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Belhaj to get his day in British court over torture allegations

"Torture is wrong and can never be justified." So said Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of Britain's internal security service.

I was writing a dissertation at the same time on the ethics and effectiveness of torture in modern warfare and seized on her comments as she conveyed in less than a sentence what academia required me to thrash out in over 40,000 words. The director-general of MI5 between 2002 and 2007 always made it very clear where she stands on the issue; she even hinted in her 2012 book Securing Freedom that Britain's spies had been up to no good over Libyan dissidents and had possibly crossed the Rubicon over the issue.


Saudi's support for Houthis; could this be the final nail in the coffin?

As seen in all the countries that partook in the Arab Spring and succeeded in toppling their dictator leader, the revolution did not end by the removal of their despotic ruler. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen know this particularly well. The dominating matter which emerged from the Arab Spring is Saudi Arabia and UAE's position regarding the emerging popularity for Political Islam when the populace of the respective countries were allowed to democratically choose who leads them.


US exceptionalism makes it a poor choice as world leader

With a growing list of US military interventions around the world, and their accompanying human rights abuses including the ongoing shame of Guantanamo Bay in the background, it is difficult to imagine a more unsuitable candidate as the leader of the free world than the American president. Indeed, as American hegemony is imposed on the rest of us with increasing frequency, the term "free world" itself has to be called into question. How can the people of the world be "free" when America takes upon itself the "right" to dictate how countries are governed and by whom? Equally, how can the people of America believe that their country is a force for good when it often destroys democracy, using very undemocratic means, in the name of protecting democratic freedoms? The refusal to accept democratic election results in Palestine and Egypt spring to mind as two recent examples.


Egypt's Israeli tactics in Sinai

An attack against the Egyptian military in the Sinai peninsula on Friday resulted in the death of 31 soldiers. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but reports suggest that the deadly assault was likely carried out by al-Qaida-inspired groups in the area.


Defeat could turn out an advantage for Tunisia's Islamists

Tunisia is a small country with a big audience. The process of electing a parliament and a president matters, not only because it keeps the democratic process alive, but also for the signals it sends the rest of the Arab world. Tunisia, the cradle of the revolution, keeps on setting the agenda.