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Concerns About Equal Access to the Benefit and Fresh Fears Over the ‘Five-Week Wait’

A bleak Covid-19 winter is coming. Cases are soaring and the UK government has imposed a further one-month lockdown in England. The lockdown could push more than 2 million people into furlough, or temporary leave from work. Hundreds of thousands more…
Citizens Advice operates the “Help to Claim” service, which helps people apply for Universal Credit online. 
News

Ruling a Victory for Claimants’ Rights, but Problems Remain

When Rachelle, 35, a single working mother in London, received her first Universal Credit payment in March, she had a panic attack. It was far short of what she needed to pay the rent and support her two children, one of whom has a disability. “I am…
A branch of the UK employment social security agency where claimants seek assistance with their benefits, Newcastle, March 4, 2020.
News

Abuses Persist Five Years After Coup

Since Thailand’s military seized power on May 22, 2014, the country has faced unending repression of fundamental rights and freedoms. Five years after the coup, Thailand is nowhere near the “return to democratic, civilian rule” the National Council…
Soldiers line up for voting in general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, March 24, 2019. Nearly five years after a coup, Thailand was voting Sunday in a long-delayed election that sets a military-backed party against the populist
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Still No Justice for Somchai Neelapaijit and Other Victims

Fifteen years ago this week, I received a phone call in the middle of the night with the news that Somchai Neelapaijit had gone missing. At the time, Somchai was chair of Thailand’s Muslim Lawyers Association and vice-chair of the Human Rights…
A sketch of Somchai Neelapaijit.
News

US Could Use Data Demanded from UK – But Pretend It Didn’t

After heated debate, the United Kingdom has just inched closer to adopting laws that would allow the United States to demand and obtain digital evidence – such as e-mails, texts, and chats – directly from companies that are storing it…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
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London-Based Dissident Targeted for Arrest for Criticizing Military Rule

Before Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha meets UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London this Wednesday, the junta’s long arm of repression has already reached there, targeting critics of the government.  Thai authorities issued the…
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures as he leaves Thai Union company in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Policymakers, Soldiers Escape Accountability for Violence Against ‘Red Shirts’

Eight years ago my colleagues and I watched as the streets of Bangkok were covered with blood in one of Thailand’s most violent political confrontations. Yet there is still no justice for the at least 98 people killed and more than 2,000 injured…
On August 30, 2017, Phayao Akhard wears the bloody nurses gown worn by her daughter, nurse Kamolkate “Kate” Akhard, when she was killed by Thai Special Forces soldiers while tending wounded persons at the front of Wat Pathum temple on May 19, 2010.
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UK Home Secretary Suggests Only Bad Guys Want ‘Unbreakable Security’

In a recent op-ed, United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd argued strong encryption was thwarting the government’s ability to monitor terrorists and criminals. Rudd expressed skepticism about the need for end-to-end encryption,…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
News

Free Expression Hampered by Climate of Fear

Thai junta leader, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, says he is ready to listen to the Thai people about the country’s future. So, starting this week, the Prime Minister’s Office will dutifully report public opinions every 10 days…
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.
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On January 6, a retired 36-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistleblower, William Binney, cautioned United Kingdom lawmakers against legalizing mass surveillance in the proposed Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Binney told the…
A man and woman use their mobile phones as commuters walk past the columns of the Bank of England in the City of London, July 3, 2012.
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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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An open Internet offers both benefits and risks for human rights. It has allowed activists anywhere to have global impact and hold institutions accountable. But digital technologies have enabled surveillance on an unprecedented scope and scale. When…
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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…
News
After a year of silence over reports of its involvement in the indiscriminate surveillance of millions of people around the world, the UK government has confirmed what many had feared – snooping on a mass scale is not only happening, but existing laws do…
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Today’s Westminster debate on the role of the UK intelligence and security services is long overdue. Four months after the Guardian newspaper first published details of mass surveillance by the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US…
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Today, Facebook issued its first transparency report, surprising no one in saying that the US government has made more requests for user data than any other country. US surveillance practices are only one of the reasons the country leads the pack:…