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February 2009 (20)
Feb 27 2009 3:04PM
Marnie Pearce,'Dubai Brit' adultery case: rights of the children must be protected

You may have read some of the press reports about Marnie Pearce, a British woman living in Dubai who has been convicted – falsely, she claims – of adultery. She has just started serving a three-month jail sentence. Her conviction will...

Feb 26 2009 3:16PM
Kenya police's 'death squads' exposed

There are particularly concerning reports emerging today of the Kenyan army being accused of torture and murder of civilians. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions’s report also revealed that Kenyan police chief has...

Feb 25 2009 6:22PM
score one for international justice

I had started off the day intending to flag up the humanitarian appeal launched by Archbishops of Canterbury and York for Zimbabwe. But news coming through this afternoon about three Sierra Leone rebel commanders who were found guilty...

Feb 24 2009 12:03PM
The return of Binyam. This is going to hurt. A lot

The government should be squirming. Except, somehow it’s not. Strange. We’ve got a man alleging that Britain’s finest Daniel Craig wannabies were there in his Karachi jail back in 2002 issuing not-so-veiled threats about “cooperating”...

Feb 23 2009 2:27PM
Killed in their cages: Palestinian civilians and Israeli weapons

There’s a scene in the Emir Kusturica film Underground that has really stayed with me. It pictures Belgrade zoo being bombed during the Second World War, with animals in their cages panicking and howling. A young zoo-keeper with...

Feb 20 2009 6:30PM
The Politkovskaya case: not Russian to conclusions

I was going to post earlier … but got waylaid doing media work responding to news that Binyam Mohamed is finally getting out of Guantánamo. Good news though. Meanwhile, what to make of the acquittals in Anna Politkovskaya case? It’s...

Feb 19 2009 9:25PM
Hate is all the rage

Here’s one for you – what do a high-minded international literary festival and the shrieking members of a tiny religious cult have in common? Answer – homophobia! While the people, language and general manner of each could not be more...

Feb 18 2009 2:55PM
The Man From Amnesty, He Says No

The reaction of our campaigns director, when I told him that the Abu Qatada deportation case was back in the news today, was priceless: “Oh God”. He was no doubt recalling one of his first live TV interviews, a head-to-head with...

Feb 17 2009 1:04PM
The times they arent a changin

Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, has spoken out in a Spanish newspaper (syndicated to the Telegraph) about her worries that the government is exploiting fears of terrorism to expand its powers and undermine civil liberties....

Feb 16 2009 6:03PM
Lets dispense justice like its 1999

News that the Pakistani government is likely to allow the authorities in the Swat valley area of Pakistan to set up shari’a courts ought to give us pause. It’s not that the imposition of shari’a law will automatically mean that human...

Feb 13 2009 1:34PM
The Israeli elections: heads you lose, tails you lose

So who won? Like everyone else, I can only see deadlock and “a lurch to the right” in the super-close Israeli election results. I can’t pretend I’ve ever paid much attention to domestic Israeli politics (I haven’t always looked too...

Feb 12 2009 3:15PM
have we been left in the dark? Public inquiries and the murder of Patrick Finucane

Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane was murdered at his home, in front of his wife and three kids, on 12 February 1989, twenty years ago today. Since then, compelling evidence has indicated that UK state agents were involved in the...

Feb 11 2009 5:17PM
Eat my chaddis man

What’s the proper response to nasty and violent attacks on women who were daring to go to a bar and drink with their friends? A demonstration? Letter writing campaign? Call for police investigations? Amnesty regularly uses all these...

Feb 10 2009 1:20PM
Panorama on Gaza: war crimes before the watershed

I must admit I haven’t watched Panorama for ages. (Did I ever watch it? Yes, but I think the last time I actually saw one was that amazing programme where John Sweeney loses his rag after getting stonewalled by a Scientology spokesman...

Feb 9 2009 12:59PM
Madagascar: no escape from turmoil

Before the hugely popular films featuring Alex the Lion and Gloria the Hippo, for many Madagscar was known as a place where sugar comes from. Despite the growing interest in eco-tourism and the popularity of the Disney animations...

Feb 6 2009 4:59PM
Nowhere to run to

A man called the press office a few days ago to complain about our statements on the war in Sri Lanka. He said we were biased and did not understand what is going on there – ‘tell me where else in the world the government is bombing...

Feb 5 2009 4:29PM
Torture: its a funny old world

It’s a funny old world ain’t it? Take a couple of prominent speeches by our elected politicians in the House of Commons in the last two days. Yesterday: David Davis – of opposition to 42 days pre-charge detention fame – blasting the...

Feb 4 2009 5:20PM
The war on terrors dead. Long live the war on terror!

In my day ‘Punk’s not dead’ used to be the teenage mantra, a line beloved of Exploited fans the country over. Recently I reckon it’s more a case of the war on terror’s not dead. Hang on! You thought Obama’s (very welcome) promise to...

Feb 3 2009 2:20PM
Is there now a glimmer of a silver lining around Zimbabwe?

Now that the power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai has finally been agreed, perhaps the people of Zimbabwe can hope for a brighter future? From where I’m standing for millions of Zimbabweans the...

Feb 2 2009 2:42PM
China: Wen will China respect human rights?

Today's blog comes from a baltic bethnal green, where I am holed up in my flat watching the snow keep coming. It's relentless. GIven that I live pretty near the Amnesty office i was poised to set off on a snowy walk (no buses in London...