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On Wednesday, Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Johnson is certainly right that Ukrainian civilians are being killed by indiscriminate attacks, but will anyone end up in the dock? The…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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In July, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “promoting human rights is an essential aim of the foreign policy of a Global Britain. To do otherwise would be unthinkable”.  Yemen – site of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and an…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
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“Urban areas have become death traps for thousands of civilians,” says a new report issued by the United Nations Secretary-General ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit, which opens May 23, 2016, in Istanbul. The report describes the widespread use…
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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On the 10th anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein, violence and political crisis plague Iraq. The government blames its problems on regional interference, the unceasing threat of terrorism and the specter of Saddam Hussein’s Baathism. Implicit in…
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The Chilcot inquiry must examine what took place in Britain's name during a war supposedly in the name of human rights

In his speech to parliament on the eve of the Iraq war, Tony Blair referred to "the brutality of the repression" of Saddam Hussein, "the death and torture camps, the barbaric prisons for political opponents, the routine beatings for anyone or their…
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This Wednesday, unless the UK foreign secretary takes rapid action, Britain’s High Court will hold a hearing to assess whether the UK government should be ordered to hand over secret documents to lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee. The detainee in question…
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Detainees – all Iraqis, save for a small number of foreigners – are denied their basic right not to be held indefinitely without charge or trial. Many are young men rounded up in mass, arbitrary arrests The US-led Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF) has…
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It is not just in the United States that aggressive counterterrorism measures have raised serious human rights concerns. This month, the UK House of Lords began debating a draft counterterrorism law that would institute a number of harmful proposals,…
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Britain, pushed by the US, is trying to insert a massive loophole in the treaty banning cluster weapons

Before it is too late, the UK needs to start showing some humanitarian principles and some political backbone. As a close ally of the US and a major military player on the global stage, it is important that the UK remains on board the Oslo process. But it…
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We’ve gathered at the home of the Gaelic Games to write a major new piece of international law. Here in the massive Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, nearly 1,000 diplomats and campaigners are thronging the chilly halls to hammer out the final text of a…
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Even as the UK was negotiating its assurances with Jordan, the United States was knowingly sending terrorism suspects to Jordan for purposes of interrogation under torture. The evidence of US complicity in the torture of terrorism suspects in Jordan also…
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Gordon Brown must beware Tony Blair's mistakes if he wants to beat the bombers

In his response to the attempted terrorist bombings in London and the attack in Glasgow, Gordon Brown may have revealed a change of approach to counterterrorism. There was no overreaction, despite the seriousness of the threat, and no rush to introduce…
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The British government must take this new opportunity to end its shameful opposition to a ban on cluster bombs.

According to the police report, Kamaleddine Mohammad was gathering wood near the Rashidiyeh Palestinian refugee camp outside Tyre in Lebanon last month when he stepped on an unexploded submunition from a cluster bomb. Mohammad was yet another victim of…
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The Queen's Speech looks set to allow national security to be weighed against torture concerns

Torture is evil and unacceptable. Everybody, including even President Bush, agrees on that. But then comes a long list of buts. When it comes to America, the list is depressingly familiar - how to define torture; what the President can authorise; who can…
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What is the M26 rocket and how does it function?     The M26 is a 227mm unguided artillery rocket delivered by the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to a range of thirty-two to thirty-eight kilometers. Once it is over the target area, the rocket…
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As global leaders discuss trade, nuclear proliferation, and global warming at the G8 summit in St Petersburg this weekend, one might hope that respect for basic human rights could be taken for granted. Sadly, that is far from the case. Lawlessness is…
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