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Sunday, Apr 26th

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Slavery taints global supply of seafood

Thai seafood slavery The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home.

Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States.

Here, in the Indonesian island village of Benjina and the surrounding waters, hundreds of trapped men represent one of the most desperate links criss-crossing between companies and countries in the seafood industry. This intricate web of connections separates the fish we eat from the men who catch it, and obscures a brutal truth: Your seafood may come from slaves.

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Florida no longer safe haven for war criminals as US prosecutors take action

salvator war criminalAs one of an estimated 3.6 million senior citizens living in Florida, Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova found the perfect place to hide in plain sight. From shopping trips with his wife Lourdes in the upscale malls of Daytona Beach to gourmet meals at popular restaurants, he appeared to be just another septuagenerian enjoying the good life in the country’s favourite retirement playground.

Vides, however, was guarding a secret. The smartly dressed pensioner was once an army general and defence minister in El Salvador during a bloody 12-year civil war in the 1980s, and he stands accused of covering up a series of atrocities, including the rape and murder of four American churchwomen.

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Shannon Airport: Ireland's Gateway to Torture

Shannon Airport gateway to tortureDespite Ireland's steadfast denials, activists have gathered evidence of the country's link to US rendition and torture activities, and the US Senate torture report has made accountability unavoidable.

The scale and brutality of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program would not have been possible without the ample and willing assistance provided by dozens of other countries.

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US must release photos of Abu Ghraib detainees, federal judge rules

Gitmo detaineesThe US must release photographs showing abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judge has ruled in a long-running clash over letting the world see potentially disturbing images of how the military treated prisoners.

US district judge Alvin Hellerstein’s ruling Friday gives the government, which has fought the case for over a decade, two months to decide whether to appeal before the photos could be released. The American Civil Liberties Union has been seeking to make them public in the name of holding government accountable.

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UN commission blames Israel for plight of Palestinian women

palestinian womenThe U.N. Commission on the Status of Women approved a resolution Friday blaming Israel's ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian territory for "the grave situation of Palestinian women."

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor denounced the resolution saying it was further proof of the U.N.'s bias against Israel, as it was the only country singled out by the 45-member commission.

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Last Briton in Gitmo being held to ‘silence’ torture claims, UK MPs hear

Last Briton in GitmoThe United States came under renewed pressure Tuesday to free the last Briton held at Guantánamo Bay, with U.K. parliamentarians demanding his repatriation amid fresh suggestions that U.S. officials looked into forcibly sending him to Saudi Arabia in a bid to silence him over torture claims.

In a debate in the House of Commons, allegations were aired that the sole reason Shaker Aamer — who has spent 13 years at the controversial U.S. prison in Cuba despite never being charged with a crime — has not been released was due to human rights abuses he witnessed in captivity, which U.S. and U.K. authorities would rather not come to light.

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How Obama handed Afghanistan a prisoner dilemma

bagram prisonAfghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, who visits the White House next week, has not held back on criticizing the U.S. over its handling of detainees. Reacting to the contents of a damning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture in December, he expressed shock, declaring “that the principles of human rights — as well as the Constitution of the United States and universally accepted ethics — had been violated by the CIA and its contractors.”

But when it comes to the status of six detainees now in the hands of his security forces after the U.S. turned over control of the Parwan Detention Facility near Bagram air base in his country, Ghani has been noticeably less vocal.

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