February 2010 (18)
Feb 26 2010 1:39PM
Binyam Mohamed: the story so far

Anyone who’s kept up with every twist and turn of the Binyam Mohamed saga probably needs to get out more, but most people are now familiar with the broad thrust. A man is picked up in Pakistan during the US “war on terror”. Like scores...

Feb 25 2010 5:32PM
Hunger strike death of Cuban Orlando Zapata Tamayo is food for thought

The death, after a prolonged hunger strike, of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a prisoner of conscience in Cuba, has been widely reported in the media today. Orlando Zapata Tamayo was one of 55 prisoners of conscience in Cuba to have been...

Feb 24 2010 6:06PM
Victims of Bloody Monday Massacre must see justice prevail

Guinea is one African country which is rarely reported on. So last September’s bloody protests took much of the international media by surprise as they witnessed how scores of people were killed and hundreds were attacked by security...

Feb 23 2010 2:02PM
"Is technology really good for human rights?" - We still don't know!

I’ve been trying to wade through around 1,500 tweets about last night’s “Is technology really good for human rights?” event, while nursing a slightly-foggy head after the post-doo drinks at the Book Club. The consensus seems to be very...

Feb 22 2010 4:29PM
Freedom to blog (and to hack?) #aitech

With one media report around today entitled “Google will pave the way to freedom in China, says Dalai Lama” and a front page splash in the FT saying “US analysts believe they have identified the Chinese author of the critical...

Feb 19 2010 2:04PM
Heard the one about the hit-squad tennis players?

Yesterday the Times columnist Melanie Reid gushed that the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai was like the film Ocean's 11. (I think, by the way, she meant an exciting Hollywood crime caper … as opposed to a useless star-vehicle...

Feb 18 2010 3:39PM
Blogging about flogging

Three women (& four men) in Malaysia were flogged earlier this month – meaning whipped with a cane – after a Shariah court found them guilty of extramarital sex. The news came in a press conference from the Malaysian Home Minister...

Feb 17 2010 4:17PM
A cluster of good news

It seems as though the government of Burkina Faso has been the bearer of good news twice in the last 10 days or so. It’s not often we say that about any country’s government. But their decision to ratify the international cluster...

Feb 16 2010 10:25AM
Burma: It's not all Aung San Suu Kyi

When it comes to Burma, the world and his dog tends to think about one thing: Aung San Suu Kyi.Now, I’m not one to say she isn’t important – far from it – but the plight of the iconic Burmese leader is just the tip of the iceberg when...

Feb 15 2010 1:49PM
Rape: are attitudes getting worse?

It’s probably a generational thing, but a lot of conversations I have with my parents these days consist of whether “things are getting better … or worse”. Not exactly an easy topic to pin down! There’s always a danger that these...

Feb 11 2010 4:16PM
Trouble at Iran's birthday party

Today marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran 31 years ago, traditionally a day of mass rallies in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Most Iran-watchers have predicted that it will be a flash-point between...

Feb 10 2010 3:51PM
Redacted! No scratch that the Binyam paras are published   

I’ve railed against the secrecy reflex of the UK state before, but today, for once, I’m pleased that knee-jerk secrecy has been set aside in today’s Court of Appeal ruling on the Binyam Mohamed case. The supposedly US relationship...

Feb 9 2010 4:43PM
For a Fistful of Dollars

I thought I was going to meet Clint Eastwood yesterday. I was outside the offices of Vedanta Resources in Berkeley Street, London, at Amnesty’s protest about human rights abuses linked to their refinery in India. Noticing that there...

Feb 5 2010 5:03PM
Where the buffalo roam

Never work with children or animals, my mother always used to tell me, and in the main I’ve tended to follow her advice. However, here at Amnesty, we like to stage the odd demonstration and it’s a proven fact that if you want to do...

Feb 4 2010 5:34PM
Gay rights are human rights

The arrest of 21-year-old gay rights campaigner in Malawi described by the BBC as ‘gay-poster man’ is just one more step in the targeting of the LGBT community in that southern African country. The reason for Peter Sawali’s arrest...

Feb 3 2010 1:21PM
The play's the thing...

…. at least according to my fellow Warwickshire man William Shakespeare, it is, and that’s good because there are several theatrical things getting a mention in this post. First off, there’s “Mums” at the Soho Theatre in … er, Soho...

Feb 2 2010 6:18PM
Control Orders under fire AGAIN - when will they scrap them?

The UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee, made up of MPs, are the latest to put the boot into the UK government’s Control Orders regime. I could hardly have put it better myself: “The legality of the control order regime is in serious...

Feb 1 2010 1:12PM
Music Journalists locked up in Iran

You’ll have noticed that Iran is once again in the headlines today, with US-Iran tensions reportedly ‘raised’ again after the US sold anti-missile systems to its middle-eastern allies. It’s also the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini’s...