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September 2009 (17)
Sep 30 2009 4:30PM
Losing the battle against rape

Lack of justice for women and girls who have been victims of rape and sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations is high on the agenda for Amnesty today. We have two reports looking at the exact theme but in countries...

Sep 25 2009 1:20PM
Death row records:  Richard Hughes and Troy Davis

Morbidly enough, I’ve always thought songs about capital punishment were a pretty fascinating sub-genre. On this blog I’ve previously mentioned The Adverts’ punk classic “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” (a number 18 hit in 1977, pop-pickers!) and...

Sep 24 2009 1:20PM
Police brutality in Honduras leaves country in crisis

Amnesty is concerned at the excessive force applied by police officers against civilians in Honduras over the past few days. The firing of tear gas at a human rights organisation when around 100 men, women and children were inside is...

Sep 23 2009 6:24PM
actions need to follow systematic examination

The Guardian today has two very different reports on rape. One focuses on a government review on how rape cases are handled here in the UK while the other looks at the prison sentence for a man in South Africa who was jailed for the...

Sep 22 2009 4:27PM
Dying for a right to health - pregnant women in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone one in every eight pregnant woman will die. It’s staggering to think that this could be so when the threat of dying in childbirth is so unlikely in the UK. Pregnant women in Sierra Leone die from a number of reasons...

Sep 18 2009 3:11PM
The cruelty of death row and a glimmer or two of hope

There’s a man on death row facing imminent execution for the second time. How so? Romell Broom would already be dead if his execution by lethal injection on Tuesday hadn’t gone badly wrong when state officials couldn’t find a vein...

Sep 17 2009 1:32PM
Trafigura settles out of court

The biggest human rights story in the news today has to be the reports of British oil trading company Trafigura agreeing to settle out of court with 31,000 people in Ivory Coast. British law firm Leigh Day were representing the Ivorian...

Sep 16 2009 1:42PM
Shooting the messenger (and everyone else): investigating war crimes in Gaza

The finding from the UN investigator Judge Richard Goldstone that both the Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes in Gaza at the beginning of the year has met with two predictable responses. Response...

Sep 14 2009 3:03PM
EU restrictions remain for Zimbabwe until human rights improve

The gloves are off and the war of words is definitely back on by Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF officials toward the EU following the weekend’s visit to the country by European officials and their refusal to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe...

Sep 12 2009 1:43PM
Gay hate, then and now

Good to read about Gordon Brown's apology for the indescribably brutal way in which computer pioneer Alan Turing was treated by the government and the courts in Britain fifty plus year ago. Turing, whose work was essential to the...

Sep 10 2009 9:12AM
Here be dragons: off the map and into the deranged world of Japans capital punishment system

To kick off here are a couple of quotes: “While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus. It was a very beautiful place and it was really green.” “The wisdom never dies. On that kind of...

Sep 9 2009 4:20PM
Journalism and the school of (very) hard knocks

Who would be a journalist? It’s hard to get into. It’s tough work: frantic deadlines, high-pressure – get it wrong and your outfit might get sued! And there’s immense pressure to cut costs, especially on the inky-handed “Fleet Street”...

Sep 8 2009 5:42PM
weapons for sale

The biennial arms fair opened for business today at Docklands ExCel Centre amid a flurry of reports about international weapons transfers and protests. BBC News reports that Campaign Against the Arms Trade were expected to stage...

Sep 7 2009 4:14PM
Theres nothing fine about Lubna Husseins charge

The court’s decision to fine Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein for wearing trousers is disgraceful and has revealed that in spite of international outrage and attention, authorities in Sudan will continue to approve laws which so...

Sep 3 2009 2:35PM
You can trust me, Im a CIA doctor

Comparisons to Nazi doctors conducting experiments on death camp prisoners are definitely overblown, but there’s something horribly sinister about news that the CIA used doctors extensively during “war on terror” torture sessions. My...

Sep 2 2009 4:07PM
Sri Lanka - where journalism can get you 20 years

Earlier today Amnesty supporters attended a vigil in London’s Parliament Square (where hundreds of Tamils were protesting earlier this year) to draw attention to the case of Tissa, a Tamil journalist who was jailed for twenty years in...

Sep 1 2009 1:15PM
Numerology, or 1,000 reasons to oppose the death penalty

Let’s start with a numbers question. How many people is a thousand people? Not as easy as it sounds. Ever been at an event and someone asked you to say how many were there? You inevitably go: “Oh, about 200. No wait, maybe 300. No...