"If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers," Dickens wrote, envisaging the 'bad people' as the lawyer's clients no doubt, rather than the government. Yet in China nearly 200 lawyers have been rounded up and hauled in for questioning over the last week in an unprecedented crackdown on the profession.
We must have answers. Indiscriminate mass surveillance has an impact that reaches far beyond Amnesty. It threatens the vital work of other organisations and it impacts you. Yes, you! In accepting your government encroaching into your private communications you risk sleepwalking into a surveillance culture.
Asked about the case in the House of Lords last week, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said that the UK government stands by "freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression". But, she said, "we have to recognize that the actions of the Saudi government in these respects have the support of the vast majority of the Saudi population."
As the European Games opened in Baku on Friday with Lady Gaga belting out Imagine from behind a grand piano buried in foliage, it was impossible to know for sure how John Lennon would have felt about his iconic protest song being appropriated by one of the most repressive regimes in Europe. You could take an educated guess though.
In the wake of this media frenzy, there is a unique opportunity to hold Fifa to account not only for their corruption, but also for the lives their greed has cost. Blatter can no longer claim ignorance of the endemic corruption within his organisation and he must be held to a standard that does demand he "watch everyone all the time".
This is a pan-European emergency, which requires a pan-European response. We need to reinstate the search and rescue operations immediately and this time it must be properly funded, including by the UK. It is completely unacceptable to refuse help when we know men, women and children are drowning in their hundreds.
n the Joel Schumacher classic, Falling Down, William Foster, played by Michael Douglas, passes a man protesting the fact he has been categorised as "not economically viable". Swathes of British society have been categorised in this way by the Conservatives and they are slowly being ground into the dirt. And now they might end up in court faced with the prospect of a crippling bill for simply exercising their ancient right to plead innocent.
After changes to the law allowing same-sex marriage in England, Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland is now the only place in the UK where gay couples are barred by law from getting wed... The latest court challenge may be the first in a series of cases necessary to ensure that gay people in every part of the UK have an equal right to marry the person they love.