August 2009 (18)
Aug 28 2009 11:17AM
Without a trace
No doubt most of us will be looking forward to spending time with friends and family at some stage over this weekend, especially as it’s the last bank holiday weekend of the year before Christmas. But for thousands of men, women and ch...
Aug 27 2009 4:19PM
Location, Location, Location Execution, Execution, Execution
Some time ago I did an interview for Amnesty about how China reportedly harvests the organs of executed prisoners. I remember it well because the pre-recorded interview was for the BBC 10 O Clock News – much coveted – and because when...
Aug 26 2009 4:04PM
Israels settlements: never mind the Muppets, what about the war crimes?
Strange interview by the Israeli ambassador on the radio this morning. In his 8.10am Today programme slot not only did Ron Prosor, Tel Aviv’s man in London, have a dig at Arab leaders who in his view buy football clubs like Manchester...
Aug 24 2009 4:27PM
The CIAs dirty deeds done dirt cheap
A confession, dear reader. The shockingly juvenile rock-metal band AC/DC were part of the soundtrack to my youth. They were always blasting away on mum and dad’s “stereogramme” when they (mum and dad) were up the pub on a Friday night....
Aug 21 2009 4:39PM
Hate & Pride in Manchester
Earlier this week Human Rights Watch reported that hundreds of gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2004, and that the attacks appear to be organised. Across Eastern Europe gay people are increasingly out and proud but are facing e...
Aug 20 2009 1:41PM
Phew, that was a close shave; or why beards are a human right
Amnesty’s new report on how Tunisia is rounding up, torturing and imprisoning alleged Islamic terrorists is the sort of thing that any Amnesty blog reader will have heard before. Right, big surprise, you may think. I kind of thought th...
Aug 19 2009 6:44PM
Time to get tough on arms exports, Britain
The UK Government really needs to tighten its arms exports controls. That’s the message which rang out loud and clear from today’s report by the four Parliamentary Select Committees. And it’s something which Amnesty would definitely ag...
Aug 18 2009 6:59PM
Ice-cream seller faces 21 years in prison for being caught on camera
The media team’s been particularly busy in responding to today’s news surrounding the changing events in Afghanistan in the run up to Thursday’s elections and also the Home Office’s disclosure on the number of Tasers. Amnesty’s Afghani...
Aug 17 2009 7:16PM
War (in Afghanistan)! What are we fighting for?
It would be little exaggeration to say there’s only one story in town right now: Afghanistan. Well OK, there’s the business of the insanely fast “Lightning Bolt” (forget that old joke about languorous Jamaicans dahn at the beach ), and...
Aug 14 2009 2:12PM
The NHS, Obama and Kenya
Are you enjoying the US debate about whether a universal healthcare system guaranteeing basic cover for everyone is a good thing or socialism gone mad? Some of us whinge about the NHS from time to time but it’s glorious to watch Britis...
Aug 12 2009 1:29PM
Sri Lanka - Unlock the Camps
A senior US diplomat has urged the Sri Lankan government to allow more freedom to the more than a quarter of a million Tamil people detained in camps in the north of the country. The military conflict has ended and Sri Lanka is making...
Aug 11 2009 5:42PM
The Sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi
Well that wasn’t very unexpected, was it. After a lovely piece of political theatre, the Burmese authorities this morning sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months of house arrest – all because an American swam over a mile across a lake...
Aug 10 2009 3:00PM
Talking about torture
The man was completely immersed in the water. When he emerged he gasped for air. He looked frightened. Was I watching waterboarding that method of torture in which a detainee is made to think they are drowning? Actually no, this was Gr...
Aug 7 2009 4:27PM
Georgia (and Russia and South Ossetia) on my mind. Again
This time last year I wasn’t in a sweaty Amnesty office in London, I was … in a sweaty Amnesty office in Edinburgh . It comes to mind today because last August I was beavering away PR-ing Amnesty’s presence at the Edinburgh Festival (c...
Aug 6 2009 5:37PM
Amnesty weekender at the Big Chill!
If you’re heading to the Big Chill this weekend you may want to pack a pair of flip flops along with your wellies! Not only is the weather forecast looking much more favourable for festival-goers, Amnesty will be at the Big Chill for t...
Aug 5 2009 3:43PM
Axis of brinkmanship
What relief the two US journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been facing 12 years imprisonment with hard labour, must be feeling after their sudden and dramatic ‘rescue’ by Bill Clinton . The two have been used as pawns by the...
Aug 4 2009 3:10PM
Torture and those pesky parliamentarians
Listen to Ivan Lewis stonewalling on the Today programme (8.10 interview) and you get the distinct impression that the government has … how can I put this, got something to hide . There, I’ve said it. I know, shocking isn’t it? A gover...
Aug 3 2009 4:09PM
Peaceful protestors in Iran: is their goose cooked?
By which I mean … are the mass trials in Iran ‘political’ and are people being set up by the Iranian authorities? OK, the authorities are certainly putting a lot of politicians – past and present – on trial, so they’re literally politi...