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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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This week, British MPs face a simple choice. They must decide if it is right that a woman who flees abuse should become an undocumented migrant just because she runs away. Women like Joycelyn, a young Filipino mother who was brought to London from the…
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One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct,…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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A court ruling in London yesterday marked a rare victory in the search for justice for torture and other abuses by the UK, US, and allies in the years after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The London case involves Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a former…
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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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Wealthy families who come to the UK may bring with them domestic workers who work for them in their home country – often women who raise their children, clean their homes and cook their meals. In a move to cut down on immigration, two years ago the UK…
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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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UK plan to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan

Listening to Theresa May’s statement to Parliament today, it seems the British government is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan to face terrorism charges. A new treaty with Jordan aims to address the risk that Abu…
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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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The implications of Mousa's death in British custody stretch wider and higher up than the inquiry has been able to reach

The name Baha Mousa has become the most famous in the history of abuses by the British army in Iraq. Thursday's publication of the report of the inquiry into his death in British custody in Basra in 2003 is a remarkable conclusion to the persistent…
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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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For months, Libya has been preparing the celebration for the 40th anniversary of Col. Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi's coup, on September 1. Scotland's release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in connection with the Lockerbie bombing of 1988, was…
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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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Improve Safeguards to Ensure Rights to Liberty and Fair Hearings

(London) - The United Kingdom's system of "control orders" to restrict the day-to-day activities of terrorism suspects should be amended to comply with international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Parliament released today…