Reprieve

We May Have Abolished the Death Penalty Here Long Ago, Yet We Remain Involved in Its Continuing Use Worldwide

Clare Algar | Posted 10.08.2015 | UK Politics
Clare Algar

While we may have abolished the death penalty in this country long ago, we remain involved in its continuing use around the world - and therefore responsible for doing what we can to bring it to an end. As a start, we need to see the Home Office open up a bit more - and the FCO think again about whether the best way to react to the abuses of our allies it to tip-toe around them.

Migrants Face Beheading in Saudi's Spate of Executions

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 07.08.2015 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

Much has been written recently of the spate of executions in Pakistan - more than 200 now, and counting - since the moratorium was lifted last December. While this spate of execution surely merits the international condemnation it has provoked, it must not be permitted to obscure the nightmare that is being faced by Pakistani citizens on death row in other countries. Most pressing, perhaps, is the fate of those who face execution in Saudi Arabia.

Kris Maharaj: A Body Blow to Justice

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 15.03.2015 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

I find myself surprisingly calm. In part, it is because I continue to have a residual faith in the system, and I cannot believe, after 28 years, that Kris will not get justice today. He simply did not kill Derrick and Duane Moo Young, father and son, in Room 1215 of the Dupont Plaza Hotel back on October 16, 1986.

A Sad Response to a Terrible Tragedy

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 23.02.2015 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

The mass slaughter of 142 people, most of them children, in Peshawar last week was a disgusting act. Unfortunately, the Pakistan government's reaction has been unwise, following the pattern set by the United States in 2001: pouring oil on the fire, while ultimately undermining the rule of law.

The Last British Man In Guantánamo Is Now A Giant Inflatable

The Huffington Post UK | Jessica Elgot | Posted 24.11.2014 | UK

Politicians and celebrities have posed with a giant inflatable to support the last British man in Guantánamo, accusing governments of leaving Shaker ...

The Truth Will Out: UK Involvement in Libyan Rendition and Torture

Cori Crider | Posted 05.01.2015 | UK Politics
Cori Crider

One is white, stark, temporary, windowless. Fluorescent lights hang from its ceiling. The room is empty save for a woman, crying. She is chained to the wall and obviously pregnant. The woman in the white room comes from Morocco but has married a opponent of Col. Gaddafi, and for that reason is about to be plunged into terrors of which she knows nothing...

Guantánamo PR Can't Obscure the Reality of Force-Feeding

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 10.12.2014 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

The new motto is "Guantánamo: Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent." It is neither safe, humane or legal, however, if you are a detainee engaging in a peaceful protest against more than a decade of arbitrary detention. It is hardly transparent.

G4S' Guantánamo Contract is a British Embarrassment

Kevin Lo | Posted 08.11.2014 | UK
Kevin Lo

The largest security services firm in the world, British company G4S, has accepted a £71million contract to run "base support operating services" at Guantánamo Bay... The UK government cannot turn a blind eye at a British company running a torture facility. The British public deserves an explanation.

Why Did the British Authorities Treat This Bahraini Rights Activist So Badly?

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 04.11.2014 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

It is undoubtedly true that there are some barbaric extremists who pervert the meaning of Islam - many of whom may now be associated with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. All the more reason, then, for us to identify our friends in the Islamic world, and treat them well. Why, then, did the British authorities treat my friend Nebeel Rajab, his wife, his 16-year-old son, and his 12-year-old daughter so badly?

BT Must Come Clean About Possible Drone Strikes Role

Kevin Lo | Posted 23.09.2014 | UK
Kevin Lo

While justice will still seem a long way away for the victims of drone strikes, Q and A sessions like this at least give a glimmer of hope. It is deeply unfortunate that we live in a society where one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world can simply ignore concerns of its involvement in serious human rights abuses.

Kris Maharaj Case: Most of Us Fail the Jurors' Test

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 07.07.2014 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

Much has been made in recent months by populist politicians of the 'need' to convict more people for certain crimes. But what this hardline approach ignores is the troubling way in which we judge other people.

The Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Life Imprisonment

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 03.05.2014 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

Kris Maharaj has been in prison for 27 years. Setting his innocence aside for a moment, he is no better off now than when he joined Thomas Knight on Florida's death row. He was 75 years old in January. Recently, the Florida Parole Commission sent him a letter scheduling his "initial parole interview": it will be held, they say, in April 2042. By then, Kris will be 103 years old. Perhaps more accurately, he will be dead.

