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July 2009 (26)
Jul 31 2009 6:08PM
China: some good news and some bad

Some positive news from China for a change – Zhang Jun, vice-president of the supreme people's court, said this week that there would be a move to reduce the number of people sentenced to death and executed. If this is the case it...

Jul 30 2009 5:23PM
Whos wearing the trousers in Sudan?  

There are some articles I have to read twice because I simply cannot believe the story, and that was most certainly the case for story in today’s Daily Mail among other news outlets of a woman in Sudan who is at risk of being flogged...

Jul 29 2009 9:42AM
Iranian protesters some released, some to stand trial, some tortured, some dead

We’ve had Shirin Ebadi – Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of Iran’s most high-profile human rights activists – visiting Amnesty’s International HQ in London this week. Look out for an interview with her on Channel 4 News tonight. In a...

Jul 28 2009 5:43AM
The lives of women are secondary

Never an easy decision for a woman to make, but here in the UK women can rest assured in the knowledge that the option to carry out an abortion is available should her life be at serious risk as a result of the pregnancy or if she is a...

Jul 27 2009 6:39AM
U2 honours Aung San Suu Kyi as trial nears end

As the verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial edges nearer, Amnesty International will later today name the Burmese leader as its “Ambassador of Conscience”.Aung San Suu Kyi is a long-standing Amnesty International prisoner of conscience...

Jul 24 2009 10:29AM
The Man's response

So how did yesterday’s webchat with Shell go? At Amnesty, lots of us sat together in a lively hub submitting questions to Shell and chatting online with others who are concerned about the impacts of the oil industry in the Niger Delta...

Jul 23 2009 9:47AM
Trouble in Paradise

A friend told me a couple of weeks ago that he once went on one of those ‘all expenses paid’ holidays to the Caribbean with a girlfriend and hated it. They were on a compound surrounded by barbed wire, “to keep out the locals” and his...

Jul 23 2009 9:45AM
Trouble in Paradise

A friend told me a couple of weeks ago that he once went on one of those ‘all expenses paid’ holidays to the Caribbean with a girlfriend and hated it. They were on a compound surrounded by barbed wire, “to keep out the locals” and his...

Jul 23 2009 4:49AM
Your chance to tell The Man

There is some debate around about whether ‘online activism’ petitions, Facebook groups and webchats, are worthwhile and as fruitful as more old style methods of campaigning – like getting arrested… We’re sure we’ve got one that’s...

Jul 22 2009 5:11AM
Not so free on Freedom Day

Today isFreedom Day in Gambia,but for many Gambians, the irony of this public holiday leaves a bitter taste. PresidentJammeh established this national holiday soon after he was elected president in1996. Since then sadly, little has...

Jul 22 2009 5:06AM
And now we're joined by a Saudi government spokesperson

As my boss Mike was saying the other day, one of the mixed pleasures of working in the Amnesty media team is that you get to do TV and radio interviews (“And now we're joined by Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin …”). Mixed, because they...

Jul 21 2009 10:32AM
How reassuring is the Jamaican police force?

As Nick Davis’ feature on BBC News Online reminds us, the Jamaican Constabulary Force’s motto is “Serve, Protect and Reassure”. This claim must be pretty hard to swallow for the thousands of people living in poorer parts of the island...

Jul 20 2009 7:19AM
Let My Mum Go!

I met a Chinese woman on Friday whose story really touched me. Her parents were recently snatched from their home in Inner Mongolia by non-uniformed men and bundled into an unmarked car. They were taken to a detention centre, where...

Jul 17 2009 9:14AM
What next in Iran?

Bodies stacked up in make-shift morgues, hundreds killed and carted away in secret. These are the alarming claims being made about the secret death toll in the Iran elections crackdown. How true are they? Frankly, I think it’s still...

Jul 16 2009 6:42AM
Three down, none left: who will defend human rights in Chechnya?

According to the Amnesty researcher on Russia talking to me yesterday, there used to be three key people when it came to uncovering human rights violations in Chechnya. These were the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the lawyer Stanislav...

Jul 15 2009 5:44AM
Lies, rumours and never any mayonnaise, says Mr Taylor  

Many of us are familiar with Disraeli’s well-coined phrase, “lies, damned lies and statistics” but I reckon Charles Taylor brought a whole new saying to life as he took to the stand at The Hague yesterday. In his attempt to defend...

Jul 14 2009 6:30AM
UK arms to Israel and a request for feedback from you, dear reader

We had a flurry of activity in the press office late yesterday afternoon, with the Guardian and Daily Mail phoning me in quick succession to ask about a story they’d seen on the BBC and Ha’aretz websites, that the UK had imposed a...

Jul 13 2009 8:13AM
On Air, tackling Tasers and challenging Control Orders

“What did you have for breakfast?” the nice man from ITV asked me. Of course, he wasn’t really interested in my answer, only in using it to check that the sound levels were set correctly. I could have answered that I’d a bowl of Fruit...

Jul 10 2009 9:36AM
Haircut 101: the case of José and his subversive haircut

A personal anecdote. It’s 1984 and I’m walking in the city centre of Sheffield on a Saturday afternoon, having just been browsing in Virgin Records looking at stuff I couldn't afford to buy because I’m on the dole. When …. wham! A man...

Jul 9 2009 7:12AM
Justice: 1 - War Criminals: 0  but it's not over yet

The decision taken by Jack Straw to change the law to now be able to prosecute those living in the UK and suspected of committing war crimes and acts of genocide as far back as 1991, has caused quite a stir in British media. Yesterday...