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Mark Townsend

For Mark Townsend's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

U.K.'s Roma 'excluded, ignored, neglected'

Nov 17, 2013

U.K.'s Roma 'excluded, ignored, neglected'

The headquarters of Britain’s biggest Roma charity is a large building beside a major thoroughfare in east London, yet its official address is a P.O. box. The fear of reprisal against Britain’s Roma community, even in London’s most multicultural borough, remains real. Hours after ...

The Central African Republic abandoned to its violent fate

Aug 9, 2013

The Central African Republic abandoned to its violent fate

It was dusk when armed Seleka rebels dragged the teenager from the road leading north toward Kobe. They pulled her into the jungle and raped her for several hours. Her friend, Lisa Moussa, 17, was more fortunate. As soon as she saw the rebels, ...

Gay footballers keep sexuality secret over reaction fears

May 11, 2013

Gay footballers keep sexuality secret over reaction fears

At least eight professional footballers have revealed to colleagues that they are gay, but have refused to go public because they fear a backlash from fans. This latest evidence that British football remains a homophobic environment comes after Jason Collins, a high-profile American basketball ...

Obama's Guantanamo hunger strike problem

May 11, 2013

Obama's Guantanamo hunger strike problem

When the military doctors force-feed Guantanamo Bay detainee Fayiz al-Kandari with a tube shoved into his stomach there are three stages to the pain. First, there is the sensation of the tube passing near his sinuses as it is pushed through his nose and ...

Immigration shows no impact on U.K. violence

May 4, 2013

Immigration shows no impact on U.K. violence

Crime in British neighborhoods that have experienced mass immigration from Eastern Europe over the last 10 years has fallen significantly, according to research that challenges a widely held view over the impact of foreigners in the United Kingdom. Rates of burglary, vandalism and car ...

What will allow the last Briton in Guantanamo to come home?

Apr 27, 2013

What will allow the last Briton in Guantanamo to come home?

Shaker Aamer remembers the frantic knocking on the door, the voices screaming for him to get out. Outside, in the dark streets of Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, the soldiers stripped him of his belongings at gunpoint and marched away their latest prisoner. It was November ...