During times of persecution, discrimination and repression, there are always brave defenders, like the ones in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, who dare to stand up, speak out and resist torture and other human rights violations. Their stories are not widely known, but it is important that we honor them.
Many younger prisoners may feel they have nothing to lose by refusing to cooperate with the prison authorities and are likely to riot again and again. If Bahrain wants to fix its prison problem properly, it will stop trying to hide the truth about what's happened, improve conditions, and release all those prisoners who shouldn't be in jail in the first place.
The long-awaited fifth season of Game of Thrones begins on Sunday 12 April. Broadcast in 170 countries, the show shocks viewers and generates controversy with graphic violence, especially against women. Yet many aspects of real life around the world today are worse than the mythical Westeros.
Last week I had lunch with the pastor of the church where I'm currently the writer-in-residence. I asked him how the three members of the Trinity -- God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit -- decided who was going to have to take on physical form, be born in a barn, and then be crucified.
The time has come for the international community to end torture as a cheap form of investigative tool by the authorities -- and it is possible. In the words of the historical Rabbi Hillel: "If not now, when?"
When Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, addresses the U.S. Congress this week, his government's commitment to human rights is likely to get a passing reference in his speech -- but given the formidable challenges Afghanistan faces in protecting fundamental human rights, it deserves much more than that.
The Middle East is suffering the blowback from rotten U.S. policies, disastrous wars, and cultural turmoil. ISIS and its ilk are one result.
Is ISIS medieval? However much ISIS is committed to returning the world to the seventh century, their atrocities have a more complicated genealogy that stretches from the beheadings of the Middle Ages through the tortures of 18th-century France all the way up to the present day.
We need to see criminals as humans before we begin to spill their blood -- the very blood that makes us all human.
Just before the U.S. Senate released its report at the end of 2014 on the CIA's use of "harsh interrogation" tactics against prisoners, the question was whether or not the report would provoke a public backlash against torture. The answer is no.
This unilateral focus on the dark side has had the unintended effect of blinding us to one of the most obvious and inspiring features of the experiment: it also showed that hundreds of ordinary people -- though the minority of Milgram's participants -- did in fact have what it takes to stand up for what is right.
Repressive regimes around the world currently and throughout history have scapegoated, oppressed, and murdered LGBT people. The time has long since passed that we speak out against repression in all of its forms
Was the creation of a domestic Guantanamo-style "black site" made inevitable by the Pentagon's practice of unloading military surplus weapons on local police departments? Maybe -- but it's remarkable how many inevitable things can be avoided if the people in charge just refuse to misbehave.
Walter Ruiz, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi's lawyer and a former Navy commander, told the court that Hawsawi's treatment needs stem from injuries he sustained under U.S.-sponsored torture. Ruiz wants to interview his client's doctors to learn more about the "ongoing bleeding" and "colorectal issues that stem from his time in captivity...."
As was said over and over again at that moment, 9/11 "changed everything." That meant they felt themselves freed to do all the mad things we now know they did, from preemptive wars and occupations to massive programs of torture and kidnapping.
Why was it again that, as President Obama said, "we tortured some folks" after the 9/11 attacks? Because apparently everyone knows that being afraid gives you moral license to do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe.