Voices

Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

People trafficking protection measures slammed

Measures to protect victims of people smuggling are "not fit for purpose" and may be illegal, a report claimed today.

Dunga's men face a leap into the unknown

Preview: Brazil v North Korea, Today, 7.30pm, ITV1

Honour for <i>Independent's</i> Johann Hari

The Independent's Johann Hari was this week named National Newspaper Journalist of the Year in the prestigious Amnesty International Media Awards.

Call for inquiry into activist's death in Congo

The head of the United Nations mission in Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday called for an investigation into the death of a leading human rights activist found dead in the capital on Wednesday.

'Independent' writer honoured

Johann Hari, one of The Independent's most distinguished columnists, has won the 2009 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

The Journey of Anders Sparrman, By Per W&#228;stberg, trans. Tom Geddes

It's hard to know which man has had the more remarkable life. Per Wästberg had his first national newspaper column at 12. He fought apartheid in South Africa, edited Sweden's largest daily newspaper, founded the Swedish section of Amnesty International, and is now chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature. And he has written more than 50 books – novels, political works, essays and poems.

Business Diary: No FT, no comment for Amnesty

So it's shame on the Pink 'Un. The FT was the subject of a furious press release from Amnesty International yesterday, decrying the decision to pull an AI ad that criticised Shell's operations in Nigeria and appealed to the oil giant's shareholders to raise the issue at its AGM. At the rather unsporting time of 4.58pm. "Editorially, the FT was willing to run the ad, but it couldn't be given the legal assurances on the claims made against Shell," said a spokesman. Assurances that allowed the Metro and the Evening Standard to go ahead.

Belgium passes Europe's first ban on wearing burka in public

Parliament hails bill as victory for women, but Amnesty condemns attack on freedom

The <i>IoS</i> Happy List 2010

While others produce catalogues of the wealthy, heirs and heiresses, and the bonus-baggers, David Randall introduces our third annual list of those who give, rather than make or take

Diplomatic deals expose deportees to torture risk

Amnesty says Britain has led the way in relying on 'worthless' assurances

Gold Cup preview: Kauto can prove ascendant over fading rival star

The 82nd running of the week's centrepiece should provide an "I-was-there" moment. Kauto Star (3.20), going for his third Cheltenham Gold Cup, is poised to seal his greatness. The race has been hyped as the best-of-three decider between the defending champion and his Paul Nicholls-stablemate Denman, but that moment came and went last year and Denman has increasingly looked like a horse falling out of love with his job.

Weapon's Amnesty defuses two-horse race for Henderson

'Flighty' Irish prospect takes wing to soar beyond Long Run and Punchestowns

Sue Montgomery's Day Two Verdict: Walsh leaves his champion to mind fences

In the Champion Chase there is little room for error and even less time for a rider to organise his mount on the approach to a fence. "If you start doing that you'll land five lengths adrift of where you were," said Ruby Walsh, partner of today's hot favourite Master Minded (3.20), "so you have to leave it to the horse."

Nato 'ill-equipped to prevent Afghan civilian deaths'

Nato is ill-equipped to probe accidental loss of life or prevent further civilian deaths during its latest offensive in Afghanistan, Amnesty International warned today.

White House warns UK ruling could 'complicate' intelligence-sharing

The White House said it was "deeply disappointed" at a UK Appeal Court ruling that revealed intelligence relating to torture allegations in the case of a former Guantanamo detainee.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there