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

A still from the amateur video footage of the incident

South African officers involved in death of man dragged by police van are charged with murder

Incident  shines a light on South Africa's much-criticised police force

A

Sentenced to 100 lashes in the Maldives: 15-year-old girl 'raped by stepfather who then murdered baby'

A teenage girl in the Maldives who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather has been ordered to receive 100 lashes after she confessed to having had pre-marital sex with another man. She is said to be deeply traumatised.

Russia set for posthumous Magnitsky trial

Amnesty says the trial is a 'new chapter in Russia's worsening human rights record'

A Bahraini anti-government protester throw a stone toward riot police during clashes in Daih

Teenager's death marks anniversary of Bahrain's uprising

Two years on, little has changed as Shia muslims continue to protest against the Sunni government

The beheading of a housemaid in Saudi Arabia highlights slave-like conditions

In 2010, 27 migrant workers were executed in Saudi Arabia and, according to Amnesty International, more than 45 foreign maids are currently on death row

Isa Gambar, the leader of the Musavat party, said around 100 people attacked him and other party officials

Police accused of turning blind eye to attack on Azerbaijan opposition leader

One of Azerbaijan’s most prominent opposition figures has been assaulted while police apparently stood to one side and did not intervene.

Protesters calling for Rizana Nafeek’s release, in Colombo in 2011

Saudi Arabia executes Sri Lankan maid

Kingdom breaching global treaty as Rizana Nafeek was 17 when baby died in her care

Amnesty International

In The Independent on Sunday of 23 December, an article stated that Amnesty International recommends that the use of Tasers on children and vulnerable people "should be avoided in all circumstances".

Prime Minister David Cameron (L) helps (R) Ken Maddock campaign for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Avon and Somerset

David Cameron makes 'no apology' for controversial visit to the Gulf to promote British defence firms

David Cameron has insisted he made “no apology” for flying to the Gulf to bang the drum for British defence firms despite the poor human rights record in the region.

Activists step up campaign against secret justice bill

Human rights groups will start the firing gun on their campaign against Government proposals to allow national security evidence to be heard behind closed court doors under the so-called "secret justice" bill.

Iranian nuclear ambitions will be top of the agenda for David Cameron in Saudi Arabia

Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be top of the agenda when David Cameron visits Saudi Arabia tomorrow during a three-day visit to the Gulf and the Middle East.

Syrian rebels accused of war crime after video is posted appearing to show opposition forces shooting captured Assad troops

Video showing apparent war crime raises questions about oppposition groups

Rights groups dismiss claims of progress

Sri Lanka yesterday claimed it was making progress on protecting human rights amid a barrage of sceptical questions about abductions, threats to journalists and lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community.

Islamist suspects 'held inhumanely' in Nigeria claims human rights group

Nigeria is illegally holding hundreds of people suspected of taking part in violence orchestrated by a radical Islamist sect, a rights group warned today, adding that they were being kept in inhumane conditions and denied access to lawyers.

Watchdog warns over secret hearings

Government plans to extend the use of secret hearings in courts are not compatible with the Human Rights Act, the equalities watchdog has said.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas