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September 2008 (23)
Sep 30 2008 2:26PM
Dirty laundry

I was recently watching My Beautiful Launderette on DVD. My girlfriend’s idea. I wasn’t massively keen. I’d seen it on TV in the eighties and remembered it as only ok-ish. But, hey, it was pretty good! It’s definitely strange though...

Sep 29 2008 1:45PM
Horrors of Congo's conflict revealed

Some of you may have heard Amnesty’s Democratic Republic of Congo researcher on the Today programme at 6.50 this morning. He spoke movingly of the dreadful impact that the conflict in eastern DRC is having on the general population in...

Sep 26 2008 12:44PM
Abdulkarims release: reasons to be cheerful, part 3

I was only saying two days ago that “good news” in the human rights world isn’t really a cue for unrestrained joy. Releasing a handful of political prisoners while leaving thousands in jail (Burma) is not exactly an occasion for...

Sep 25 2008 6:40PM
Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo a new champion of free speech

Scatological humour has come under attack in Russia, as a broadcaster that showed an episode of South Park, featuring the above-named festive singing stool, fa(e)ces court proceedings and could lose their licence. They are also being...

Sep 24 2008 2:03PM
When is good news actually good news ?

Other Amnesty bloggers have got there before me, but it seems only right to say in this post that there’s a palpable sense of relief in the office today that Troy Davis has avoided execution in Georgia, USA – for now – following his...

Sep 23 2008 3:35PM
Burmas longest serving POC has been released!

Amid the reports that Burma’s decided to release 9,000 prisoners for good conduct, Amnesty has learned that U Win Tin – Burma’s longest serving prisoner of conscience who’s been in prison for 19 years – is free at last. At 78, U Win...

Sep 22 2008 2:16PM
An act of barbarism: killing Troy Davis

“His guilt or innocence doesn't matter. No one should be incarcerated for 33 years in the shadow of the execution chamber. It is an act of barbarism to keep any man in those conditions.” I could easily have written it myself, but this...

Sep 19 2008 2:41PM
Arise, Sir blogger!

It’s not all doom and gloom at Amnesty International you know! In fact – there’s excellent news right here in this very post. Mohamed Erraji, the Moroccan blogger who was facing a two-year sentence for remarks made about the Moroccan...

Sep 19 2008 2:09PM
Gilad Shalit: counting the time theyre gone

There was an amazing news item on Channel 4 News this week. It was a film of a Taliban compound in Afghanistan. Amongst other stuff it had a stunning “film within a film” (“supplied to us by the Taliban themselves”, said C4’s Alex...

Sep 18 2008 2:13PM
Political Malaise-ia(?)

If you think we’ve got a crisis here, have a look at what’s happening in Malaysia, where a second blogger has been arrested this week as the embattled government seeks to clamp down on its critics. The government appears to be at risk...

Sep 17 2008 1:41PM
The world has to control its arms

Amnesty’s released a major new report on the global arms trade today. Some of you may have spotted the story on or in the Guardian today. Essentially Blood at the Crossroads outlines how weapons transfers to already volatile...

Sep 16 2008 1:00PM
A Brown day for Zardari

It may well have escaped your attention this morning but the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, is here in the UK on a whistle-stop visit. He’s got a face-to-face meeting with Gordon Brown scheduled in his diary today. I’m sure...

Sep 15 2008 6:04PM
Signed, sealed, delivered... and now we wait

So – the deal has been done. The papers have been signed. President Robert Mugabe has signed the historic power-sharing deal on stage with Zimbabwe’s new Prime Minister – Morgan Tsvangirai and leader of the breakaway opposition party...

Sep 12 2008 7:22PM
Mind your Ps and Qs

Religious persecution, conflict around religious affairs and freedom of expression are issues that affect peoples lives on a daily basis but ones that we don’t usually associate as much with the western world. The Times has today...

Sep 11 2008 3:45PM
Message to state of Georgia, USA: dont execute Troy Davis

More depressing news (sorry, but this is a human rights blog!) about executions in Japan around today. Three men in their sixties were hanged earlier this morning taking the number killed by the Japanese state this year to 13...

Sep 10 2008 2:27PM
Bending the knee, jailing the blogger

Just when you thought it was safe to tip-toe back into the blogosphere, you hear the depressing news that Morocco has jailed a blogger for two years. The person in question – Mohamed Erraji, a 29-year-old who blogs (Arabic only, and...

Sep 9 2008 1:57PM
The Brand new approach and The Secret Policeman's Ball

OK so in these blogs we normally concentrate on the harder side of the news, but today it’s been pretty hard to ignore the ravings of Russell Brand at the MTV awards.Every celeb column worth its salt has got its own take on his views...

Sep 8 2008 4:15PM
Civilians bombed, kids detained, abuses in China: Happy Monday

The Times carries a piece today, with some harrowing footage, about an excellent Human Rights Watch report revealing that civilian killings in Afghanistan from UN and NATO air strikes have tripled I the last year. It’s a very timely...

Sep 5 2008 2:08PM
Shocking sites

Unusual for Google, there’s no birthday cake or symbol of any sort on its home page to suggest that Google’s reached its 10th birthday today. Ten, eh? Normally this is the point where we say, ‘my, hasn’t time gone quickly?’ But on this...

Sep 4 2008 4:59PM
Is Sarah Palin a role model for Iranian women?

Breaking with the iron rule that everyone in the world must now write comment about the gun-totin’, bearskin-as-sofa-throw-owning, rather-nice-rectangular-glasses-wearing Sarah Palin, I’m not going to mention her in this post (oh … er...