Saydnaya is a place of unimaginable terror. Even when you know about the numerous horrors that have already unfolded in Syria in the past half-decade, it chills you to the bone to hear survivors telling you what it was like to be in Saydnaya. The 30 or so former detainees we spoke to have been to hell and back.
President-elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to cease, immediately, the apparently dreadful Obama policy of releasing Guantanamo Bay detainees... The next four years promise to be a fairly dictatorial era in human rights terms. At Reprieve, we believe it is all the more important that we protect the most powerless against the powerful.
The great paradox of the United States is that a country responsible for so much of the progression of international human rights (think of Eleanor Roosovelt) is also capable of producing an election for highest office in which the successful candidate's platform boasted of the re-introduction of torture. We owe it as friends and allies to warn the United States that this is a path that they must never follow again.
Is the UK government doing enough over the terrible case of Giulio Regeni? By "enough" I mean: is the governent putting any real time and effort into supporting the campaign to find out what really happened to this Cambridge University student who was abducted and tortured to death during his PhD research in Egypt?
Unfortunately, what goes around, comes around. The US, too often with British complicity, has taken some significant backward steps in recent years - detaining people without trial in secretive prisons, and indulging in some medieval methods of torture - all in the name of fighting terrorism. Inevitably, while once the US was able to inspire or cajole authoritarian governments towards human rights, today those same regimes use the American example to do the very opposite.
Many feel that their suffering will be in some way mitigated if the perpetrators are brought to justice and punished for their crimes. It will allow them to begin to rebuild their lives which torture shattered... It is up to the international community to be vigilant in ensuring that Sri Lanka fulfils the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council by allowing this to take place.
David Cameron should think further ahead than the short-term "benefits" that arms deals and power stations bring, and press for countries we do business with (whether trade or security) to create stable and peaceful societies; the kind only possible where young people like Israa and Mahmoud are able to peacefully express their views without fear of imprisonment and torture.
If the EU is to be serious about its opposition to torture and the ill-treatment of human beings it must put its full might behind effective, comprehensive and adaptable controls on the instruments of torture. We believe that the legislation currently under debate in the Parliament can do this: we just need the political will to see it through.
There's typically a sense that once people have fled their country they no longer deserve a full stake in its future. Perhaps the assumption is exiles have assimilated elsewhere, their children no longer speak the language or understand the nuances of the culture. Sometimes there's a degree of envy - members of a diaspora are considered financially better off abroad...
Over the years I reckon we've all had our run-ins with dress code authoritarianism. Requirements to wear suits ("lounge suits"). Being told you've got to wear a shirt with a collar. Or a tie. The need to turn up in "smart" attire. Or footwear that isn't a pair of trainers. Or trousers that aren't tracksuit bottoms. Tops that aren't football shirts ...
If the next Government only cares to sell arms and build trade links with Bahrain, let them at least have the courage to admit that they don't really care for human rights. And if the next Government has the humanity to care, let them show it by actually engaging - publicly - for the respect of human rights there.
Fyodor Dostoevsky author of 'Crime and Punishment' is arguably one of the most celebrated writers throughout history. In his memoirs of his account of 4 years imprisoned in a Siberian gulag he wrote of being haunted by an insoluble problem, the inequality of punishment for one and the same crime. Those words were put to paper in 1862 and 153 years later his assertion could not be truer of America today, especially with the handling of General David Petraeus.
The Conservatives have so far refrained from fully 'weaponizing' the Human Rights Act in the election and the prospect of repeal in the next Parliament is scant. But it is still vital to speak out about the role of the Act in protecting vulnerable people including torture survivors seeking sanctuary in this country.
It's worth remembering that the vast majority of horror-show videos from Syria in the last four years have shown atrocities coming from the government side. It seems we need a jolt to remind us of this. A "killer stat" (literally) like Ghadbian's. A sort of lightbulb moment. We need to shine a light on Syria.