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Human Rights
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News from around the world
  • Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship - Australia will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy. The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter.
    Source: Herald Sun [29th Oct 2008]
  • Ministers shelve 42-day detention - Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has told MPs that plans to extend terror detention to 42 days will be dropped from the Counter-Terrorism Bill. It follows a heavy defeat for the government in the House of Lords, which threw out the plan by 309 votes to 118.
    Source: BBC News [13th Oct 2008]
  • 42-day detention Bill to be shelved after U-turn - Gordon Brown today began an embarrassing retreat on his plan to hold terrorist suspects for up to 42 days without charge.
    Source: Evening Standard [7th Oct 2008]
  • Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After "Obsession" DVD Hits Ohio - On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West - the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail - were distributed by mail in Ohio, a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain's supporters has led to - Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.
    Source: Daily Kos [1st Oct 2008]
  • EU Influence Falls at U.N. as Russia Rises - On human-rights issues, a majority of U.N. member states are now more likely to vote with Russia and China than with the EU or U.S. Editorial writers around the world have called the recent Russia-Georgia war a watershed in how Russia views the world and the world views Russia. Moscow's response to criticismâ€""we don't need the G8, the WTO, and anything the West has to offer"â€"has been met with handwringing over a supposedly new multi-polar world where, in fact, Russia might not actually need the West. And without any sticks or carrots, the West might just have to settle for a new imperialistic Russia that will act with hubris and without regard for the consequences.
    Source: Business Week [24th Sep 2008]
  • Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice 'authorised waterboarding torture of Al Qaeda prisoners' - The White House was directly implicated for the first time last night in the decision to torture Al Qaeda prisoners. Sources say that Vice President Dick Cheney and a handful of other top politicians met in secret and agreed to the mistreatment of prisoners, according to ABC TV News and the Associated Press. As part of the decision-making process, they were given demonstrations of the techniques used. And as a direct result, the CIA was given the go-ahead to punch suspected terrorists, deprive them of sleep, and practise waterboarding - simulated drowning.
    Source: Daily Mail [11th Apr 2008]
  • Tough? Brown looks more like an image-obsessed wimp - The government's bill extending detention without charge to 42 days was given a second reading last night in the House of Commons. This measure is no longer a matter of criminal justice. It is a test of the capacity of the British constitution to hold state power to account. The bill faces a barrage of opposition from every point on the political and judicial spectrum. The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, has admitted as much. Its proposal to curb a classic civil liberty, habeas corpus, goes beyond anything practised in any free state in the world and is based on no evidence of need. Indeed, the only explanation for its survival is an apparent attempt by two weak politicians, Smith and the prime minister, Gordon Brown, to hold to a position taken when he came to office to seem tough on terrorism.
    Source: The Guardian [2nd Apr 2008]
  • Watchdog's threat to 42-day terror law - The government's own human rights watchdog threatened last night to launch a legal challenge to Labour's plan to introduce a law that would let police detain terror suspects without charge for 42 days. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says the key part of the counter-terrorism bill goes against human rights law and may breach the Race Relations Act.
    Source: The Guardian [31st Mar 2008]
  • Sources at British Spy Agency Confirm Tibetan Claims of Staged Violence - Britain's GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim by the Dalai Lama that agents of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured.
    Source: Epoch Times [27th Mar 2008]
  • Smith talks up terror threats in push for 42-day law - The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said today that the terror threat facing the UK was "higher than it has ever been" as she unveiled new laws to detain terror suspects without trial for up to 42 days.
    Source: The Guardian [24th Jan 2008]
  • Brian Haw violently assaulted then arrested at Downing Street - During the freedom to protest assembly yesterday, Brian Haw (who was peacefully filming events in whitehall) was violently attacked by a territorial support group policeman who lashed out at him, smashing his camera into his face and causing a deep cut. police then arrested Brian for an unspecified public order offence and further assaulted him in a police van.
    Source: Indy Media [13th Jan 2008]
  • Smith plans 42-day terror limit - Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced plans to extend the period that terrorism suspects can be held without charge for up to 42 days.
    Source: BBC News [6th Dec 2007]
  • Saudis sentence rape victim to six months jail, 200 lashes - The Saudi judiciary on Tuesday defended a court verdict that sentenced a 19-year-old victim of a gang rape to six months in jail and 200 lashes because she was with an unrelated male when they were attacked.
    Source: Fox News [21st Nov 2007]
  • War on terrorism leads to rights abuses: watchdog - Torture, beatings, executions, racist stereotyping and intrusive surveillance are among the abuses countries are committing in the name of fighting terrorism, a rights watchdog said on Monday.
    Source: Reuters [20th Nov 2007]
  • Waterboarding is torture - I did it myself, says US advisor - When the US military trains soldiers to resist interrogation, it uses a torture technique from the Middle Ages, known as "waterboarding". Its use on terror suspects in secret US prisons around the world has come to symbolise the Bush administration's no-nonsense enthusiasm for the harshest questioning techniques.
    Source: The Independent [1st Nov 2007]
  • Guantanamo military lawyer breaks ranks to condemn 'unconscionable' detention - An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are "enemy combatants".
    Source: The Independent [27th Oct 2007]
  • Judge Halts Transfer of Guantánamo Detainee - In what appears to be the first ruling of its kind, a federal judge has barred the Bush administration from sending a Guantánamo detainee to his home country, where he claims he would face torture, according to an order unsealed yesterday in Washington.
    Source: New York Times [10th Oct 2007]
  • Supreme Court Won't Review Alleged CIA Abduction - The Supreme Court declined yesterday to open U.S. courts to a German citizen who said he was abducted, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA because he was mistakenly identified as a terrorist.
    Source: The Washington Post [10th Oct 2007]
  • Amnesty film shows agony of US detention techniques - Forced on to the balls of his feet, bent double with his hands handcuffedbehind his back, the near-naked man shook violently. From beneath thehood, muted moans were audible. It seemed obscene to stare at thisapparently frail, vulnerable man, caught in a stress position reminiscentof the images of Iraqi prisoners being interrogated by US soldiers atBaghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. Yet this was not torture. It was art.
    Source: The Independent [16th Sep 2007]
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