May 2009 (20)
May 29 2009 4:22PM
A little local difficulty
Horrific report in the Times today – it’s possible more than 20,000 people were killed as Sri Lankan forces made their final push against the Tamil Tigers over the last few weeks. The paper has aerial photos which have been examined by...
May 28 2009 11:34AM
Leaders ignore human rights abuses during recession at world's peril
Plans are afoot at Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre to mark its 48th birthday. The air is abuzz with chatter of who’ll be DJ-ing at this evening’s party, what to wear and for some, where the party is going to be held (okay, so that...
May 27 2009 1:25PM
They havent done a very good job on you - MI5 and torture
Another week, another MI5 torture collusion allegation. Or that’s how it‘s beginning to feel. The Guardian’s front-page story today on the torture and arbitrary detention a British man called Jamil Rahman says he suffered in Bangladesh...
May 26 2009 1:32PM
Iranian authorities ban Facebook
Iranian authorities ban Facebook, fearing Obama-style online election campaign by reformists The authorities in Iran have reportedly blocked access to Facebook following the launch of online presidential campaigns using the social netw...
May 22 2009 3:08PM
Niger Delta erupts into violence once again
It’s all kicking off again in the Niger Delta, with hundreds reportedly killed and thousands displaced following a new offensive by the government’s armed forces. The oil-rich area of Nigeria that has seen years of violence, human righ...
May 21 2009 6:07PM
Obamas security speech: a president unbound?
He’s in a “very difficult position” politically. He’s “trapped” by the Senate’s decision to block money . Oh, dear, Barack Obama is a virtual prisoner and his plan to close Guantánamo is left in limbo. Listening to some news reports, y...
May 20 2009 3:59PM
Flag-flying, missing doctors and arms through the backdoor.  Sri Lanka today
Four days on and the Sri Lankan government is still proclaiming their victory over their 26-year battle with the Tamil Tigers. According to BBC News, today they’ve declared a victory holiday , where the national flag should be flown, a...
May 19 2009 12:23PM
I am Martina Davis
Being a Stanley Kubrick fan (which cinema lover doesn't love at least one Kubrick classic?) I've obviously seen that slightly ropey early effort, Spartacus . It's okay. Just. But, whatever you think about Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and...
May 18 2009 2:52PM
Aung San Suu Kyi - a case of suspicious minds?
OK so I am a bit of a suspicious soul. When it comes to today’s trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, I can’t quite help thinking that the military junta in Burma have had more luck than is feasible.Just place yourself in the shoes of the leaders...
May 15 2009 5:47PM
Pride on the streets of Moscow
Your first worry for what’s happening in Moscow this weekend might concern whether the Eurovision Song Contest taking place there onSaturday evening will see a repeat of recent years’ shameless vote casting fornear neighbours rather th...
May 14 2009 12:37PM
The doctor will not see you now
Global protests will be held today for Dr Binayak Sen , a medical doctor who has been jailed for the last two years in India. Amnesty believes that the charges and evidence against him – allegations that he was involved in Maoist viole...
May 13 2009 3:06PM
How much is that baby in the window?
I took a call this week from a reporter saying that her magazine had been investigating baby selling in Europe and found that you could buy a baby for as little as £1,200. Nice. This is the sort of stuff you hear about at Amnesty – ie...
May 12 2009 2:21PM
Gong! This is Brixton calling
So well done to Brixton Electric Radio. Winning four Sony radio awards is no mean achievement and amazing for a prison radio station. PopSugar might think it’s all about Chris Evans getting two awards or Vanessa Feltz getting hers, but...
May 11 2009 2:09PM
Bloodbath in Sri Lanka
The civilian death toll in northern Sri Lanka soared even higher over the weekend, with reports (from a doctor in the field) that a staggering 378 people had been killed in just one day and at least another 1,212 injured. The real figu...
May 8 2009 6:04PM
Execution virals in China
The Telegraph carries two stories about China today that raise some interesting questions. The first is about a video, posted on a Chinese government website, showing a government official being executed. The story goes on to say that...
May 8 2009 6:03PM
Execution virals in China
The Telegraph carries two stories about China today that raise some interesting questions. The first is about a video, posted on a Chinese government website, showing a government official being executed. The story goes on to say that...
May 7 2009 1:32PM
Torture: going, going, gone ...?
Fancy buying a rare piece of 16th-century torture equipment? Something like a “shame mask” originally used to enforce silence? Or a “tongue-tearer” which was used to punish blasphemers and heretics. Or a three-metre-long “rack” for slo...
May 6 2009 4:43PM
Gaza: to inquire, or not to inquire
Writing this only metres from the historical site of the theatre where the first Shakespeare plays were performed ( really! ) I think I can be forgiven for bastardising the Bard. Because today the question in this post is: “to inquire,...
May 5 2009 3:57PM
China and Burma? So much for being a good citizen...
A natural disaster hits. The good citizen’s instant response is to help. And as a reward you’d expect a nice pat on the back, perhaps even a bit of positive publicity.Well not, it appears, if you happen to reside in Burma or China.This...
May 1 2009 3:10PM
Delara Darabis death: shocking news
Working at Amnesty you’re supposed to be kind of unshockable . But you know what … it ain’t so! For example … I got to my desk this morning and took a call even before I’d sat down properly. It wasn’t good news . In fact it was shockin...