January 2010 (20)
Jan 29 2010 4:09PM
women and girls shouldn't be overlooked in Haiti
As the glare of the media spotlight fades from Haiti, the reconstruction and relief effort is only just beginning – and there’s where we need to ensure that women and girls’ rights is not forgotten. In 2008 Amnesty produced a report hi...
Jan 28 2010 3:48PM
Talking to the Taleban: deal or no deal?
Perhaps we’d better get Noel Edmonds in …. all this talk of deals with the Taleban is starting to take on an air of unreality. Ahead of today’s big Afghanistan conference in London, Gordon Brown and Hamid Karzai have been speaking – al...
Jan 27 2010 12:10PM
2,000 women dying through childbirth in Burkina Faso each year
Ouagadougou – now there’s a capital city you don’t hear much about. It’s a name which you’d be expected to know in a pub quiz – “name the capital of Burkina Faso…!” Well, now you’ve read this, you’ll have the answer. But if you really...
Jan 26 2010 12:34PM
Living by a sewage works - life for Roma people in Europe
I was unlucky enough to have a summer job when I was around 19 that involved rebuilding part of a sewage works. It wasn’t my worst-ever summer job – that was the meat pie factory – but it wasn’t a barrel of laughs either. While I did g...
Jan 25 2010 1:05PM
A turning point in Sri Lankan human rights?
So here they are at last: The Sri Lankan Presidential Elections.They are all set for tomorrow and previews were plastered all over today’s papers.After decades of conflict that “ended” last year with the comprehensive defeat of the Lib...
Jan 22 2010 12:35PM
Guantánamo: where will it end, where will it end?
As I was saying the other day , Obama’s promise to close Guantánamo within a year falls due, so to speak, today. It hasn’t happened. Instead, in a pale reflection of what was promised, we’ve seen just 46 of 242 prisoners transferred ou...
Jan 21 2010 4:42PM
Repression in Vietnam
It’s not too often that you read or hear about repression and restrictions on free speech in Vietnam, it’s somewhat overshadowed by neighbours like Burma and China, where stories like these are reported more widely. You only have to lo...
Jan 20 2010 1:49PM
Obamas first year: soaring rhetoric v. dashed hopes
What were you doing exactly one year ago? Can’t remember? Well, chances are that at some time during 20 January 2009 you glanced at the TV news about Barack Obama being inaugurated as 44th president of the USA. (You didn’t! Well, OK, b...
Jan 19 2010 1:44PM
Avatar is a threat to social order its official
I went to see James Cameron’s latest blockbuster, Avatar, last week. There were a lot of things I thought about it: overlong (nearly 3 hours!) bit cheesy, not great acting, great effects, gripping and exciting if you left your cynicism...
Jan 18 2010 12:24PM
No justice for Gaza: plus ça change
This time a year ago the world was reeling at the scenes of devastation coming out of Gaza. Now we’re reeling at the scenes of devastation coming out of Haiti. Plus ça change. Except … Gaza was man-made, Haiti was not. Yes, the death t...
Jan 15 2010 4:47PM
Iranian leaders find new ways to silence dissent
In a move that will be of doubtless interest to social media followers of the post-election demonstrations in Iran, it’s reported today that Iran’s chief of police has warned opposition supporters against using texts and email to organ...
Jan 14 2010 2:45PM
Racially segregated schools in Europe in 2010?
A journalist working on the Google story called here yesterday asking us to wrack our brains for other examples of where companies had pulled out of countries because of human rights concerns. The main examples we came up with were rel...
Jan 13 2010 3:35PM
Google steps out from behind the Great Firewall
I actually thought I was still dreaming this morning when I heard that Google was going to stop censoring Internet search results in China (and, if necessary, pull out if the country altogether). But it’s true – you can read all about...
Jan 12 2010 1:13PM
The wonderful world of the Daily Mail
Sometimes the world of the media throws you a bit of a curve ball. And so it was today. What am I talking about? None other than the Daily Mail putting its weight behind a human rights pressure group campaigning against forced eviction...
Jan 11 2010 3:38PM
Eight years of Guantánamo: another unhappy birthday
Incredibly, it’s now eight years since the first shackled and orange-jump-suited prisoners were taken to the notorious prison camp at Guantánamo. Eight years. This is a long time if you’ve been found guilty of a crime and sent to priso...
Jan 8 2010 2:36PM
Channel 4 Vs the Sri Lankan Government
Journalists and their editors make many difficult decisions, perhaps none more so than whether to quote from or broadcast material for which they cannot be absolutely sure of the source but where if genuine the contents reveal evidence...
Jan 7 2010 2:50PM
A real threat of an upsurge of violence in Sudan
Today’s report published by ten aid agencies about the volatile situation in Sudan has kick-started the debate about the need for greater international attention to be paid to that country this year. Simon Tisdall’s briefing in today’s...
Jan 6 2010 3:28PM
Israel and futurology: is the UK government now claiming it can predict the future?
Reports that the attorney general Lady Scotland will effectively give the Israeli authorities an assurance that none of its leaders will ever face arrest in the UK are … troubling. On what basis are the UK authorities even promising th...
Jan 5 2010 3:46PM
How Leonard Cohen helped a journalist through torture
There was a fascinating interview on Channel 4 News last night, as Jon Snow spoke to journalist Maziar Bahari about his three months of interrogation and torture in Iran’s Evin prison. Bahari described the bizarre behaviour of his inte...
Jan 4 2010 1:47PM
Yemen: new security alert, old human rights lessons
If the alleged would-be Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indeed “trained” by al-Qai’da in Yemen it’s not exactly surprising that Yemen is now on everyone’s lips. But how to react? Closing embassies and talking about Yemen’s...