The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: What do the international drug control treaties say about ‘most serious crimes’?

By Dr Rick Lines. Rick s the Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, and a Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. He is Chair of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy. You can follow him on twitter: @LinesRick

The recent mass executions of drug offenders in Indonesia have rekindled international debate on the death penalty for drug offences. A key flashpoint of this debate is whether drug crimes are of a sufficient severity to be capital crimes.

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How much protection do the new UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners offer LGBTI detainees?

By Eka Iakobishvili. Eka has worked as a human rights analyst and adviser for number of INGOS and IGOs, such as PRI, HRI, EHRN and UNODC. She was part of the Essex Expert Group meetings that worked on the SMRs in 2012-3, and was part of the NGO discussion at the 13th Crime Congress in Qatar, in April 2015. You can follow her on twitter: @Eka_ia

On 18-22 May, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will adopt new and updated UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRs). The SMRs were endorsed at the 13th Crime Congress in Qatar last month and it is expected that the UN General Assembly will adopt the rules by the end of 2015. Continue reading

Nepal Earthquake: Fears that relief efforts could exasperate poor political record

By Rebecca Cordell. Rebecca is a Quantitative Human Rights PhD student in the Department of Government. Her doctoral research focuses on CIA rendition, secret detention and torture post-9/11. You can follow her on twitter: @RebeccaCordell

At 11:56am last Saturday a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal causing widespread devastation. This was the strongest earthquake to hit the Himalayan region in over 80 years and it was followed by a series of tremors and aftershocks that weresignificant earthquakes in their own right (at a magnitude of 6.6 and 6.7).  Over 5,500 people are known to have died – a number that is expected to grow significantly over the coming weeks as relief efforts continue.  Current estimates indicate that over 100,000 people have been made homeless. These individuals are currently without adequate access to shelter, clean water, sanitation or food; raising the risk of an epidemic.

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