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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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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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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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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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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 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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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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In their eagerness to prevent future terrorist attacks, both the US and Britain have focused on intelligence gathering in lieu of prosecution. But that focus poses its own security threat by ignoring the problem of what to do with terrorist suspects once…
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Despite what the Prime Minister says, the rules of the game have not changed

In the days after the bombings of 7 July, there were many reasons to feel proud to be a Londoner. Politicians responded with dignity to the terrible events. People of all faiths stood together in the knowledge that those who had commissioned these crimes…
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The government has an obligation to protect those who reside in the UK. It also has a duty to safeguard the country's fundamental values. We have seen little evidence that the current counter-terrorism strategy has made Britain a safer place. Yet it has…