British government continues to aid repression in human rights-abusing countries, new data shows

by Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Published in The Daily Maverick, 20 September 2019   The British government is continuing to approve the export of hi-tech surveillance equipment and software of the type that is being used by states abusing human rights to monitor and repress dissent, new government figures show. The government’s exports of […]

Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt: On the Middle East, it makes no difference

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 June 2019 The contest to become the leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, and the country’s next prime minister, has failed so far to involve media scrutiny of the candidates’ views on British foreign policy. With the focus on Brexit and media attention on the personal life of Boris […]

Britain and Oman: Will their growing special relationship survive succession?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 June 2019 Sixty years ago, Britain won a long-forgotten war in Oman, setting the special relationship between the two countries that is still being boosted today. The anniversary falls as the head of the British army recently visited Oman, and as the two countries signed a “Comprehensive Joint Declaration on Enduring Friendship” […]

For the British political elite, the invasion of Iraq never happened

Article published in Middle East Eye, 19 March 2018 March 20th marks the 15th anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq which plunged the country into a brutal occupation leading to sectarian civil war, terrorism and a death toll of hundreds of thousands. Yet in Britain the anniversary marks another year of impunity for the […]

Oman: Declassified

Documents Oman 1957-9 (Mark Curtis files from National Archives) Oman 1965-72 (Mark Curtis files from National Archives) Foreign Office, The coup in Oman, 1970 Articles Mark Curtis, The war in Oman, 1957-59 (Extract from Unpeople, 2004) ‘Files on Mark Thatcher’s dealings in Oman to remain secret for now’ (Guardian, 21 July 2016) ‘Secret files on […]

The UN: A brief history of the UK’s long opposition

By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses In the mainstream, the official view is that British governments provide enduring support to the United Nations. The opposite is true: it is clear from the historical record that the UN has traditionally been seen as a major threat. Britain’s ambassador to […]

Why protests against Trump should be widened to change current UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis I completely support the protests and opposition to Trump. At the same time, the British government in its foreign policy is now operating outside of any serious democratic control, and is: promoting covert wars in seven countries violating international law in several areas regularly lying to parliament on its actions deepening alliances […]

Britain’s Post-Brexit Foreign Policy Is Becoming Clearer – And It’s Not Pretty

Published in the Huffington Post, 16 November 2016 The likely shape of British foreign policy post-Brexit is slowly emerging five months on from the 23 June referendum, and the picture is extremely concerning from any ethical viewpoint. Britain is on course to ignore human rights in its foreign policy even more than in the recent […]

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars

Published in the Huffington Post, 18 October 2016 by Mark Curtis Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these […]

Britain’s Dangerous and Ignored Special Relationship With Oman

Published in the Huffington Post, 11 August 2016 Mark Curtis Outside significant mainstream media coverage, Britain is stepping up its support for the dictatorships in the Arabian Gulf and its ability to conduct military interventions in the Middle East. The strategy is illustrated in Whitehall’s long-standing but ignored special relationship Whitehall with Oman, the secretive, […]