(Reprieve) – There are urgent concerns that 14 Saudi Arabian men accused of protest-related offences are facing imminent execution. The group, including disabled Munir al-Adam and juvenile Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, have been moved to the Saudi capital Riyadh in the last few…
By normalising the use of drones, the US might be planting a seed that people in the Arab world reject: the seed of arbitrariness.
Despite the large criticism directed toward the unabated use of armed drones as a weapon of choice in the “global war against terror”, led by the United States, the recent revelations about the establishment of a US drone base in Tunisia show that their use is expanding.
This information comes after the announcement of the construction of a 100 million drone base in Agadez, in the centre of Niger, indicating an increase of counterterrorist drone operations in north-west Africa. Although governments in the region have publically claimed they are not hosting US bases, there remains little doubt that such bases do exist at least in Niger and Tunisia, signalling an unconstrained and dangerous expansion.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of UK funding for international counter-narcotics operations may be contributing to higher numbers of death sentences and executions abroad, international human rights organisation Reprieve has found.
Reprieve has written to the Home Office – the lead department on international drugs policy – to highlight new evidence that UK support for programmes operating in countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may be resulting in the arrest and sentencing to death of vulnerable, exploited individuals.
The latest session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway in New York City. The assembly has featured many speakers, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who used the platform to address extremism in the world as well as the landmark nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers.
One thing he did not mention was the death penalty. Iran has one of the globe’s highest rates of capital punishment, a fact that if ignored inside the chamber, was highlighted by protesters outside the General Assembly.
Police Killings Persist as Summer Olympics Approach
Rio de Janeiro state promised improvements in public security in preparation for the Olympics, but it has not done enough to address extrajudicial executions by police, a central obstacle to more effective law enforcement, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 109-page report, “‘Good Cops Are Afraid’: The Toll of Unchecked Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro,” documents how unlawful police killings have contributed to the unraveling of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve public security.
Rio police have killed more than 8,000 people in the past decade, including at least 645 in 2015. Many police killings were most likely the result of the legitimate use of force, but many others were extrajudicial executions, Human Rights Watch found.
The government today refused to answer questions from MPs about its controversial police training programme with Saudi Arabia.
The subject was debated at Westminster following revelations yesterday from the BBC and international human rights organization Reprieve that Britain’s College of Policing is teaching the Saudi Arabian interior ministry high-tech forensic skills – which could be used to identify individuals who later go on to be tortured and sentenced to death.
FCO minister David Lidington MP said today that the police training programme was “clearly a matter that the Home Office leads on”.
However, the project is coordinated through the British Embassy in Riyadh and, according to documents obtained by Reprieve under Freedom of Information, is designed to support UK foreign policy in the Gulf.