‘End human rights abuse’ in mental-health hospitals

The human rights of many young people with learning disabilities and autism in mental health hospitals in England are being breached, MPs and peers say. The Joint Committee on Human Rights says hospitals can inflict “terrible suffering on those detained… causing anguish to their distraught families”. Its report urges an overhaul of mental health law and hospital inspections. “It must not be allowed to continue,” said Harriet Harman, who chairs the committee. The failings in learning disability services in six charts ‘She was so desperate, she swallowed a toothbrush’ By law,…

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Betsy DeVos blasted by civil rights, education groups

The letter, which was spearheaded by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, comes as the Senate education committee is set to vote on DeVos’ nomination Tuesday morning. Among the high-profile groups who are signatories to the letter are the NAACP; national teachers unions the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers; the National Council of La Raza; and the Children’s Defense Fund. DeVos is praised by conservative school-choice supporters for her advocacy of voucher programs, and Sen. Lamar Alexander – a Tennessee Republican, chairman of the…

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‘Hundreds die’ in India police custody, says rights group report

Nearly 600 people died in police custody in India between 2010 and 2015, says the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a new report. The rights group said no policeman was convicted for a prisoner’s death in custody during this period. India’s police routinely attributes deaths in custody to illness, attempted escape, suicide and accidents. But rights groups say a large number of such deaths happen because of torture in custody – claims officials reject. On Monday, the rights group released a a 114-page report which examines “police disregard for…

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