Guantanamo shrinking but Obama goal of closing prison still elusive

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GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Observed from behind a one-way mirror and heavy chain-link fence, a handful of bearded detainees in baggy t-shirts mill around inside a communal cellblock at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, vastly outnumbered by U.S. troops guarding them… Source: Guantanamo shrinking but Obama goal of closing prison still elusive – World | The Star Online Read More »

Syrian government is ‘exterminating’ its population: UN

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Turkey steps up its involvement in Syria to help refugees Aleppo’s underground schools face burnout and bombardment Syria’s battle for Aleppo backed by Iranian proxies Geneva: Detainees held by the Syrian government are dying on a massive scale, amounting to a state policy of “extermination” of the civilian population, a crime against humanity, United Nations investigators say. WAtoday – Stephanie Nebehay * The UN commission of inquiry on Monday called on the Security Council to impose “targeted sanctions” on Syrian officials ... Read More »

Republican debate: ‘I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,’ says Donald Trump

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Trump booed, Rubio roughed up by rivals Awkward start to debate: candidates fail to respond to name call WASHINGTON: Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates say they would revive its use. The Sydney Morning Herald – Ginger Gibson * One of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump said during Saturday night’s ... Read More »

Detention is torture

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David Isaacs has published a compelling piece in the British Medical Journal  titled “Are healthcare professionals working in Australia’s immigration detention centres condoning torture?” You can read it here So this is how the rest of rthe world sees us. And don’t forget what we are doing to little children. by Julian Burnside | Read More »

‘UK officers watched my torture,’ says British resident held in Guantanamo Bay

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Last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay is freed Pentagon transfers five Guantanamo detainees Inside Guantanamo Bay with the ‘forever prisoners’ What we learned from Guantanamo Bay London: The last British resident to be held at the US Guantanamo Bay prison camp has told a newspaper that British security officers witnessed him being tortured by American soldiers at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national married to a Briton, was suspected by US authorities of being an Islamist militant associated ... Read More »

Bangladesh executes two opposition leaders for 1971 war crimes

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Bangladesh executed two opposition leaders on Nov. 22 for war crimes committed during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan, a senior police official said, in a move likely to draw an angry reaction from supporters. Hurriyet DHAKA  – ReutersIslamist opposition leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), were hanged shortly after President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals late on Nov. 21 for clemency. “Both ... Read More »

Statement on the UN Sri Lanka Investigation Report

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Brussels  |  ICG – The release on 16 September of the long-awaited report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on its Sri Lanka investigation (OISL) is a dramatic advance that can help the country respond to its painful legacy of war. The report is a compelling examination of the abuses committed by all sides during the lengthy civil conflict and the steps required to pursue justice, accountability and reconciliation as part of democratic recovery. The UN ... Read More »

UN Human Rights Boss Urges Creation Of Hybrid Special Court In Sri Lanka

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The UN report on Sri Lanka published today has identified patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict. The report recommends the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, as an essential step towards justice. © Colombo Telegraph “Our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses that occurred in Sri Lanka, including indiscriminate shelling, ... Read More »

Police torture wounded civilians in Silopi

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Police forces that staged a bloody crackdown on local people in Silopi district of Şırnak yesterday also tortured the wounded civilians whom they detained from the hospital. ŞIRNAK – ANF Police forces that staged a bloody crackdown on local people in Silopi district of Şırnak yesterday also tortured the wounded civilians whom they detained from the hospital. According to Mesopotamian Lawyers Association member Zozan Açar, police detained nine people who were rushed to hospital with injuries during the conflict that ... Read More »

Pakistan defies rights protests to hang ‘teen’ convict

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Pakistan on August 4 executed a man convicted of killing a child, brushing aside a storm of protests from rights groups that his confession had been extracted by torture and he was a minor at the time of the crime. Hurriyet – KARACHI – Agence France-Presse Shafqat Hussain was hanged shortly before dawn at a jail in Karachi for killing a seven-year-old boy in the city in 2004, his brother and a prison official told AFP. The case raised grave ... Read More »

Obama: The Courage to Say ‘We Were Wrong’

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This article is cross-posted on Some months ago 11 other Nobel Peace Prize laureates and I co-signed an open letter to President Obama on the use of torture by the U.S. Two days ago I received a response from the President. (See both letters here.) The Huffington Post – José Ramos-Horta, Former President, East Timor, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Most of Obama’s letter contained information we already know. One of his first acts in office was to sign ... Read More »

Argentinian Falklands veterans take ‘torture’ case to international arena

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Veterans of the 1982 conflict recount their ordeal and the anti-Semitic abuse they faced in a press conference, including instances of beatings and sexual violence The Telegraph – By James Badcock, Madrid – Comments Argentinian Falklands War veterans who accuse military officers of torture during the 1982 conflict will take their case to an international appeal court after Argentina’s highest court ruled the alleged offences’ statute of limitations had expired. Mario Volpe, the president of the CECIM Falklands veterans’ association, said his ... Read More »

Is the Egyptian state using sexual torture against women?

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The Arab spring promised freedom and justice to the 2011 protestors in Tahrir Square, but a damning new report claims that women are being brutalised by police, military and security forces at an unprecedented level The Guardian – Shereen El Feki Four years ago, Cairo was a giant billboard for human rights; the words “freedom”, “justice” and “dignity” were graffitied across the city, with the high hopes of Tahrir Square writ large on city streets. What remains today is a patchwork ... Read More »

Tony Abbott is a bully over UN Convention Against Torture

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Australians ‘sick of being lectured to’ by United Nations, says Tony Abbott A United Nations report says Australia is in breach of the UN Convention Against Torture because of aspects of its treatment of refugees held in detention on Nauru and Manus Island. The Age – Julian Burnside Prime Minister Tony Abbott has attacked the UN for that criticism. It is true to his form. In the past weeks we have watched Abbott and his senior colleagues attack Professor Gillian ... Read More »

Australia is ‘sick of being lectured’ on torture in its immigration system, says PM Tony Abbott

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Australia’s Prime Minister has hit back at allegations of systemic torture in the country’s immigration system by telling the United Nations that Australians are “sick of being lectured” on the subject. The Independent – JON STONE A UN report, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, found that the Australian immigration system breached the global convention on torture and inhuman treatment. “The government of Australia, by failing to provide adequate detention conditions; end the practice of detention ... Read More »

Being Pro-Choice Isn’t Just About Abortion


We’re all pro-choice aren’t we? All us reasonable people anyway. Not religious extremists or UKIP voters, but everyone else. But while I imagine people reading this probably consider themselves pro-choice, but not everyone knows what the term should really mean. Rebecca Schiller Vice This article originally appeared on VICE UK. People talk confidently about choice, but the small print on their “My Body, My Choice” T-shirt often reads: “Some choices only.” We are big on ” no means no” until the ... Read More »