News & events

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The Bar Human Rights Committee has today written to the Turkish Constitutional Court, calling on them to urgently address the thousands of cases pending since Turkey’s abortive coup in July 2016. Since the attempted coup, no cases have yet been heard or resolved. 80,000 cases are currently waiting to be considered by the court, with over 30,000 people held in detention. In their letter to Prof. Zühtü Arslan, President of the Constitutional Court, BHRC argues that by not making any determinations in relation to these cases, defendants’ rights to an effective and timely remedy under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights have been breached. - 2 March 2017, BHRC

While European leaders woo and praise Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for generously hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, none of them mentions a discordant fact: more than 400,000 of his Kurdish fellow-citizens, who were displaced by the war in south-east Turkey last year, have received no government aid and still cannot return home, according to aid groups. - Jonathan Steele, Middle East Eye, 28 February 2017

Guidelines produced for border guards participating in an EU joint operation instruct the targeting of “migrants from minority ethnic groups, and individuals who may have been isolated or mistreated during their journey, as such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences.” - Statewatch, 16 February 2017


LATE last year, our government passed the most authoritarian law this country has ever known. The Investigatory Powers Act — more commonly known as the Snoopers’ Charter — means the state now knows almost everything about you. - Morning Star, 8 February 2017


Blaming public representations for making “sweeping statements” and having “an anti-development attitude”, the expert appraisal committee (EAC) on river valley and hydel projects of the Ministry of Environment has decided “not to take any cognizance of such representations” received by its members. In its December 30 meeting, the committee concluded that once a project proposal reaches the EAC for appraisal, it has crossed the stage of public consultation and “the EAC should not go back in time, and should not reopen it, by entertaining unsubstantiated representations received from the people”. - Jay Mazoomdaar, The Indian Express, 14 January 2017


The third updated edition of Desmond Fernandes’ book “Education, Human Rights Violations in Pakistan and the Scandal involving UNHCR and Christian asylum seekers in Thailand” in a special low-cost affordable pdf book format for just UK £5.00!


The NUJ has welcomed the decision of the European court of justice (ECJ) today (Wednesday 21 December) that general and indiscriminate retention of email and electronic communications by the UK government is illegal. The union called on the prime minister Theresa May to implement the legal ruling rather than further waste tax payers money going to an appeal. - NUJ press release: Wednesday 21 December 2016


Yasha Maccanico says suspicion of terrorism is often used as a pretext to ensure that people cannot have any possibility of determining their fate -, 19 December 2016


The Home Office programme ‘Prevent Violent Extremism’ has had mounting criticism, especially in the run-up to becoming statutory last year. Nevertheless its measures are being expanded, supposedly to safeguard vulnerable individuals. Why? What drives the agenda? What implications for a counter-strategy? These questions are addressed by Les Levidow in this article, based on his talk at the IHRC's Islamophobia conference held on 10th December.


Two panels of experts looked at how education, the legal system and the PREVENT / Counter-terrorism regime coalesce to create an environment of hate that facilitates the operation of a de facto Police State.


Lessons from Rojava and beyond: Workshop, exhibition and roundtable discussion - Against a background of conflict and repression in the Middle East, Kurds in four countries (Iraq, Iran, Syrian and Turkey) are asserting their political and cultural rights and transforming both themselves and the countries they live in. They pursue a democratic, secular and gender-equal political project in which women play a crucial role.


Investigatory Powers Act legalises range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services - Ewan MacAskill, The Guardian, 19 November 2016


Speech by Desmond Fernandes, genocide scholar, member of the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities and Peace in Kurdistan (and former Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and the Geography of Genocide at De Montfort University) at the 13th November 2016 ‘National Remembrance Day, Baluch Martyrs’ meeting, held at the Cumberland Hotel, London


The Dakota Access Pipeline was originally scheduled to cross the state of North Dakota north of Bismarck, the state capital (pop. 70,000). But then the route was shifted 40 miles south, to the south, to pass by the Standing Rock Sioux reservation (pop. 8200). This is sovereign territory of the Sioux, whose reservation straddles North and South Dakota and whose members include Hunkpapa Lakota and Yaktonai Dakota. - Gary Leupp, Counter Punch, 8 November 2016


With each passing day, Turkey looks ever more like a dictatorship. Not only has the British government remained silent but it colludes in this betrayal of democracy by selling Erdogan weapons, writes STEVE SWEENEY - Morning Star, 7 November 2016

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