Call to support Kevan Thakrar, held in the ‘most restrictive’ conditions in the UK prison system

Campaigners are calling for action to support a vulnerable prisoner at HMP Full Sutton. Kevan Thakrar has been imprisoned for over 13 years, 11 of which have been spent in the UK’s Close Supervision Centres (CSC), where prisoners face the “most restrictive conditions” seen in the UK prison system. CSCs are prisons within prisons, where people are kept isolated for years with very little human contact. Over a decade of trauma Thakrar was placed in the CSC system after he defended himself against a racist attack by prison guards in 2010. These shocking pictures show Thakrar’s injuries after the 2010 attack: Thakrar was taken to court in 2011…

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Vigils planned in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Vigils are to be held this weekend to mark the second anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being detained in prison after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Supporters demanding his release will join events on Sunday outside the embassy, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and at Belmarsh prison in London where he is being held. Assange lived inside the embassy for several years before being forcibly removed and arrested by police on 11 April 2019. A bid by the United States to extradite him was rejected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this year but he has remained in prison until the outcome of an appeal.…

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Youth-led organisations you should support this Anti-Racism Day

21 March marks the UN international Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The day is observed each year to commemorate the day South African police shot and killed 69 people at a peaceful anti-apartheid protest. Although the system of apartheid has since been dismantled in South Africa, people and communities across the globe continue to be impacted by racism in all its forms. The international rise in hate against East and Southeast Asian people over the course of the pandemic shows us that racism is far from being eliminated. The theme of this year’s anti-racism day is “youth standing up against racism”. It’s in honour of the…

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One sentence from Priti Patel about the policing bill makes a mockery of government support for women

Home secretary Priti Patel has made a mockery out of government support for women. Patel claimed yesterday that the government is committed to tackling violence against women, saying: I am listening to women and girls up and down the country. She went on to defend the policing bill, saying it would end the halfway releases of those convicted of sexual offences and extend the sexual offences act. But Patel isn’t listening even to women MPs, let alone women across the country. Because several of them have united to get her controversial policing bill thrown out amid accusations that it will allow police to crack down on the right…

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Loyalist gangs withdraw support from the Good Friday Agreement over post-Brexit Irish border

Loyalist paramilitaries have withdrawn support from the Good Friday Agreement over post-Brexit border measures. The Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) is an umbrella organisation that reportedly includes proscribed terror groups like the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Red Hand Commando. The group has written a letter to Boris Johnson and Irish taoiseach Micheál Martin. It warns that the 1998 peace agreement faces “destruction” if the border is imposed. In the letter, which was first reported by the Irish News, LCC chair David Campbell said: please do not underestimate the strength of feeling on this issue right across the unionist family. … Accordingly, I have been instructed to advise you…

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Here’s how you can support the campaign to stop the deportation of Osime Brown

Osime Brown – a Black 21-year-old autistic man with learning disabilities – is facing deportation from his home in Britain to Jamaica. He was imprisoned in 2018 under the joint enterprise act for the theft of a mobile phone, and lost his leave to remain. The Home Office now intends to deport Brown from his home in Britain to Jamaica, a country he left when he was four years old. Throughout his tumultuous life, Brown has been systematically failed by the services that were supposed to protect him – the education, health and social care, and criminal justice systems. Brown has a learning disability, has high support needs, and…

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Report shows many people are still unable to access financial support to self-isolate

Four in 10 people who needed financial support to self-isolate at the end of 2020 said they had not been able to access it, research suggests. Support lacking Issues included schemes or funding not always being available locally, eligibility criteria being too strict, a lack of awareness about discretionary support, and stigma associated with accessing help, the Red Cross said. Low earners told to self-isolate by test and trace services across the UK are able to apply for a grant to support them while they stay at home. However, the Red Cross said there are growing concerns about inconsistencies across the schemes, which offer different levels of access…

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We’re in a mental health crisis, but England doesn’t have the services needed to support patients

Mental health systems in England and Wales face a string of problems, not least of which is privatisation. As part of our #ourlivesourstories series, The Canary has spoken to a number of experts who told us that there are many issues blocking supportive and accessible care. Like many countries across the world, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has made problems with mental health in England and Wales much worse. But the NHS’s mental health services were already underfunded and overstretched. However, funding isn’t the only problem. The actual services themselves have been criticised at great length. The implications are grave – if patients feel dismissed and isolated, how is that…

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Yemen: Biden to End U.S. Offensive Support for Saudi-Led Assault, But Will the War Actually End?

President Joe Biden has pledged to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, supported by both the Obama and Trump administrations, describing it as a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” The six-year war in Yemen has devastated the country, killing at least 100,000 people and pushing 80% of the country into instability requiring some form of aid or protection, according to the United Nations. Biden’s remarks on Yemen come amid a freeze of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with similar sales to the United Arab Emirates also up for review. “This is the culmination of six years of activism and advocacy to end the U.S.’s role…

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It’s ‘Day of the Zebra’. But it’s not just the animals that need our support.

Sunday 31 January is International Day of the Zebra. It’s a conservation tool to draw attention to these fascinating and beautiful animals. But ‘Zebra Day’ is also marked by a group of humans. And they need our support and solidarity as much as their animal counterparts. Medical zebras There’s a phrase called ‘medical zebra’. One patient group explained that: “When you hear the sound of hooves, think horses, not zebras.” This phrase is taught to medical students throughout their training. In medicine, the term “zebra” is used in reference to a rare disease or condition. Doctors are taught to assume that the simplest explanation is usually correct to…

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