Poland’s prime minister Beata Szydlo and PiS party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski: the new conservative government has taken control of the  country’s top court and secret services. Photograph:  Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Poland’s new national conservative government has been accused of staging a “creeping coup d’etat” for seizing control of the intelligence serv(...)

Committee for the Prevention of Torture report says many asylum seekers are sent to  Cloverhill and some are held for up to eight weeks pending deportation. Photograph: Collins

The high levels of violence in Irish prisons, the extent of slopping out and the detention of failed asylum seekers in jail for up to eight weeks, has(...)

Dr Cyril Daly:  wrote an open letter to the then archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, describing Catholic education as “offensive” to Christ’s teaching and “corrupt . . . in its infliction of violence”.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien.

Dublin doctor Cyril Daly died in August at the age of 82. He was buried in St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton, but his true memorial occurred this week in(...)

Atheist Ireland has called for religious equality for all pupils and teachers in Irish schools. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Atheist Ireland is seeking public support for its Schools Equality PACT, an initiative to promote religious equality for all pupils and teachers in Ir(...)

‘A 2012 Eurobarometer survey found 40 per cent of Irish people were able to hold a conversation in at least one foreign language, compared to an EU average of 54 per cent.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland fares badly in international comparisons of plurilingualism – an individual’s ability to speak at least two languages in addition to her mothe(...)

 Taking to the streets ... Hazel Madden, Fiona Holton, Ciara Murphy, Rebecca McCarthy and Kate O’Brien, in flashmob dance in Dublin’s O’Connell street as part of the join “One Billion Rising” in 2013  – claimed to be the biggest global demonstration   staged to call for an end to violence against women.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
A landmark for women’s rights

Yesterday was a historic day in the protection of women from domestic and sexual violence in the State. After a long campaign by the National Women’s (...)

A woman looks at newspapers at a kiosk in Istanbul, Turkey, saying ‘AK Party on its own’ after president Tayyip Erdogan’s party   won almost 50 per cent of the vote in a snap  election. Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters.

The campaign for Turkey’s parliamentary elections, which saw the ruling AK Party win back a majority on Sunday, was unfair and marred by fear and viol(...)

 Ilham Aliyev with Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev. A drop in oil prices has made it harder for him to deliver on his promise to raise living standards. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/EPA/Ria Novosti/Kremlin pool

The people of Azerbaijan will vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday overshadowed by a merciless crackdown on human rights in the oil-rich forme(...)

 Minister for Children James Reilly:  introduced the change in an amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Jillian van Turnhout, to the Children First Bill.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The introduction of an effective ban on slapping children will send out the message that under no circumstances is it acceptable to hit a child, Mini(...)

The  Council of Europe ruled earlier this year that the lack of a clear ban on smacking in Ireland violates young people’s rights.

Parents will be effectively banned from slapping their children under proposals being brought to Cabinet by Minister for Children Dr James Reilly. Dr(...)