Britain is failing young people in custody | Letters

The neglect of young people represents state-sanctioned child abuse, argue Deborah Coles, Prof Joe Sim and Prof Steve Tombs from Inquest

Inquest’s work with bereaved families has consistently revealed a litany of systemic neglect, violence, institutional complacency and short-sighted policies which contribute to the deaths and harm of children and young people (Report on Northants children’s prison finds rise in violent incidents, 9 August).

These deaths are the most extreme outcome of a system that fails some of society’s most disadvantaged children and young people. Ten years ago, in July 2007, the judge at the inquest into the death in 2004 of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt, asphyxiated as a result of being restrained by three officers at Rainsbrook, delivered a damning indictment of the treatment of young people in custody, and wrote a 17-page letter to the then secretary of state for justice and lord chancellor saying that it would be “wholly unforgivable and a double tragedy” if there was any delay in learning from and acting upon the lessons of Gareth’s death.

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My father is a good citizen. America's immigration system should realise that

When Brenda Avelica’s father was arrested and threatened with immediate deportation while driving her sisters to school, the video was shared all over the world. Six months on, she describes the impact of his detention on her family

My life has changed drastically since 28 February when my father, Rómulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents as part of President Trump’s effort to fulfil his campaign promise to deport immigrants with criminal records.

While my father sits in a detention center, I wake up every morning with an upset stomach and a nervous, worrisome feeling. I describe it as like getting knocked down by a large wave.

Related: Torn apart: the American families hit by Trump’s immigration crackdown

We have come to understand just how profoundly my dad had dedicated his life to us

Related: The Inequality Project: the Guardian’s in-depth look at our unequal world

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Hong Kong democracy campaigners jailed over anti-China protests

Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong given six to eight month sentences for roles in anti-government occupation known as the umbrella movement

Hong Kong’s democracy movement has suffered the latest setback in what has been a punishing year after three of its most influential young leaders were jailed for their roles in a protest at the start of a 79-day anti-government occupation known as the umbrella movement.

On Thursday afternoon Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong, the bespectacled student dubbed Hong Kong’s “face of protest” were sentenced to between six and eight months imprisonment each.

Beijing’s heavy hand is on display for all to see.

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Religious freedom is an important right. Once same sex-marriage is legal, it must be protected | Frank Brennan

I’ll be pleased when marriage equality is recognised by Australian law. But we need to consider practical religious freedom questions and give institutions time to adapt

  • Fr Frank Brennan is CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia

Countries such as the US, the UK, New Zealand and Canada already recognise same-sex marriages. They also have bills of rights which accord some recognition to the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Australia does not yet recognise same-sex marriages – not even those marriages recognised in their countries of origin. Neither does Australia have a bill of rights with the result that the federal protection of rights such as freedom of religion is more piecemeal than in other countries. In Australia, the tendency has been to treat the freedom of religion on contested questions as an exemption to sex discrimination laws. This results in freedom of religion being treated as a second order right. But in international law, it is a first order “non-derogable” right.

Related: ‘You don’t speak for me’: Christian support for marriage equality is growing | Keith Mascord

Related: Religious faith is no obstacle to support for marriage equality

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