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February 2011 (20)
Feb 28 2011 12:59PM
Arms embargoes: better late than never, but why not do it right?

The UN Security Council, so often criticised for putting politics before principles and failing to take decisive action, has done the right thing by imposing a strong arms embargo on Libya. Sales and transfers of a wide range of...

Feb 25 2011 5:16PM
The social not work

Discontent is catching, that’s the fear. It seems to be a valid one. As one populace after another looks over at their neighbour, newly freed from the shackles of repressive government, and thinks I want that- it could be me...

Feb 24 2011 3:55PM
Watched pots and despots

We’re watching you, that was the implicit message from the Amnesty team when an Amnesty researcher recently returned from the latest trip to investigate the human rights situation in the Ivory Coast, said: “The eyes of the world may...

Feb 23 2011 6:14PM
Arms and the Cameron

In several speeches last year, the recently-elected coalition government announced a new “direction” to foreign policy, interpreted by many as one with a greater emphasis on trade. But William Hague was keen to stress that there would...

Feb 22 2011 1:34PM
Lets back the hacks: the 20th Amnesty International UK media awards

Back in my student days I used to read quite a bit of hack journalism. Yes, that’s right, I was poring over 17th-century newspapers with titles like “The Monethly intelligencer” (correct spelling), “Mercurius Melancholicus” and...

Feb 21 2011 3:43PM
Libya: Gaddafi must stop the bloodshed

Mikhael Gorbachev this afternoon compared the events in the Middle East and North Africa to the collapse of eastern Europe’s Communist bloc – and as protests have spread across the region it’s easy to see why. I like his quote: "They...

Feb 18 2011 7:24PM
Blood on the streets, UK weapons in the Middle East

It’s not often you see doctors and other medical staff shouting and screaming with anger, but that’s exactly what’s been happening in Bahrain. Staff at the Salminiya hospital in Manama have been expressing absolute outrage at the...

Feb 17 2011 6:06PM
Trinidad should stop trying to bring the death penalty back from the dead

For all I know the Trinidadian prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar may have a long-held personal belief in the value of capital punishment. She may even be a member of what we (rather over-quaintly) used to call the “hang ‘em and...

Feb 16 2011 11:24PM
Capt Obama: all at sea over Guantánamo and the new Middle East

This tweet from The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg (@carolrosenberg) caught my eye recently: Deputy prison camps commander on #Guantanamo captives' reaction when Hosni Mubarak stepped down in Egypt: "It was the talk of the town." Yes...

Feb 15 2011 9:35AM
Only 2 weeks left to enter the #Amnestyawards for Digital media who do you think should win this year?

Recent events in North Africa and the Middle East, where reporters have been harassed, arrested and attacked while trying to report on pro-democracy protests, have reminded me again of the importance (and difficulty) of good human...

Feb 14 2011 1:36PM
Protests, protests everywhere!

The apparent success of the Tahrir Square protest seems to have triggered a wave of demonstrations around the world over the weekend. Algeria was hard on Egypts heels on Friday with its pro-democracy rally, while the people of Yemen...

Feb 11 2011 4:48PM
Theres no place like homophobia

Where in the world is the worst place to be gay? This is the hefty question a Radio One DJ will tackle on BBC3 this coming Monday. Uganda has got to be up there in the running. Presenter Scott Mills had a personal taste of the violent...

Feb 10 2011 5:17PM
"My torture inquirys better than yours"

I found myself yesterday secreted in an airless passage at the UK Parliament’s Portcullis House with the Dominic Casciani from the BBC and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez, talking accountability. It was one of those...

Feb 9 2011 3:02PM
#feb12global: its a numbers game this Saturday

The protests are nothing if not unpredictable, and after a media story had set in earlier this week about the Egyptian protests “running out of steam”, we’ve now had, according to most estimates, the biggest so far. With newly-released...

Feb 8 2011 12:56PM
The resuming case of Dr Sen

Tomorrow marks a key moment for Dr Binayak Sen – his trial re-starts.Now those of you who don’t know much about him, here’s a brief overview.Doctor – human rights defender – works in conflict zone in India – accused by government of...

Feb 7 2011 6:06PM
Egypt: the screams of individuals clearly being beaten

By degrees it’s slipping out of the headlines, but the Egypt story is still hugely important for anyone who cares about human rights in Egypt and the wider region. With “normality” breaking out in terms of some people going back to...

Feb 4 2011 4:37PM
Egypt Journalists and human rights monitors (including Amnesty's) under threat

Protests continue in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt (not to mention elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East) with ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The Guardian’s live update is saying that there have been...

Feb 3 2011 2:54PM
Egypt: when camels attack

At the time of posting the situation in Egypt is on a knife-edge. After the peacefulness of the “million-person” protest on Tuesday, yesterday’s violence was a horrible, jolting sight. There are, of course, lots of claims that armed...

Feb 2 2011 1:42PM
Belarus: protesters attacked by Dinosaur

Maja Abramchik is a 21-year-old student from Belarus. On 19 December last year, when she heard that there were protests about the disputed election, Maja and her friends went down to Minsk’s main square to see what was happening...

Feb 1 2011 2:12PM
Could Sudan soon carry the scent of jasmine?

So as the Tunisian scent of jasmine wafts its way across Egypt and Yemen, speculation is growing as to whether this pungent aroma could be heading south. Many – including Amnesty – have speculated that the recent uprisings across...