Europe's Complicity In 'Illegal' Drone Strikes Must End Now, MEPs Say

The Huffington Post UK | Jessica Elgot | Posted 28.02.2014 | UK

Europe's politicians have voted by a landslide to propose a ban on US drone strikes that have killed thousands in Yemen and Pakistan, calling the kill...

Mentally Ill Briton in Pakistan Sentenced To Death For Blasphemy

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 24.01.2014 | UK

An elderly British man faces the death penalty in Pakistan after a court found him guilty of blasphemy. Muhammad Asghar's lawyers have argued for l...

Ohio Killer To Be Executed By Controversial Drug Cocktail

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK

Today, Ohio killer Dennis McGuire is sentenced to die in prison, using a drug cocktail which has never before been used to kill inmates. Because of...

British Ex-Soldier Faces Execution In DRC For Alleged 'Murder' Of Cellmate

The Huffington Post UK | Jessica Elgot | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK

A British soldier is facing possible execution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, charged over the death of his cellmate, a death that independent h...

The Torture Remains the Same

Shaker Aamer | Posted 02.03.2014 | UK
Shaker Aamer

They know what they are doing to me is wrong and that's why they are scared. It is not me they are worried about, but they have some metaphorical sense that their mother or father is going to see what they are up to, and wonder what has become of them. Instead of being a brave soldier, they have been reduced to the rank of 'Scrotum Searcher Third Class', and they are told to beat up a defenceless and shackled prisoner with the help of five of their tough buddies.

Ex Senior Army Legal Advisor's Words Give Comfort in Guantánamo Bay

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 09.02.2014 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

I sent Shaker Aamer the sermon Reverend Nicholas Mercer delivered in October which denounces the UK's involvement in the tortuous and horrifying tactics used in the 'war on terror' and its continued denial of justice to those still subjected to those same practices. Shaker, clearly touched, wrote back almost immediately.

Will They Ever Let Us Back to Our Families?

Shaker Aamer | Posted 29.01.2014 | UK
Shaker Aamer

I know I will leave here one day, perhaps soon. I have long been cleared, for six years now. But what of the other men here? Again, I worry about the 80 people who have not been cleared more than I do about myself and the other 83 who have. Some might get a trial of sorts, but scores never will. They say it's because they can't use the evidence against them in court. Even if we believe this excuse, we might well ask why the evidence is inadmissible - is it because they tortured the men? If so, then a thousand years of experience tells us that the statements are certainly unreliable, and probably false.

Shaker Aamer: Treatment In Guantanamo Worse Than 'Despotic Regime'

The Huffington Post UK | Jessica Elgot | Posted 29.11.2013 | UK

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay has accused the US government of enforcing a punishment on him that even the most "despotic ...

The UK Government Is Trying to Get Off the Hook for Libyan Torture

Cori Crider | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Cori Crider

Some of you may remember how David Cameron's victory lap in a still-jubilant Tripoli was marred by the release of an embarrassing cache of faxes. The faxes revealed the true price of Blair's infamous 'deal in the desert' with Gaddafi in 2004: a joint US-UK-Libyan operation to kidnap my client and his pregnant wife.

Does the UK Need a Death Penalty?

Clare Algar | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Clare Algar

If we say that killing people is wrong - and I think few would argue otherwise - it is no less wrong for the State to kill than for an individual to do so. The death penalty damages all those caught up in its barbarism - those killed and those people doing the killing at the government's behest.

Last Briton In Guantanamo To Sue MI5 And MI6

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 25.09.2013 | UK

Shaker Aamer, the last British man in Guantanamo Bay, is to sue British intelligence services for alleged torture and unlawful detention at the Cuban ...

Why, Mr President, Is Guantanamo Bay Still Open?

Cori Crider | Posted 25.07.2013 | UK Politics
Cori Crider

"A symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law." These are President Obama's recent words on Guantanamo Bay, the military prison he rules as commander-in-chief. But as Gitmo's infamous hunger strike enters its sixth month, it is increasingly plain that we have not one, but two administrations on Guantánamo Bay. The first - the administration of President Obama's speeches - regrets the prison... The second administration offers a retort.

The Seventh and Final Day of My Hunger Strike

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 17.09.2013 | UK Politics
Clive Stafford Smith

So for me, the strike is over: not for any particularly good reason, just because it has gone on a week, and it is time to pass the baton over to Frankie Boyle. I was not sure when I began how long I would go for, since I had never foregone food for 48 hours before. I am satisfied with a week - it is longer than I expected to last, though less time than I could have.