Archive case studies
In 2021 the world witnessed the spread of a virus which had a devastating impact on people's health, personal freedom, livelihoods and way of life. In times of public emergency international human rights law permits states to modify or suspend – or derogate from – certain human rights obligations. Thus for example, a state may restrict the right to freedom of public assembly in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, subject to certain conditions. However, some rights may never be derogated from. These include the right to life and the right to be free from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (torture and other ill-treatment).
United States stun devices
We wrote to all US state-level correctional departments asking for information about their policy on body-worn electric shock equipment. Eighteen of the fifty-one state correctional departments possess body-worn electric shock devices, such as stun cuffs and stun belts. Twenty-nine of the departments say that they do not possess these devices. Most of the departments that do possess these devices say that they are deployed, but are rarely, if ever, activated. Three States did not supply information citing confidentiality. Tennessee denied the information request
South American state-owned companies that produce law enforcement equipment, providing information on the goods they produce, transfers, commercial alliances and promotional activity. Company ownership provides states with additional control over the manufacture and trade of law enforcement equipment, but also comes with human rights obligations.
The Ugandan elections are scheduled for Thursday 18 February and demonstrations have been taking place in the capital, Kampala. These have been led largely by the main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye (Forum for Democratic Change) and his supporters, who suspect that incumbent President, Yoweri Museveni (National Resistance Movement) will use his position of authority to extend his 30 year rule and obstruct the possibility of a free and fair election.