Our time at the compound was running out so we spent the last half an hour in the processing room where prisoners are first taken to be charged. This was a very different atmosphere, partly because it was a much smaller room, but it also seemed to be more menacing. The judge immediately looked uncomfortable when we walked in...
All of the deaths, disappearances and instances of violence and torture that have affected my Syrian friends' lives should be fiction, could have been fiction if things had turned out differently. But since they haven't, these facts have had to be absorbed into the fabric of people's lives, just as the realities of life on a refugee camp have had to be.
A Labour-run DfID would seek to offer a hybrid approach that focuses on economic, environmental and social development, without ever losing sight of what DfID was created to achieve. I will continue to champion the invaluable work DfID does and ensure the UK does not wane on its foreign aid commitments.
Bisi Alimi is a Nigerian LGBT advocate and HIV activist. The first person to ever come out as gay on Nigerian television, Bisi fled Nigeria for the UK after an attempt on his life in 2007. Here he vlogs for The Huffington Post UK marking 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Britain, and how it continues to be illegal in his home country.
The emotional torment of fleeing your home is not easy to describe. I remember arriving at London Heathrow airport like it was yesterday. It was a freezing cold December night and I could not think straight. I felt so sad and guilty at leaving my parents behind. But equally I was happy and relieved to be in a safe place. I never wanted to leave Syria. I never thought that, some four years later, I would have a new life in Yorkshire. What makes someone abandon their home and travel over land and sea for a better future? In recent days, there has been so much focus on refugees around the world. I am a 'refugee'. But first and foremost, I am a person.
Let's be clear about what is happening right now, and Britain's role in it. A US President is banning people coming to his country because of their religion. Those fleeing persecution and violence - often because of conflicts the West has been involved in - are being denied a safe haven. The world's greatest power is gripped by the politics of fear and division - and risks sliding into an even darker place. There is only one way to respond to Trump's hate: condemnation. But what have we seen from the Government? Theresa May avoided the question altogether.
I have recently been reading several papers looking at the idea of 'Humans V Nature' and the sustainable way we can sustain both and allow them to grow. In our current modern world this seems near impossible, as the greedy, consumerist nature of the West takes opportunities and investment from the rest of the world, or at least it can be seen like that.
The action shows the extent to which abortion is seen, not as a fundamental healthcare necessity for women, but as a plaything for politicians who want to posture and demonstrate their traditional, conservative commitments. Those of us who believe that women should be able to decide for themselves how to plan their families; those of us who see abortion as a legitimate and necessary part of healthcare; and, who believe that the morals and values of women throughout the world should not be dictated by them and not funders, need to raise our voices now.
Change will happen when we join together to stand up to and fight for justice against misogyny, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred, taking our negative feelings of despondency and channeling them into positive affirmative action. So let's come together to march on London, not in protest but in celebration of diversity, equality and peace.
The scenario which now looks plausible is this: the UK heads for a hard Brexit completely cutting ties with the EU, and turns itself into a low-tax, low-standards economy, destroying decades of law building up environmental protection. This is done by a deregulatory government unhindered by Parliament, yet without a mandate from either a General Election or, in any meaningful way, the EU referendum. There was a clear 'leave' vote on 23 June, but it's also clear people weren't voting in favour of diluted environmental standards. Theresa May called for Britain to 'come together' to make a success of Brexit. But that would mean supporting a process that, in its most extreme version, would require degrading and debasing environmental standards
The voices we heard in 2016 delivered unexpected political outcomes but I am not sure that we have yet fully understood what the message was. What is abundantly clear is that many people feel short-changed on hope. They want action. We must challenge our current circumstances both by acknowledging where we are and by calling for more and for better - better government, better funding and fairness, better life chances.Following an extraordinary year, here are my revised campaign priorities for the changed world in which we now live.
Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ's example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe. The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
An education is not a piece of paper that you get as you Instagram a photo of yourself in a cap and gown. Education is a doorway to a better future. It can help you find the voice to fight, open the the eyes of those who have never seen beyond their front door and break the cycle of poverty. Education is knowledge and that can change everything.