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Important Problems Remain

UK troops who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity overseas, can still be prosecuted in UK courts. In May the UK government reversed course on a plan that would have effectively immunized from prosecution UK forces who allegedly committed…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK…
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Over the last nine months some 700,000 ethnic Rohingya in Burma have been driven from their homes across the border into Bangladesh by the Burmese military. The attacks have been described by the UN as “a textbook case of ethnic…
Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to reach to Bangladesh in Teknaf, Bangladesh, November 12, 2017. Picture taken November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TO FIND ALL PICTURES SEARCH REUTERS PULITZER
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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict. This month it had a rare victory. The European Court of Human Rights found no human rights violations by the United…
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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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The British military justice system has shown itself unfit for purpose in handling war crimes committed outside the country

Ten years after the UK joined in the invasion of Iraq, the repercussions continue to hit at the heart of the establishment. This week a law firm and a leading international justice organization jointly sent a 250-page submission to the International…
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If Theresa May is serious about protecting Abu Qatada, she must press for real change in Jordan

Torture occupies a special place in international law – it is banned at all times and in all places, no exceptions. Most countries, including the UK and Jordan, have signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, which means they agree not only to the…
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Confronted with fresh evidence unearthed by Human Rights Watch that the UK security services were complicit in the rendition and possible torture of opponents of the Gaddafi regime, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a confident performance in the House of…
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Strasbourg has ruled that Britain failed to investigate civilian killings in Iraq. This must never happen again. Britain's participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq continues to make history, in somewhat unexpected ways. Today the European…
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By increasing business with Sudan, the UK would be rewarding a country whose head of state is still wanted for war crimes

The new UK government has made it clear that an important priority of its foreign policy will be to promote British trade and investment abroad. But recent remarks in Sudan by the Africa minister, Henry Bellingham, raise concerns that, by blindly pursuing…
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William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons

The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice. Ethical arguments aside, there are three practical…
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Torture is prohibited under international law, at anytime and anywhere. No exceptions are allowed. Yet the UK, France and Germany are engaged in ongoing counterterrorism cooperation with foreign intelligence services in countries that routinely use…
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President Obama visited the CIA headquarters this week to try to reassure staff that their intelligence-gathering work would not be compromised by the release of the so-called ‘torture’ memos. But the revelations cast a shadow over the work of the US inte

Last week's release of four top-secret United States Justice Department memos on torture demonstrates the readiness of the new administration to swap the secrecy and lies that have surrounded the treatment of terrorism suspects by the US Government in…
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Revise Policies to Ensure Fair Hearing

(London) - The ruling today by the European Court of Human Rights on the United Kingdom's detention policy for foreign terrorism suspects confirms that indefinite detention violates basic rights, Human Rights Watch said. The court ruled that the…
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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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Without international pressure the victims of Darfur will never see justice and they face even more abuses

Shortly after taking office, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown stood before the United Nations General Assembly and declared the situation in Darfur to be the "greatest humanitarian disaster" facing the world today. He sent a message to Darfur that "it is…
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When talking about Iranian asylum seekers, activists should be careful not to play the Home Office's game Anyone who has spent, as I have, long hours over two years listening to Iranian tales of torture would know just how the controversy over Mehdi…