David Gardner is the FT‘s international affairs editor and author of Last Chance: The Middle East in the Balance. He was the paper’s Middle East editor from 1995-99. In 2003 he won the David Watt prize for political journalism for his writing on the Arab world.
The seismic tussles that will shape the Middle East
Lebanon can overcome its divisions to deter Syria
Assads regime is finished do not mourn its passing
Febrile and fragmented
Autonomy under fire
On 15 September 2003 Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was killed by British Army troops in Iraq. He had been arrested the previous day in Basra and was taken to a military base for questioning. For forty-eight hours he and nine other innocent civilians had their heads encased in sandbags and their wrists bound by plastic handcuffs and had been kicked and punched with sustained cruelty.
A succession of guards and casual army visitors took pleasure in beating the Iraqis, humiliating them, forcing them into stress positions in temperatures up to 50 degrees Centigrade, and watching them suffer in the dirty concrete building where they were held. Other soldiers, officers, medics, the padre, did not take part in the violence but they saw what was happening and did nothing to stop it. Some knew it was wrong. Some weren’t sure. Some were too scared to intervene. But none said anything or enough until it was far too late and Baha Mousa had been beaten to death.
This book tells the inside story of these crimes and their aftermath. It examines the institutional brutality, the bureaucratic apathy, the flawed military police inquiry and the farcical court martial that attempted to hold people criminally responsible. Even though a full public inquiry reported its findings into the crimes in September 2011, its mandate restricted what it could say. The full story, told with the power of a true-crime expose or court-room drama, shows how this was not simply about a few bad men or ‘rotten apples’. It shines a light on all those involved in the crime and its investigation, from the lowest squaddie to the elite of the army and politicians in Cabinet. What it reveals is devastating.
Taken from Random House
Abigail Haworth is an Asia-based senior international editor at Marie Claire USA. She covers global women’s issues, sex, society and regularly contributes to The Observer Magazine. In 2010 Abigail won the Overseas Press Club Award.
From war babies to Billionaires
Sex, drugs and shattered skulls
15 in a billion
The day I saw 248 girls being circumcised
Where the boys are
Abigail Haworth on Twitter
In 1986, Kris Maharaj, a British businessman living in Miami, was arrested for the brutal murder of two ex-business associates. His lawyer did not present a strong alibi; Kris was found guilty and sentenced to death in the electric chair.
It wasn’t until a young lawyer working for nothing, Clive Stafford Smith, took on his case that strong evidence began to emerge that the state of Florida had got the wrong man on Death Row. So far, so good – except that, as Stafford Smith argues here so compellingly, the American justice system is actually designed to ignore innocence. Twenty-six years later, Maharaj is still in jail.
Step by step, Stafford Smith untangles the Maharaj case and the system that makes disasters like this inevitable. His conclusions will act as a wake-up call for those who condone legislation which threatens basic human rights and, at the same time, the personal story he tells demonstrates that determination can challenge the institutions that surreptitiously threaten our freedom.
Taken from Random House
A fearless, passionate veteran reporter of conflicts from around the world, Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin was killed in February 2012, covering the uprising in Syria from the besieged city of Homs. On the Front Line is a collection of her finest work, a portion of the proceeds from which will go to the Marie Colvin Memorial Fund.
Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work was deeply admired. On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi; reports from East Timor in 1999 where she shamed the UN into protecting its refugees; accounts of her terrifying escape from the Russian army in Chechnya; and reports from the strongholds of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers where she was hit by shrapnel, leaving her blind in one eye.
Typically, however, her new eye-patch only reinforced Colvin’s sense of humour and selfless conviction. She returned quickly to the front line, reporting on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and, lately, the Arab Spring.
Immediate and compelling, On the Front Line is a street-view of the historic events that have shaped the last 25 years, from an award-winning foreign correspondent and the outstanding journalist of her generation.
Taken from HarperCollins
John Arlidge is a freelance journalist who writes for the Sunday Times in London and for Conde Nast in New York.
The Lion’s Roar
The Debt Collector
Show us the money, comrade
John Arlidge on Twitter
Clare Sambrook is a freelance, and a current contributor to openDemocracy, Private Eye and The Guardian.
In 2010 Clare won both the Paul Foot Award and the Bevins Prize for outstanding investigative journalism for her work exposing government attempts to mislead Parliament and the public about the forcible arrest and detention of asylum-seeking families. With six friends she co-founded the citizens’ campaign End Child Detention Now.
Her acclaimed debut novel, Hide & Seek, came out in more than a dozen languages in 2005, becoming a New York Times editor’s choice and a Daily Mail book club selection.
The UK Border Agency’s long, punitive campaign against children (helped by G4S and Serco)
How many children secretly deported under UK Border Agency’s Gentleman’s Agreement?
UK policymaking outsourced: the curious case of adoption reform
Corporate Power stamps its brand on British Policing
Who should investigate murder — the police, or a private security company?
A child, a bleeding anus, interrogation by the UK Border Agency
Clare Sambrook on Twitter
At fourteen, Richard Holloway left his home in the Vale of Leven, north of Glasgow, and travelled hundreds of miles to be educated and trained for the priesthood by a religious order in an English monastery. By twenty-five he had been ordained and was working in the slums of Glasgow. Throughout the following forty years, Richard touched the lives of many people in the Church and in the wider community. But behind his confident public face lay a restless, unquiet heart and a constantly searching mind.
Why is the Church, which claims to be the instrument of God’s love, so prone to cruelty and condemnation? And how can a man live with the tension between public faith and private doubt?
In his long-awaited memoir, Richard seeks to answer these questions and to explain how, after many crises of faith, he finally and painfully left the Church. It is a wise, poetic and fiercely honest book.
Taken from Canongate
One quiet day when her mother was away from home, Carmen Bugan’s father put on his best suit and drove into Bucharest to stage a one-man protest against Ceauşescu. He had been typing pamphlets on an illegal typewriter and burying it in the garden each morning under his daughter’s bedroom window. This is the story of what happened to Carmen and her family, isolated and under surveillance in their beloved village home. It is an intimate piece of our recent history, the testimony of an extraordinary childhood left abruptly behind. Above all, it is a luminous, compassionate, and unflinchingly honest book about the price of courage, the pain of exile, and the power of memory.
Tom Bergin is a Reuters journalist who writes about corporate and economic affairs. He is also the author of ‘Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP’, a critically-acclaimed history of the British oil major. In March 2013, he was named “Business Journalist of the Year” at the British Press Awards and has also won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for explanatory reporting. Tom is a regular contributor on television and radio in the UK and overseas.
How Starbucks avoids UK taxes
Starbucks’s European tax bill disappears down $100 million hole
Vodafone in new 1 billion pounds tax “scandal”
How the UK tax authority got cozy with big business
EBay’s double tax base prompts calls for investigation
Amazon’s billion-dollar tax shield
Tom Bergin on Twitter
Ian Cobain has been a journalist since the early 1980s. He is a senior reporter on the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK’s involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. His first book, Cruel Britannia was released last year.
RAF helicopter death revelation leads to secret Iraq detention camp
How secret renditions shed light on MI6’s licence to kill and torture
Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials
Army ‘waterboarding victim’ who spent 17 years in jail is cleared of murder
Northern Ireland loyalist shootings: one night of carnage, 18 years of silence
Ian Cobain on Twitter
Ian Cobain on Journalisted