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.
Some of these horrors make agonising reading - but it is incorrect to say that they defy description. In the cold, expressionless language of the Senate report, even blunt, mechanical phrases can contain the key to understanding a world of pain. 'Rectal feeding' is one. 'Stress position' is another. Through reams of inert prose, an appalling picture of abuse is built up and solidified.
If torture worked, the need to criminalise it would be even more imperative than if it were ineffective because the temptation to use it would then be even greater. If torture did not work there would be no need to use it. It was largely because the CIA believed, or persuaded itself, that it did work that it became such a widespread practice.
The release of this report teaches us an important lesson; that it is easy for the rule of law and our own civility to be lost in a climate of fear, where pressing concerns are focused on finding ways to protect ourselves from dangerous and evil forces like Al Qaeda or ISIS. Behaviour that compromises such principles, however, will invariably fail to keep us safe.