Human rights group Liberty will deliver a gift-wrapped present of a large box of books to the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, on his birthday – April Fools’ Day.
Liberty believes that forbidding prisoners from being sent books is ill-conceived, cruel and unjustifiable. The organisation hopes that the gift will serve to remind the Lord Chancellor of the vital importance of books and reading to everyone’s education, wellbeing and personal development.
Today the Attorney General gave consent for Liberty, acting on behalf of the family of Cheryl James, to apply to the High Court for a new inquest into her death. Cheryl, 18, was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks in 1995 when she was found dead with a bullet wound between her right eye and the bridge of her nose.
Today the Secretary of State for Defence announced plans to create a Service Complaints Ombudsman to oversee the Armed Forces’ justice system. Liberty has long called for a properly independent and adequately empowered Armed Forces Ombudsman. The human rights group condemned today’s proposals as an Ombudsman in name only as the powers for this office are far too weak to provide much needed robust independent oversight.
Responding to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's announcement that the Royal United Services Institute is to conduct an independent, expert review into surveillance, Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:
Today the verdict was delivered in the inquest into the death of Anne-Marie Ellement, a Royal Military Police (RMP) Officer who killed herself after she alleged that she had been raped by two colleagues.
Today a three-week inquest into the death of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, who killed herself in 2011, hit further delays. Just two days before the verdict was due, the MOD admitted it had failed to disclose potentially relevant documentation to the Coroner and Anne- Marie’s sisters.