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Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice Hardcover – January 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“An antidote to the current propaganda.”—John Pilger, New Statesman

“The great theme of her book and, arguably, her professional life too [is] that justice dies when the law is co-opted for political purposes.”—Stuart Jeffries, Guardian

“A timely reminder of the darker side of lawlessness in freedom’s name.”—Shami Chakrabarti, Observer, Books of the Year 2010

“Coruscating”—Alex Wade, Times

About the Author

Lawyer Gareth Peirce represents individuals who are or have been the subject of rendition and torture, held in prisons in the UK on the basis of secret evidence, and interned in secret prisons abroad under regimes that continue to practice torture. Her many clients have included the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, and Moazzam Begg. She lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844676196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844676194
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,325,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a fine collection of essays by lawyer Gareth Peirce. Together, they make the case that the British government has been complicit in the US state's recent crimes against humanity: rendition, indefinite detention without trial, and torture.

In the first essay, `Make sure you say that you were treated properly', written in May 2009, Peirce notes that the High Court commented that the British government's role in Binyam Mohamed's rendition and torture went `far beyond that of a bystander'. She notes the complicity of the British government at every stage of his ordeal.

The UN's special rapporteur said that states "are responsible where they knowingly engage in, render aid to or assist in the commission of internationally wrongful acts, including violations of human rights." British intelligence personnel conducted or witnessed more than 2,000 interviews in prisons in Afghanistan, Guantanamo and Iraq where detainees' rights were flagrantly violated. As the UN rapporteur observed, "the continuous engagement of foreign officials in some instances constituted a form of encouragement or even support."
In the second essay, The framing of al-Megrahi, written in September 2009, Peirce questions the justice of the trial in 2000 of the Libyan citizen Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. Dr Hans Koechler, the UN's observer, said the trial was `not fair', writing, "the guilty verdict in the case of the first accused [al-Megrahi] is particularly incomprehensible in view of the admission by the judges themselves that the identification of the first accused by the Maltese shop owner was `not absolute' ... and that there was a `mass of conflicting evidence'.
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By Shereen on November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, excellent condition. We need to know what is really going on in the world and how powerful countries, such as the US, are violating international laws that are intended to protect all of us.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here a well-known human rights activist makes a very conscientious evaluation of matters of extreme significance for our common humanity. This is an essential and informed read for everyone.
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