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

Spain police accused of racial profiling

Amnesty International today accused Spanish authorities of using racial and ethnic profiling, with police singling out people who are not white in order to meet quotas.

Sting cancelled a gig in Kazakhstan in July over claims that Kazakh oil workers' human rights were violated

Kazakhstan: PR firm's plan to target Sting after gig boycott (video)

A London-based PR firm claimed it was planning to orchestrate a campaign by Kazakh children against the pop singer Sting after he withdrew from a performance in the country, The Independent can reveal.

Life-enhancing: Berthoud's expressive face enlivened everything he did

Professor Jacques Berthoud: Scholar of English and French lauded for his inspired teaching

Despite the storm clouds of apartheid, an intellectual and cultural cross-traffic between Britain and South Africa flourished in adversity. One of the castaways was Jacques Berthoud, who arrived here in 1967. His coming, to teach first at the University of Southampton and then in 1979, as Professor of English and Related Literature, at York, had an electrifying effect on both universities. But it spread far beyond them, as the many students whom he inspired took what they had learned from him, never to be forgotten, and passed it on.

Portraits of the last day on Death Row

Haunting images from Chinese prison add to pressure for an end to systematic executions
Artist's impression of the 2012 London Olympic Stadium

Olympic chiefs under fire over sponsor's links to Bhopal disaster

Games organisers did deal with owner of chemical firm that refuses to pay clean-up costs

88 Syrian protesters killed in jail, claims Amnesty

A human rights group says it believes that at least 88 people, 10 of them children, have died in detention in Syria during five months of anti-government protests – a dramatic increase that coincides with the government's bloody crackdown.

Three deaths in eight days spark concern over arrest methods

Concerns have been raised over extreme techniques used by police to arrest suspects after the deaths of three people in custody during the past eight days.

'Disturbing' rise in arrest deaths

Campaigners warned of a "disturbing trend" over fatalities from police confrontations today as investigations were launched into a man's death following a Taser shooting.

Amnesty call to halt eviction of Essex travellers

Human rights campaigners have called for a halt to the eviction of families living on the UK's largest illegal travellers' site.

Man dies after 'triple Taser strike' by police

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who was shot a number of times with a Taser gun by police during his arrest in Cumbria.

Amnesty's YouTube channel sparks row by suggesting Obama backs torture

Amnesty International has courted controversy by launching a satirical video channel with a "cut-up" film which suggests that President Barack Obama endorses torture.

Iranian victim spares her acid attacker an eye for an eye

An Iranian woman blinded by a spurned suitor spared her attacker the same fate moments before she was due to drip acid into both his eyes in a Tehran hospital.

Saudi Arabia's new law would make political dissent a crime

Kingdom's 'anti-terror' legislation follows wave of upheavals across the Arab world

Somali children at risk of death on the front line

The brutal reality of childhood in Somalia is laid bare today in a harrowing report that says children under the age of 15 were systematically recruited to fight in the country's decades-long civil war.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor