November 2008 (20)
Nov 28 2008 12:39PM
Iraqi prisoners at risk under the Sofa
Understandably, yesterday’s news was dominated by the appalling and sadly ongoing scenes from Mumbai, with gun battles in the streets and flames licking from the windows of luxury hotels. But an historic piece of news was somewhat over...
Nov 27 2008 2:26PM
another broken ceasefire brings more instability
The Mumbai attacks and Thailand’s state of emergency on its airports are definitely the stories catching today’s media glare. Meanwhile, life for thousands of people in eastern Congo remains turbulent, volatile and pretty desperate. Ov...
Nov 26 2008 11:58AM
Picture this: Congo without war
To paraphrase John Lennon, you may call me a dreamer but I can imagine the Democratic Republic of Congo without war. Just. Shockingly, after a decade or more of continuous violence it’s actually now difficult to envisage a peaceful Con...
Nov 25 2008 2:51PM
Jam today, an end to sex trafficking tomorrow
Empty gesture from “jam makers”, or an important move to help tackle sexual slavery? Today’s news that those former barrackers of Tony Blair the Women’s Institute are going to start monitoring the local press for classified ads offerin...
Nov 24 2008 5:57PM
Tasers: A Shock to the Policing System
I was surfing the TV channels last night and found myself watching one of those dreadful programmes that follow police around a town centre on a Friday night. It elicited a mixture of depression and terror: scores of boozed-up Brits th...
Nov 21 2008 4:22PM
Counting down to the end of Guantanamo...
Looking forward to Obama sweeping into office and making his first action the closure of Guantanamo? Well maybe the courts will get there first. Yesterday a judge in Washington yesterday ruled that five Algerian men who have been held...
Nov 20 2008 1:11PM
The Congo: getting impatient
I caught the end of The Today Programme’s interview with Lord Malloch-Brown from Rwanda this morning, in which he talked about the ‘beginnings of a strategy’ forming on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It did make me wonder whet...
Nov 19 2008 4:59PM
Birkenhead made a buffer zone between warring factions
Occasionally in the Amnesty press office we get random calls asking ‘what’s the worst crisis right now that no one’s reporting?’ (and another favourite, ‘do you know where any war criminals are hiding? can I have their addresses?’) Usu...
Nov 18 2008 12:27PM
Georgia/Russia: an inspector should call
What were you doing on Friday 8 August? As it happens, I can remember because that’s when I was working for Amnesty at the Edinburgh Festival. Why do I ask? Because this was when the astonishing news broke that Georgia and Russia were...
Nov 17 2008 5:09PM
I went to an Obama celebration party and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
I understand there was also quite a bit on planning for the presidential pooch, but Barack Obama’s big US television interview commitment to close Guantánamo, end torture and “regain America's moral stature in the world" has definitely...
Nov 14 2008 12:27PM
Supporting journalists at risk
I was at the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank yesterday evening. Not to see a movie but for the Rory Peck Awards , which recognise the work of freelance cameramen and camerawomen in TV newsgathering and current affairs wor...
Nov 13 2008 4:51PM
A woman is like wool; the more you beat her, the softer she'll be
The title is a popular saying in Armenia, subject of a new Amnesty report on violence against women, released today. Our researcher and my international press office colleague Lydia were in the capital Yeravan this morning to launch th...
Nov 12 2008 5:00PM
Free speech and its limitations
There’s a lively debate about free speech going on at the moment, spearheaded it seems by the unlikely bedfellows of the Independent and the Daily Mail. The Indie’s beef is about new proposals that could give the government greater con...
Nov 11 2008 5:12PM
Burmas response to blogging: imprison and be damned
"…a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!" Lewis Carroll might have revelled in the bizarre, through the looking glass world that is modern-day Burma. After all, how many other topsy-turvy places wo...
Nov 10 2008 1:00PM
A weekend with students
So there you have it, Student Conference over for another year. And well, what can I say? It was a blast.It was one of those times when you remember why you belong to Amnesty International.Firstly there was the unrepentant enthusiasm o...
Nov 7 2008 1:16PM
Jailed for her religion, forced to work 19-hour days making cotton buds: the story of Chen Zhenping
Ever wondered where your cotton buds come from? (that’s Q-tips for American readers – the things you clean your ears out with but aren’t really meant to). No, me neither. Maybe we should. Amnesty’s just heard about the case of Chen Zhe...
Nov 6 2008 5:55PM
Aid workers and rights defenders under attack in Somalia
Stories from Somalia seem to be the hot topic for Amnesty this week. We began the week by flagging up the tragic story of the 13-year-old girl who was stoned to death, and today’s blog once again throws the escalating crisis in Somalia...
Nov 5 2008 11:31AM
Obama: a new dawn for human rights?
So it’s Barack! Resisting the (slightly obsessive?) need-to-know-as-it-happens-ness of staying up all night, I only heard the result at 7.30 this morning on the news. (Though well done to ChrisChris for posting at 2.49am!) In times gon...
Nov 4 2008 3:16PM
Today's youth defy the critics
Some people have got it into their heads that youth activism is on the decline and the days of the young changing the world have passed.Over the last few days I’ve witnessed first hand what complete nonsense that is.Yesterday I was at...
Nov 3 2008 4:23PM
Somalia stoning: A story that left me reeling in shock and sadness
Although I work on human rights issues every day at Amnesty, there are some cases which leave me with pure sadness. And this latest story from Somalia is one such incident. You may have seen reports last week that a woman was stoned to...