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This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

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.

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.

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.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity?

The truce declared in 2012 may have been imperfect and controversial but positive lessons must be learned amid the country’s current crisis of violence.

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war following coup attempt

Burundi looks like it is entering a vortex of renewed violence. It's in a troubled region, we have been here before—and the president's determination to pursue an unconstitutional third term is blocking any democratic alternative.

Central African Republic: the long and winding road

The good news is that the violent factions in the Central African Republic have agreed to ban child soldiering. The bad news is that a viable CAR state remains a long way off.

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.

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?

A Gulf in understanding

The outline Iran nuclear deal has highlighted divisions in the region—not just between majority Shia and Sunni states but between those supporting the status quo and those challenging it.

Community policing? Achieving more realistic results

It has become fashionable for first-world donors to embrace ‘community policing’ for developing-world security programmes. But context is everything.

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.

Buhari wins—but new president of Nigeria faces enormous challenge

After the Nigerian presidential election, the new government must address the social and economic policy vacuum Boko Haram has filled if the threat from the Islamists is to be tackled.

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

Tunisia's security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

The Tunisian massacre did not come out of a clear blue sky. A dictatorship not as secular as presented and its naïve 'moderate' Islamist successor allowed Salafism to emerge.

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.

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

“Frankly, I don’t think we know who we killed”

A drone strike in Somalia highlights how the US is increasingly pursuing a strategy of remote-control warfare.

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

Fear, rumours and violence: Boko Haram’s asymmetrical warfare

While the global media were transfixed by the Islamist killings in Paris, Boko Haram was engaging in further massacres in north-east Nigeria and even over the border in Cameroon. How has its campaign escalated?

CIA torture programme cast a wide net

The CIA’s ‘deep interrogation’ and the Guantánamo detention camp came to symbolise the US ‘war on terror’. Yet it turns out that most individuals subjected to the first weren’t thought to merit transfer to the second.

How states can constrain resort to political violence

Recognising there are political elements to any campaign of militant violence makes it less ‘terrifying’ for society and is crucial in developing measures to constrain it. 

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

The latest violence in eastern Ukraine would lead most observers to think an end to the military and political attrition is not in sight. They would be right.

Dominic Ongwen and the slow-grinding wheels of the International Criminal Court

He may not be a household name but his eventual trial at the ICC may highlight the long-forgotten victims of the conflict in Uganda and beyond involving the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Ethnicised justice and dealing with the past in ex-Yugoslavia

There was much hope in the international community that the Hague war-crimes tribunal on former Yugoslavia, allied to domestic proceedings, could point the region to a reconciled future. It was not to be.

Pakistan’s 21st amendment: national consensus or soft coup?

The attack on the school in Peshawar in December shocked the world. In Pakistan, the upshot is a growing military shadow once more looming over a fragile democracy.

Deadly cargo: explosive weapons in populated areas

It’s been a year of searing images of horrifying mass civilian injury and death, from Gaza to eastern Ukraine. The world must set standards to curb resort to weapons with wide-area effects where many civilians are at risk.

South Africa’s parliament and the politicisation of the police

The police were a symbol of the old, apartheid South Africa. Unfortunately they are becoming a symbol of the ‘new South Africa’ too.

Reflections on intervention in the 21st century

Where stands now the ‘responsibility to protect’? Recent egregious intervention failures require simplistic nostra to be replaced by a more complex understanding.

Eastern Ukraine: the humanity behind the headlines

The government in Kyiv, aid organisations and the international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting in the east.

Pakistan school attack: years of inaction led to this atrocity

The Peshawar atrocity did not come out of a clear blue skythe foreboding context an inert, corrupt state ambivalent towards violence, hardly functioning public institutions and unregulated madrasas.

New security laws could make Turkey into a police state

The latest crackdown on journalists in Turkey is another twist in the spiral into authoritarianism of a state bereft of an effective political oppositionwith 'Putinisation' an increasingly realistic description.

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