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

Syria continues rebel bombardment

Syrian troops have clashed with army defectors and shelled rebel districts in Homs, killing at least 11 civilians a day after the government claimed it had begun a withdrawal ahead of the deadline for an international truce plan.

Erzsebet Fodor and her partner Zoltan Koza were evicted from the centre of Miercurea Ciuc/Czikszereda in 2004, they and their ten children now live in a metallic barrack placed by the municipal authorities on the outskirts of town in Romania (2009)

Roma shown to be Europe's poorest and most reviled people

Amnesty report exposes shocking treatment of the transient population and appeals for new approach

Azerbaijan warms up for Eurovision by torturing musicians

Fresh doubts have been raised about the suitability of Azerbaijan to host May's Eurovision Song Contest, as it emerged that two local musicians who insulted the country's president during a concert may have been tortured by police over recent days.

Amnesty accuses Nato of ignoring Libya air-strike deaths

Nato has failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the seven-month operation in Libya that helped bring about the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, Amnesty International says.

Assad's military has 304,000 active military personnel and 4,700 tanks

Prisoners in Syria face ordeal by torture chamber

Amnesty compiles new evidence of treatment inflicted by brutal regime

Pointing the way: Russell Brand at the Secret Policeman’s Ball at Radio City in New York

Secret Policeman's Ball: Stand-up and be counted

Russell Brand stole the show as American and British comics vied for laughs in New York

Gallery: In the face of discrimination

A photography exhibition opposing discrimination across Europe opens in Croatia this weekend. We showcase the inspirational pictures

One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

Almost a year after the start of the Libyan uprising that led to the ousting and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, new research suggests more than a third of its citizens would rather return to being ruled by a strongman than embrace democracy.

Kate Allen: It's time for America to put an end to this shameful scandal

It is staggering to contemplate that the US government has perpetuated this injustice

Hundreds in London join day of action to support Arab Spring protesters

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London yesterday to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East and North Africa.

Album: Various artists, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan (Universal/Amnesty)

The temptation to cover the work of Bob Dylan has proven irresistible to successive generations of artists, so it's no surprise that this album – compiled to honour 50 years of Amnesty International – runs to 72 tracks and four discs.

2012 wrap stays despite Olympics resignation

The controversial fabric wrap around London's showpiece Olympic Stadium will stay despite the resignation of an ethics watchdog over the link between the Bhopal disaster and Dow Chemical Company, which is backing the hi-tech design, London 2012 said today.

Justus Nyang'aya: An important milestone, but the quest for justice should not stop here

Kenyans will only be able to close this regrettable chapter if all of the perpetrators are held to account

Leading article: Britain's reputation is in the dock over rendition

Questions have been raised about the UK's line between decency and realpolitik

China sentences rights activist Chen Wei to nine years in jail 

A Chinese court sentenced a veteran activist today to nine years in prison for inciting subversion, in what appears to be the most severe punishment handed down in a crackdown to prevent the spread of Arab Spring-style democratic uprisings.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform