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This week’s front page editor

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Defiantly principled: Breivik v Norway

A survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's mass murder supports recent court verdict that the Norwegian state has infringed on the human rights of the terrorist.

Lampedusa: Never again

The terrible migrant deaths off the Italian island have evoked horror across the continent. In a small camp in France, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi talks to fellow countrymen and women who have survived: their hopes, dreams, and learning to feel unwelcome in Europe.

“There was so much fear”

The outworking of the eight-year-old peace agreement in Nepal has embraced the government and its Maoist opponents. The women who were victims of sexual violence from both sides during the conflict have, however, been left out.

The death of Abelhak Goradia: a worrying silence in France

The recent death of an Algerian national at the hands of the police during deportation should provoke public indignation. It demands explanation, says Nath Gbikpi.

One year on from the 'Go Home vans' flop: has the Home Office learned anything?

The UK government seems immune to criticism of its hostile approach to immigration, but the decision to return home for any migrant is not a simple one. Rather than obscuring evidence, the government must be transparent about what really constitutes a solution.

UK Detention Inquiry: a step in the right direction

A parliamentary inquiry, launched today, will hear from people directly affected by immigration detention. Will the mass incarceration of migrants finally be recognised as a political concern worthy of public scrutiny and debate, asks Eiri Ohtani.

'Don't even talk to them': Tunisia's forgotten refugees

When international organisations declare a crisis over and refugee camps are closed, what happens to those who remain? Oliver Tringham reports on a pilot community project to restore rights and create livelihoods for refugees forgotten in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Live from Lampedusa: The Freedom of Movement

Nicholas De Genova introduces The Charter of Lampedusa.

Justice for asylum seekers: Back to the drawing board, Ms May

The British High Court has found the level of support given to asylum seekers ‘flawed’: a political calculation rather than an assessment of what constitutes an essential living need. We must force reason back into the system, says Sile Reynolds.

Law or compassion? The deportation of teenagers

In the past 5 years, over 500 young people who migrated as lone children have been removed after spending their formative years in the UK. We have a responsibility for their long term safety and flourishing, says Emily Bowerman.

UK: life in limbo for Sudanese democracy activists

Britain remains blind to the reasons why threatened minorities and activists are forced to flee hostile regimes, treating those who seek asylum with hostility and disdain. We must recognise the bravery of those who want for their country the freedoms we take for granted.

Deported from Japan: until death do us part

February will see the final judgment in the case of Abubakar Awudu Suraj, a Ghanian national who died whilst being deported from Japan. An interview with his widow highlights States’ powers to regulate migrants' intimate relationships with their citizens.

20 years of arbitrary detention in Britain

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Campsfield, the immigration removal centre which heralded a mass expansion of detention and opened the door for profit in immigration control in Britain. Yet outside the prison and within, there are voices of dissent, says Bill MacKeith.

Justice in the UK: back to the 1930s?

Proposals to cut legal aid and judicial review in Britain will make it harder for people fighting for their rights to challenge the government's cuts agenda, and will remove one of the few lifelines to justice for asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented workers, says Kate Blagojevic. 

Young Afghans in the UK: deportations in the dead of night to a war-zone

Each year around 400 children forced by war to leave their families and homes in Afghanistan seek sanctuary in the UK. Lisa Matthews writes for Young People Seeking Safety Week on the young adults who, having rebuilt their lives, are now at threat of return. 

"We want peace. We’re tired of war"

"If we live violence every day, how can we work for the development of our country so that we can benefit from human rights like other countries and like other women?"  - Julienne Lusenge speaking about her work as a women's human rights defender in the DRC

Deconstructing detention in Britain

Immigration detention and borders are cultural and historical constructions which criminalise and traumatise migrants. They are neither inevitable nor a given, says Nath Gbikpi.

Is there an alternative to locking up migrants in the UK?

If detention is a tool of war on irregular migration, then the damage on both sides is severe. But this war is not inevitable. There is a significant area of potential common interest in a fair system that works primarily by consent

Anti-deportation campaigns: ‘What kind of country do you want this to be?’

A new musical, Glasgow Girls, showcases the power of anti-deportation campaigns as both an expression of human solidarity and an essential device for holding states to account. But their key role, argues Jennifer Allsopp, is to build support for an asylum system that upholds the rights of all.

An apparition: extraditing Victor Jara’s suspected killer

The struggle to bring one of the protest singer’s suspected killers from the USA back to his native Chile will remind Chileans of the struggle to extradite and try Pinochet himself. And while Jara’s case helped to draw attention to ‘disappearances’ under the regime, hundreds of families still have no answers

In memoriam Valery Abramkin, Russia's prison reformer

Celebrated Russian activist Valery Abramkin has died aged 66. Here we republish extracts from a lecture delivered in 2006, which contains many fascinating insights into the rules of behaviour, hierarchies and relationships within Soviet and Russian prisons. (With a foreword by Mary
McAuley.) 

Detention and human rights in the UK: maintaining the presumption of liberty

Rigorous reviews by a genuinely independent panel could be a significant step away from the routine long-term detention of migrants in Britain, but only a time limit provides a sure safeguard, says Kate Blagojevic

On the streets in Spain: not only the homeless

The monarchy, the political and economic systems, even the judiciary and the church appear to be failing the people of Spain as they face what amounts to a right-wing coup by a Government that legislates by decree. Their only option seems to be to protest on the streets, says Liz Cooper.

Zimbabwe: speaking from where I feel safe

Many women in Zimbabwe face war in their homes daily and face war with the state when we try to overcome it. Often we find ourselves in combat when all we are actually trying to do is to crawl out of our own small room, says Betty Makoni.

Who was Rita Hester?

Transgender people will continue to be harrassed, persecuted and murdered until society moves beyond the binary system of male/female to recognise transgender as a third identity. Only then will the data be collected and our deaths treated as no less important than any other human being, says Dee Borrego.

A successful exhibition of ‘offender art’. But what’s ahead?

The Koestler Trust’s 50th annual exhibition in London of art by prisoners, immigration detainees and secure mental patients closes this weekend. What will Free have shown us? And what’s ahead for its prize-winners? Review

Children in care: the Russian orphan industry

For those in Russia with an interest in preserving the status quo, youth justice is a Western invention with no place in their country. Others disagree. But the two positions share some features, so Boris Altshuler appeals to them to put their differences aside and make common cause for the sake of the children.

A difficult week for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

The ICTY's struggle to prosecute war criminals causes a further decline in credibility in times when progress is vital for Croatia and the relation between Serbia and Bosnia.

Abductions and disappearances in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the Burgos case remindsd us that 900 activists have become victims, while the West looks away.

Legal Nihilism in Russia

In May 2008 the newly-elected President Medvedev, himself a lawyer, promised legal reform in Russia, but there are few signs of it as yet, says Bill Bowring

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev on trial - again

Khodorkovski-courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Few believed that a second Khodorkovsky trial would actually happen, but it is. Maryana Torocheshnikova is sitting through the surreal twists and turns

Musawah: there cannot be justice without equality

Muslim scholars and activists from forty eight countries are today launching a global initiative insisting that in the twenty first century "there cannot be justice without equality" between men and women,
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