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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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As it considers whether to back a controversial dam in Tajikistan, the World Bank needs to revisit its criteria for funding projects that displace people from their homes.

“Khorsheed” lives on a treeless street in Chorsada 2, a resettlement community in central Tajikistan that the government created for people displaced by its Rogun Dam and Hydropower Project (HPP). The Tajik government says it desperately needs Rogun,…
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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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Back in 2006, Israel's profligate use of cluster munitions in Lebanon caught the public eye, nowhere more so than in the Arab world. During the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah, Israeli forces rained rockets loaded with cluster munitions on south…
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On June 12, the UN Human Rights Council, consisting of 47 member states of the UN, concluded the first comprehensive human rights review of Jordan. The review produced 79 recommendations. (Jordan rejected 26 of them.)  Most of Jordan's human rights…
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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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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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A harrowing account from a man the CIA handed over to Jordan – smuggled from prison on tiny paper – exposes U.S. complicity in torture.

During a recent visit to the home of someone who had been detained by the Jordanian intelligence service in 2002, Joanne Mariner was given two very thin strips of paper covered with Arabic writing and marked with a thumbprint. The message's author was a…
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"Why Jordan?" The question puzzled Abu Hamza al-Tabuki, a Saudi citizen who claims that US agents arrested him in Afghanistan in December 2001 and, after interrogating him in Pakistan, flew him in a private jet to Jordan. Al-Tabuki is one of more than 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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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…