how to do so, click here.

    1. They will allow governments to cover up their involvement in serious crimes such as torture

    The Bill will allow the government to push cases into secret courts, in order to avoid having its dirty laundry aired in public.  The press, the public and even the other side in the case will be shut ...

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  5. Will Francome

    Introducing One For Ten: an interactive online documentary series about death row. We need your help!

    Will Francome on 13 February 2013

    I've been making films about the death penalty for some time now, and this statistic really jumped out at me. With my colleague Mark, we got to thinking that a one in 10 failure rate for anything is unacceptable, let alone sentencing people to the ultimate punishment.

    Around the same time, we'd been looking for ways to turn traditional documentary filmmaking on its head - we wanted to find a new way of producing social issue films that would allow people to engage with them, rather than just watching them. In the past, we'd both been frustrated that ...

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  6. Polly Rossdale

    Negotiating the faultline

    Polly Rossdale on 08 February 2013

    I had been paying a regular visit to our small team of Tunisian fellows, a doctor, a psychiatrist, a social worker and the head of the project, who run a reintegration and rehabilitation programme for Tunisian former Guantanamo detainees and their families, as well as the families of the men, who despite having been cleared for release, remain detained.

    That morning, a prominent labour activist and political figure, Shokry Belaid, was assassinated—shot at point blank range—outside his house. With all of the violence and political upheaval that has followed in the past 24 hours, it is hard not ...

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  7. Clare Algar BW

    Police Spy Case Shows Threat of Secret Courts

    Clare Algar on 31 January 2013

    Last week, lawyers for the police were partly successful in pushing a case concerning what has been described as the "sexual and psychological abuse of campaigners for social justice... by undercover police officers" into a secret tribunal, from which little if any evidence of just how this was allowed to happen will emerge.

    For now, that is not the end of the story - the judge ruled that although part of the case, brought by women who say they were deceived into having sex with undercover police officers, will be heard by the intensely secretive Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), this will ...

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  8. Katie Taylor by Emmanuelle Purdon

    What is the Sound of a Closed Door Slamming?

    Katie Taylor on 29 January 2013

    The US’ practice of holding people without charge or trial indefinitely has just become more definite. A problem which Obama promised to sort out as his first act as President has just become more intractable. The State Department office responsible for shuttering Guantánamo has just itself been shuttered.

    The hushed and largely overlooked State Department ”departmental notice”—released in the media dead zone of late Friday afternoon—quietly announces that the Office for the Special Envoy for the Closure of Guantánamo Bay has been, ironically, closed. It is impossible to read this as anything but the final nail ...

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  9. Tineke Harris by Emmanuelle Purdon

    From one mother to another

    Tineke Harris on 22 January 2013

    I recently returned from maternity leave. I am now the proud mother of an adorable daughter. However, the process of becoming a mother was by no means easy. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a rare condition which endangered my baby’s life and meant that the birth had to be artificially induced. Once my daughter was born, I had to be rushed to the operating theatre for an emergency procedure. And then, after several more nights in hospital, followed the exhausting first few months with a new baby: the sleep deprivation, the struggle to get ...

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  10. Hilary_Stauffer_head_shot

    Judge Rules That Government Can Withhold Top Secret Evidence from Guantanamo Detainee’s Lawyer

    Hilary Stauffer on 11 January 2013

    In an opinion handed down two days before the international community mourns the 11th anniversary of the first men being sent to Guantanamo Bay, a judge has ruled that the U.S. Government may rely on Top Secret evidence without sharing that information with the detainee’s lawyers – even if the material could be relevant to the prisoner’s case.

    In 2005 Afghan detainee, Wali Mohammed Morafa brought a habeas case to challenge his ongoing detention. During the discovery phase of the case – where each side discloses information to the other - the lawyers for the US government came across ...

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