Turkish court releases Amnesty International activists on bail

Turkey’s 35th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul on Wednesday released [press release] eight of the eleven Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] human rights activists on bail pending trial for charges related to assisting the terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) [BBC backgrounder]. Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty stated of the release: “Today, finally, we […]

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Haringey a test case for local democracy | Letters

Tottenham residents have had no chance to vote on HDV plans, writes Keith Flett; David Murray points out a loophole favouring developersAditya Chakrabortty (It’s one man against a housing juggernaut, 25 October) is right that the high court case to stop Haringey’s HDV regeneration plans is an important one, with potentially far reaching implications for people in a number of areas facing top-down plans to change housing. Yet the case is about more than that; it is central to the future of local democracy. No one faced with having their home demolished in north Tottenham was asked at the last council election in 2014 if they thought this was a good plan. Subsequently, the council has not balloted tenants either. Apparently ballots simplify matters into a yes or no answer, which can be awkward, particularly if it is the latter. The New Labour grouping on Haringey council want to change Tottenham, but have failed to notice that the operation of the market is doing it anyway. In the last 10 years the area has become home to five breweries, some internationally known, and a nationally renowned cheese-maker. The issue is how that change now proceeds. Will it be in the interests of the ordinary Labour voters of Tottenham, who mostly would prefer their home not to be knocked down, or will it be in the interests of the multinational privateer Lendlease, Haringey’s HDV partner? You’d think a Labour council would easily be able to spot which side it should be on here, but apparently not.

Keith Flett

London

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