Mary Lawlor, founder and director of Front Line Defenders: “Ireland and the EU must be as strong speaking up for human rights defenders in countries where they have political and strategic interests as they are when it comes to the usual suspects,” she said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Some 157 human rights activists were killed or died in detention in 25 countries last year, according to the advocacy group Front Line Defenders. T(...)

An Iraqi man holds a portrait of Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a demonstration against his execution by Saudi authorities in Baghdad on Sunday. Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr could escalate tensions in the Muslim world even further. In the Shia theocracy Iran, the(...)

People look at damaged  houses after an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 hit  Imphal, India. Photograph: Reuters.

A powerful earthquake struck South Asia before dawn on Monday, killing at least nine people and injuring about 200. Efforts to rescue those trapped in(...)

Members of the Gonojagoron Mancha movement shout slogans as they attend a protest rally after the verdict was announced in the trial over the murder of blogger Rajib Haider, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: Abir Abdullah/EPA

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced two people to death and jailed six others for killing an online critic of religious militancy in 2013. They are t(...)

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius and French president François Hollande celebrate the adoption of a climate change deal in Paris. Photograph: Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

‘It always seems impossible until it is done.” Thus spoke French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, quoting another author of the impossible, Nelson Man(...)

Ireland celebrate their win over Bangladesh in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers final

After a week of largely comprehensive successes in the T20 qualifiers, Ireland’s women came out on top in the most dramatic of finals against Banglade(...)

Bangladeshi activist shout slogans celebrating the execution of two war criminals Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of Jamaat-e-Islami and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party at the Central Jail in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: AP

Bangladesh has executed two influential opposition leaders on charges of war crimes during the country’s 1971 independence war, a senior jail official(...)

British foreign secretary Philip Hammond  in Washington DC, US. File photograph: Jim watson/AFP/Getty Images

Britain’s foreign secretary Philip Hammond has privately assured the Government that the hundreds of thousands of Irish living in Britain would not be(...)

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said “there is a very particular profile in relation to that group of young men who are coming in on their own, many of whom have a previous history of getting visas in the United Kingdom”. Photograph: EPA

The Department of Justice is in contact with authorities in the United Kingdom about the increase in numbers of young Pakistani and Bangladeshi men se(...)

A migrant girl carries a toy before boarding a train heading to the Serbian border from a location near the city of Gevgelija, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, November 8th, 2015. Photograph: Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA

Undoubtedly the ugliest and most distressing part of any country’s immigration policy, the rate of forced deportations has slowed dramatically in the (...)