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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Cybersecurity should protect us – not control us

In the race to secure against threats, human rights such as privacy, free expression, freedom of assembly are undermined rather than protected.

The search for truth over what happened to Giulio Regeni

The full truth is important not only for Giulio’s case, but also for the hundreds of Egyptian citizens who have disappeared, many of them almost certainly suffering the same grisly fate that he did.

As the world turns towards the right: what future for the "refugee crisis"?

The “refugee crisis” is portrayed as a new phenomenon plaguing Europe, but it is another episode in an old crisis of injustice and rights.

'Bogus' asylum seekers? The ethics of truth-telling in the asylum system

The British tabloids and the Home Office are united by their assumption that asylum seekers who lie during their claims are undeserving of protection. Yet this view runs contrary both to widely held moral principle and refugee law.

A genocide century: Armenia's light, Turkey's denial

A hundred years after the Ottoman genocide, Armenia is turning the page on a dark century and looking outwards. When will Turkey?

The European Court of Human Rights violates my rights

The EHCR has upheld the right of the Turkish politician Dogu Perincek to deny the Armenian genocide. It's a bad decision with dangerous implications.

Eritrean exodus: living with risk

Eritreans are leaving their homeland in big numbers. Their experience of violence and trauma is at the heart of the process.  

Israel: refugees not welcome

While other countries in the region are hosting millions of refugees fleeing Syria, Israel is hosting none and is forcing out the several thousands of African asylum seekers already in the country.

Northern Ireland: what Einstein would have said

The latest crisis in Northern Ireland looks like déjà vu all over again. It’s not that the situation never changes but the remedy offered by London remains stubbornly the same.

Who's afraid of the 'global poor'?

Shifting the migration debate to consider the impact of global phenomena such as climate change and global capitalism on the movement of people requires an understanding of scarcity and insecurity as factors which affect citizens and non-citizens alike.

Armenia, memories of the land

A century after the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians, Vicken Cheterian goes in search of its living traces on the modern borderlands where Turkey, Syria and Lebanon meet.

The five pillars of Islamophobia

Vague categories like ‘extremist’ and ‘radicalisation’ are trawling Muslims in a very large ‘counter-terrorism’ net.

Security services should not have carte blanche

It seems obvious that human rights must be compromised to guarantee security in the face of armed violence. Obvious but wrong.

Dalit women and village justice in rural India

Enjoyment of the rule of law requires judicial institutions which act with impartiality. For Dalit women in India’s villages, fat chance.

When does a refugee camp become a permanent home?

Encamped refugees are often portrayed on our TV screens as objects of pity with deadpan expressions. Time to ask what they think and feel.

Songs of dissent, laws of control

An artistic group in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is among the targets of India's counter-terrorism measures. But an acclaimed film opens a new front for freedom of expression.  

Press freedom: the dark cloud gathering over Europe

Today is a day to celebrate free media expression—except for those journalists, even in Europe, denied the capacity to do so.

From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to the bottom for justice

What is it about the police and urban black populations in the US and the UK? The explanation starts with two of the most stretched social hierarchies in the developed world.

Securitisation not the response to deaths at sea

The European Union has responded to the humanitarian crisis presented by refugee deaths in the Mediterranean—but only through the lens of border control.

South Africa’s new scapegoats

In the land that ended apartheid two decades ago, violence against other Africans has been on the rise. What has gone wrong and what is to be done?

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

What the EU must do now to halt this tragedy on its shores

There are answers to the Mediterranean migrant-deaths crisis. They just require the European Union, whose foreign ministers met yesterday, to grasp the political nettle.

Europe's war on migrants

The unending series of mass drownings in the Mediterranean of migrants and refugees are not unfortunate tragedies: they are the dread outworking of the occluding of humanitarian concern by the rhetoric of border control.

‘Your face now looks permanently in pain’—awaiting sentence in Egypt

The sister of a US-Egyptian activist on hunger strike in a Cairo jail, whose cause has been taken up by Amnesty International, issues a cri de coeur on the eve of a critical court appearance.

Sebastião Salgado, ethics of time

The Salt of the Earth, a film about the photographer Sebastião Salgado, is an invitation to self-discovery in the mirror of the artist's ways of seeing.

Freedom or dignity: media censorship in the new Turkey

Banning one photo from the internet might seem to reflect the paranoia of an increasingly authoritarian AKP regime but Erdogan’s grasp could really be weakening.

After Garissa, Kenya needs to break the cycle

The massacre at a university in Kenya should lead the government to a recognition that repressive and discriminatory reactions, however tempting, have only fuelled such horrific violence.

Andargachew Tsige: Ethiopian brutality, British apathy

A UK citizen who was a refugee from the one-party state that is Ethiopia has been spirited back into its clutches. Why is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office doing so little?

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Arms and the men: Sweden’s revoked Saudi arms deal

From the outside, the Swedish snub to the Saudi royals looks like a big triumph for women’s rights over commercial pressures. Close up, the ethical picture is a little muddier.

Armenian genocide, a century on

A hundred years after the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire, widening acceptance of the crime is shadowed by Ankara's continual evasion.

Universal rights, double standards

What is the difference between the human-rights shortfalls of Venezuela and Mexico? Objectively, not much, but Washington has a different perspective.

Egypt’s political prisoners

Egypt’s president has a simple solution for activists who protest against his draconian laws criminalising public assembly. Jail them.

Indonesia regresses with the use of the death penalty

The prospect of execution of two Australians in Indonesia has caught international media attention, amid Australian protest. But these are part of a wider official spasm, in a country dominated by a ‘tough on crime’ narrative.

Death at Yarl’s Wood: Women in mourning, women in fear

Abuse at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre is finally mainstream news. When a woman died at Yarl’s Wood in 2014, a woman who knew her inside spoke by phone to Jennifer Allsopp.

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