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Mar 29 2017 10:07AM
What does Brexit mean for human rights?

Written by Allan Hogarth, Head of Advocacy and Programmes at Amnesty International UK So it’s official, the Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 and we are leaving the European Union. Following last June’s decision to leave the EU...

Jan 5 2016 10:41AM
Four reasons the UK needs a New Year’s resolution on Saudi Arabia

New Year is often a time for reflection where we look at the year past and think about what challenges we will face for the new one and the changes we will make to meet them. Join the gym, look for a new job, or stop having to write...

Oct 20 2015 11:15AM
China: Picking quarrels and causing trouble (part II)

As President Xi Jinping’s plane hits the tarmac he must be excited about the royal welcome that he’ll be getting in the UK – the red carpet has been rolled out, the flags raised and the banquet prepared! I’m sure he’ll be keen to enjoy...

Oct 5 2015 1:50PM
The UK is trading away its credibility in its relations with Saudi Arabia and China

The revelation that the UK secretly supported the candidacy of Saudi Arabia for a place on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council is a fascinating - if disconcerting - peek behind the diplomatic curtain. It appears to have been a...

Jul 10 2015 3:27PM
Freedom comes at a price in Ethiopia - and the UK

The struggle for human rights is a long one, fraught with set-backs and challenges, so it’s always nice to get a bit of good news once in a while. Yesterday Ethiopia released a number of bloggers and journalists imprisoned for...

Jul 2 2015 5:30PM
We need to know why the UK government spied on Amnesty International

Temperatures hit the roof at our London office yesterday on the hottest July day since records began. It wasn’t just the mercury in the barometers that was rising – we had just been emailed by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT)...

May 27 2015 5:53PM
Five human rights issues to look out for following the Queen’s Speech

1. Human rights in the UK Much has been said about the Human Rights Act in the past couple of weeks – and today we could have faced a direct commitment to scrapping it imminently. Instead the government ‘will bring forward proposals...

Jun 17 2014 6:33PM
How to pick quarrels and influence people in China

In China “picking quarrels” is a serious criminal offence that can lead to spending lengthy amounts of time languishing in jail. Last week Amnesty highlighted the plight of human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang who was formally arrested for...

Jun 17 2014 11:15AM
The perfect storm of 'party political' and the Lobbying Act

Anyone familiar with the work of Amnesty International will know that in some places criticism of the government can get you into trouble. I nearly fell off my chair last week when I saw that Conor Burns MP had referred Oxfam GB to the...

Mar 20 2014 12:00PM
Don't spy on us

Are you sitting comfortably? If you are reading this blog, the chances are you are using an electronic device - a computer, a mobile phone, or possibly a tablet. You may be sat in the comfort of your own home, be at work, in a café or...

Feb 17 2014 4:31PM
A Royal approach to human rights

As Prince Charles visits Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week I hope he's under no illusion that outside of the palatial royal residences of Riyadh and Doha there are serious human rights abuses being perpetrated. This is the Prince’s...

Jan 31 2014 4:32PM
The Lobby bill becomes law but we won't be silenced

This week the Lobbying Bill (the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill) reached the end of the parliamentary process, gaining Royal Ascent and becoming law. For us at Amnesty International...

Jan 21 2014 4:54PM
Henry VIII, the Lobbying Bill, and rolling back public engagement in politics

Whilst I’m no expert on the democratic record of English monarchs, an alarm bell rang yesterday when I saw that the government were introducing a ‘Henry VIII Clause’ to the Lobbying Bill (the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party...

Dec 9 2013 2:00PM
You have no unread messages: Why Amnesty is taking action over surveillance concerns

Orwell was right. Big Brother is watching you. Every word you type online and every site you visit is being observed, and currently your only way to put a stop to that is to log off. In June the US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed...

Nov 6 2013 3:06PM
The gunpowder plot, fireworks and the Lobbying Bill

Earlier this week I found myself emailing all Peers to urge them to vote for a pause of Part 2 Lobbying Bill, which was being debated in the Lords on 5 November. A couple things struck me as I did this. Firstly, I’m usually reluctant...

Sep 6 2013 11:17AM
Will the Lobbying Bill gag legitimate debate by charities?

The past week has seen a flurry of attention on what is being referred to as the ‘Lobbying Bill’. Media reports and a lively Commons debate have highlighted the concerns that charities and NGOs have with this legislation. The...

Aug 5 2013 4:28PM
Asylum, refugees and immigration: avoiding a race to the bottom

Immigration is once more high on the political agenda as the Home Office seek to ‘get tough’ with ‘illegal immigrants’. Vans urging illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest” and spot checks at railway stations across the country...

Jul 16 2013 2:12PM
Edward Snowden and Russia's Cold War on human rights

I’ve recently become addicted to ‘The Americans’, a TV series set during the Cold War period in the 1980s. It follows the adventures of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two Russian KGB officers posing as an American married couple, their...

Jun 26 2013 11:29AM
Sri Lanka – sun, sea, torture and impunity

A heavily worked phrase used by the tourist industry is to describe a particular destination as a “country of contrast”. Sri Lanka is surely such a country - at one level a popular tourist destination, which according to the...

Jun 19 2013 3:06PM
Profits and loss - human rights and the artisan

My eight year old son recently asked me “what’s an artisan baker?” (we were in Dulwich!) and I explained that an artisan is a skilled physical worker - that artisan bakers’ bread will be made by hand and baked in the shop, whereas the...