Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Counter-terrorism: After the 9/11 decade

By Cynthia Banham
Centre for International Governance and Justice

 

Regarding Rights is pleased to re-publish “Counter-terrorism: After the 9/11 decade”  by CIGJ PhD scholar Cynthia Banham, originally written for the Lowy Institute’s blog The Interpreter.

We thank the editors of The Interpreter for their permission to post Cynthia’s article here.

The Open Society Foundation’s recent report detailing the scale of the Bush Administration’s extraordinary rendition program and the extent of cooperation by 54 allies reveals yet again the excesses in the way liberal democracies responded to the al Qaeda terrorist threat in the decade after the 9/11 attacks.

Yet in many ways the actions of the governments that came after those of George W Bush, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown tell us more about the lengths to which modern liberal democracies will go in order to defend themselves against terrorist threats. These governments did not face imminent national security crises, yet their willingness to subvert the rule of law has been no less flagrant.

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Extraordinary Rendition and Human Rights: The Case of Khaled El-Masri

Mapping Extraordinary Rendition in Europe. Source: Council of Europe Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Mapping Extraordinary Rendition in Europe.
Source: Council of Europe Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

By Rumyana Grozdanova

Durham University Law School

In December 2012, Khaled El-Masri, a German national who was detained by Macedonian border security and then extraordinarily rendered by the CIA, finally received a measure of justice. In a case that has haunted many in the human rights community, Mr El-Masri was subjected to incommunicado detention, first at the hands of Macedonian authorities after being seized on 31 December 2003, and then by the CIA, who rendered him to the infamous “Salt Pit” secret prison in Kabul where he was detained without access to legal representation or diplomatic services and ill-treated for a further four months. Continue reading


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Zero Dark Thirty: Airbrushing Torture

By Cynthia Banham

Centre for International Governance and Justice

Regarding Rights is pleased to re-publishZero Dark Thirty: Airbrushing Torture” by CIGJ PhD scholar Cynthia Banham, originally written for the Lowy Institute’s blog The Interpreter. Zero Dark Thirty has generated considerable controversy for its portrayal of torture; readers may also be interested in this article from the New York Times, which locates the film within debates about whether Hollywood has an obligation of fidelity to ‘historical truth’.

We thank the editors of The Interpreter for their permission to post Cynthia’s article here. Continue reading