UK Torture

Torture Survivors' Perspective Brings A Unique Expertise

Kolbassia Haoussou | Posted 27.06.2017 | UK
Kolbassia Haoussou

Torture is not something I sought, nor is it one I can forget. My enduring legacy, and that of other survivors who also speak out, is to pass on our knowledge of the impact of torture, why it is always wrong, and how we can work together to stop it forever.

I've Seen The Torture And Brutality That Can Happen When British Politicians Scrap Human Rights

Cori Crider | Posted 07.06.2017 | UK
Cori Crider

The last time corners were cut it was the Blair government, and MI6, who helped abduct my clients - a Libyan opposition figure and his heavily pregnant wife - and put them on a one-way flight to a Libyan dictator's torture chambers. It made no difference that Abdul-Hakim Belhaj only opposed Gaddafi, that the West was not his enemy, nor that of his blameless wife. Because of MI6's actions - and the decision in the realpolitik of the day to cosy up to Gaddafi, 'human rights' or basic decency be damned -- they were brutalised just the same.

Holding On To Life

Frances Harrison | Posted 30.03.2017 | UK
Frances Harrison

Tired and in shock, he leans on her shoulder as if it were his mother's. His reddened eyes keep on closing as he nods off, drained by sleepless nights...

The Truth About Torture And Rendition Must Come Out

Omran Belhadi | Posted 13.03.2017 | UK
Omran Belhadi

Secret justice is no justice at all, anathema to long held principles of open British justice. But in this case, there is a particularly powerful need for transparency, given that the spooks have misled the ministers who in turn misled Parliament.

Home Truths About Torture

Kolbassia Haoussou | Posted 03.03.2017 | UK Politics
Kolbassia Haoussou

I stand with her in her belief that only a humane, fair and efficient asylum system will enable torture survivors to gain asylum and begin to repair the terrible scars of torture on our bodies and minds.

The Unimaginable Terror Of Saydnaya

Kate Allen | Posted 08.02.2017 | UK
Kate Allen

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.

A US Torture Programme Would Not Make Britain Safer

Omran Belhadi | Posted 26.01.2017 | UK
Omran Belhadi

Our participation in the US torture programme was contrary to British values and did nothing to make us safer. If Britain does not shore up its defences quickly, it runs the real risks of being once more dragged into American excesses.

May Warns Trump UK Will Not Condone Torture Of Prisoners

The Huffington Post | Paul Waugh | Posted 25.01.2017 | UK Politics

Theresa May has warned that the UK will not condone torture of detainees “in any way” - just hours after it emerged that President Donald Trump pl...

As Trump Takes Office, We Must Protect The Powerless

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 12.01.2017 | UK Politics
Clive Stafford Smith

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.

Trump And Torture

Richard Hermer | Posted 23.11.2016 | UK Politics
Richard Hermer

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.

A British Bill of Rights Is a Threat to the Absolute Ban on Torture

Sonya Sceats | Posted 19.05.2017 | UK Politics
Sonya Sceats

The Queen's speech suggests that the government is sticking to its plan, in which case we must remain vigilant to stop any backsliding on the absolute ban on torture and other universal rights through political sleights of hand.

Truth for Giulio Regeni

Neil Durkin | Posted 27.04.2017 | UK Politics
Neil Durkin

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?

Don't Forget Lessons of Guildford Four In War on Terror

Martin McNamara | Posted 30.03.2017 | UK Entertainment
Martin McNamara

In the 1970s a group of young people were jailed for murderous IRA bombings they did not commit. Their case has important lessons for us now as we face new terrorist threats.

The UK Must Make Ethical Foreign Policy a Reality in the UAE

Clive Stafford Smith | Posted 10.03.2017 | UK
Clive Stafford Smith

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.

The Voices of Torture Survivors Must Be Heard

Kolbassia Haoussou | Posted 11.02.2017 | UK
Kolbassia Haoussou

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.

'Justice' Served For British Backpackers Killed In Thailand, Family Says

The Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 24.12.2015 | UK

The family of one of the British backpackers brutally murdered on a beach in Thailand said "justice" has been delivered after two Burmese migrants wer...

We Must Face Non-State Torture to Stop It

Janie Davies | Posted 17.11.2016 | UK
Janie Davies

Non-State Torture, learning about it, acknowledging that it happens and hearing what it involves, turned my view of the world on its head. My generi...

Chinese Money, Saudi Security and Arms for Egypt: Does Cameron Care About Human Rights at All?

Karla McLaren | Posted 02.11.2016 | UK Politics
Karla McLaren

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.

Shaker Aamer and Our Responsibility

Baroness Jones | Posted 23.10.2016 | UK Politics
Baroness Jones

We need to know exactly what the US government - and the UK government, which has been complicit in the 'rendering' of British and other nationals to Guantanamo - has done, so we can hold them to account. For all of us, the fight for justice for Shaker, his wife and children, is far from over.

The Trade in Instruments of Torture Must Be Stopped

Jude Kirton-Darling | Posted 25.06.2016 | UK Politics
Jude Kirton-Darling

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.

In Defence of Diaspora and Sri Lanka's Invisible Victims

Frances Harrison | Posted 22.06.2016 | UK
Frances Harrison

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...

Dress Code: No T-Shirts (Unless You Want to Go to Jail)

Neil Durkin | Posted 22.06.2016 | UK
Neil Durkin

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 ...

Four Years of UK Rights Assistance to Bahrain for What Result? Only More Torture

Sayed Alwadaei | Posted 05.05.2016 | UK
Sayed Alwadaei

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.

General Petraeus And General Inequality

Jake Warren | Posted 29.06.2015 | UK
Jake Warren

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.

Is the Risk to the Human Rights Act Over-Hyped?

Sonya Sceats | Posted 29.06.2015 | UK Politics
Sonya Sceats

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.