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November 2009 (23)
Nov 30 2009 12:58PM
Minarets at the sharp end of Swiss attack

The shocking outcome of Switzerland’s referendum to ban the building of minarets has dominated much of UK media today. As the Guardian points out, this result makes Switzerland the first country in Europe to attempt to curb the...

Nov 27 2009 3:39PM
Jan Moir on Pol Pot tactics to end violence against women

“Surely if you insist on lessons to teach small children it is wrong for men to hit women, then you are implying that all men are a potential menace. Won't the end result be the kind of moral indoctrination that teaches all infants how...

Nov 26 2009 9:47AM
Islamophobia put to the vote in Switzerland

Planning permission, eh? The bane of developers, the saviour of green belt, the last resort of NIMBYs. But in Switzerland some people want to take things a step further. The country will vote this weekend on whether to change the Swiss...

Nov 25 2009 3:29PM
Please sir, what is domestic violence?

As I was hinting yesterday, the government has indeed announced new measures to tackle violence against women and girls in the UK. It’s something that Amnesty’s been campaigning over for several years, not least as part of the End...

Nov 24 2009 11:46AM
Are the Tajik police fans of The Sweeney?

Best leave it, Tone, its a domestic. The Sweeney-style outlook of the police to domestic violence in 1970s Britain is now notorious. It was a Dont get involved attitude because Theyll sort it out and Weve got real villains to catch. (...

Nov 23 2009 2:40PM
Mandela, Gandhi, Fry, Hobnobs and Earl Grey Time for Tea

The news you’ve all been waiting for is in… the results of the AMNESTEA ‘DREAM TEA PARTY’ OPINION POLL! For some reason the BBC news channel hasn’t picked up on the story yet, but I imagine that’s just because they want to put together...

Nov 20 2009 3:28PM
Childrens Day turns 20 today! How happy is the day for boys and girls in 2009?

Universal Children's Day celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Well and truly grown up then! You might think that with the Day that aims to protect the rights of the child having been around for so many years, conditions for boys and...

Nov 19 2009 3:08PM
Why Obama should simmer down

What’s Obama up to with his 9/11 death penalty remarks? Rather than stoking it up with comments on the death penalty and 9/11 trials, shouldn’t the US president be talking calmly about justice for the victims of the 11 September...

Nov 18 2009 7:20PM
The best bit of this post has been redacted

Secrecy, it seem, begets secrecy. Seven former Guantánamo prisoners who are pursuing a case for compensation from the UK government for alleged complicity by the intelligence services in their detention and abuse are running up against...

Nov 17 2009 3:23PM
Freedom of expression its not pumpkin pie

So, President Obama mentioned human rights when he met the Chinese president. Heck, President Hu Jintao even says China and the US will meet to discuss human rights. Job done. Amnesty’s happy, right? Well, not quite. Without wanting to...

Nov 16 2009 6:17PM
Decommissioning the warehouse of death

I’ve blogged a lot about the death penalty in recent weeks – see here and here if you missed them and, hey, please feel to read ‘em! – so I’ll keep it (relatively)brief. The Guardian went big on the topic today, one of those...

Nov 13 2009 1:09PM
Keep on Rocking in the free World

(with thanks/apologies to Neil Young for the title) I heard ashocking story yesterday. Igor Koktysh, a 29-year-old rock musician,social activist and supporter of the political opposition in Belarus isfacing execution if hes convicted...

Nov 12 2009 5:43PM
Protect the donkey-impersonator

For bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli the law is an ass. Well, actually it’s one of them that’s the ass. Or at least it was, in a video that has now part of the reason they are now both in an Azerbaijani prison. Puzzled? I don’t...

Nov 11 2009 10:03AM
Chocolate Hobnobs with Lennon and Obama

Who would you invite to your dream tea party? That’s the question we’re asking the nation today. Why on earth do you care? I hear you cry. Well, we’re getting ready for the start of AMNESTEA (get it?) a new fundraising campaign where...

Nov 10 2009 4:01PM
Was The Execution Of Gary Glitter well executed?

I noticed that Twitter comment on Channel 4’s The Execution Of Gary Glitter last night was almost entirely negative but, to be honest, I didn’t see what the big problem was. Quite a few people complain the programme failed to add...

Nov 10 2009 12:17PM
'Secret inquests' voted  through Commons: update

The House of Commons yesterday debated the Coroners and Justice Bill. After a ‘highly charged’ debate, the government scraped through new powers, with a majority of just eight votes, which enable the Justice Minister to suspend any...

Nov 9 2009 12:12PM
''Secret Inquests' return - keeping grieving families in the dark

This afternoon, the House of Commons will debate the Coroners and Justice Bill. It looks like the UK government will use the Bill to further increase the secrecy that seems to be pervading some aspects of UK justice. Public access is...

Nov 6 2009 4:07PM
Do you believe in the death penalty?

There was a song from my goth-punk youth called “Do You Believe In The Westworld?”, one of Theatre Of Hate’s finest, and to riff on that: do you believe in the death penalty? Strange question to ask a reader of a human rights blog...

Nov 5 2009 2:56PM
Take a walk down via Guerzoni

A couple of posts ago, my colleague Steve B was talking about what it must be like to be walking down a street in Madrid when you get stopped by what turns out to be a violent gang of police officers …. … which made me think … about...

Nov 4 2009 5:29PM
Lobbyists descend on Parliament to call for protection for all women facing violence

It’s days like today which remind me why I enjoy working at Amnesty. I was fortunate to be among nearly 300 people from all over the country who’d come to London to take part in Amnesty’s mass lobby of Parliament to call on the...