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  • Originally published 10/28/2013

    Dignity’s Due

    Why are philosophers invoking the notion of human dignity to revitalize theories of political ethics?

  • Originally published 08/23/2013

    Angela Y. Davis: Indefinite Solitary Confinement Violates Human Rights

    California prisoners are now in their 33rd day of a hunger strike; what they are risking their health and possibly their lives for is basic: an end to indefinite solitary confinement, a practice that most countries recognize as a violation of basic human rights.

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Network of Concerned Historians releases 2013 report

    The Network of Concerned Historians, a Dutch-based advocacy group, released its 2013 report on history and human rights on Thursday.The report covers 97 countries and criticizes the United States for its failure to prosecute alleged human rights violations under the George W. Bush administration, as well as the suppression of evidence of Soviet war crimes by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.The CIA and the Pentagon also come under scrutiny. In May 2012, the CIA refused to declassify part of its official internal history of the Bay of Pigs invasion, though the legal case is now under review, while the Pentagon censored 198 passages in Anthony Shaffer's Operation Dark Heart, a memoir of an intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

  • Originally published 04/21/2013

    Don't Let the Boston Bombing Roll Back the Rights of Immigrants

    ¡Ya Es Hora! March & Rally for Immigration Reform. Via Flickr.The big immigration debate is finally happening. The grand bargain, if there is one after the hysteria over the arrest of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will likely include a path to citizenship for “illegal” immigrants and tightened border security. What will remain unchanged in whatever deal is struck between Democrats and Republicans is the idea that citizenship as the prerequisite for rights. Citizenship, as political scientist Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 in The Origins of Totalitarianism, is the “right to have rights.”

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    The Right to Have Rights Beyond Citizenship

    ¡Ya Es Hora! March & Rally for Immigration Reform. Via Flickr.The big immigration debate is finally happening. The grand bargain will likely include a path to citizenship for “illegal” immigrants and tightened border security. What will remain unchanged in whatever deal is struck between Democrats and Republicans is the idea that citizenship is the prerequisite for rights. Citizenship, as political scientist Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 in The Origins of Totalitarianism, is the “right to have rights.”

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    As atrocities mount, Syrians collect evidence of war crimes with an eye toward future trials

    BEIRUT — Syrian activist Yashar hopes the security agents who tormented him during five months of detention will one day be put on trial. In detention, he says, he was locked naked in a tiny box for a week, beaten daily during marathon interrogations and blindfolded for 45 days.A whole range of groups have accelerated a campaign to gather evidence of war crimes including torture, massacres and indiscriminate killings in the Syrian regime’s war against rebels, hoping to find justice if President Bashar Assad falls. Some talk about referring the cases to the International Criminal Court or forming a special tribunal, but many in Syria hope that it’s all laid out in the country’s own courtrooms.“I want to take my case to a Syrian court and a Syrian judge who will put my torturers in the same jail where I was held,” Yashar, 28, told The Associated Press. He declined to give his full name for security reasons....