April 2011 (17)
Apr 28 2011 6:21PM
A wedding in the Arab Spring
The row over the royal wedding invitation to Syria's ambassador to the UK has been an overnight media sensation (who knew the wedding was going to throw up these news angles?), but with Dr Sami Khiyami now persona non grata at the abbe...
Apr 27 2011 4:06PM
Oh Guantánamo, up yours!
The Steve Bell cartoon in the Guardian today depicts President Obama in an orange jumpsuit being dragged off by Guantánamo guards to an uncertain fate … Indefinite detention? Interrogation? Torture? Powerful, arresting stuff. The idea,...
Apr 26 2011 5:06PM
Andrew Marr and Ban Ki-moon come clean
Today was a day of publishing the previously unpublished. Andrew Marr elected to come out and reveal his identity as one of the unproud owners of a super injunction, and declared his intention to abandon any further attempts at gagging...
Apr 21 2011 5:40PM
Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros: human rights defenders
News of the deaths of photo-journalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros in Libya yesterday is unbelievably sad. Two men in the prime of their lives wiped out in the middle of doing dangerous but incredibly important work. It must be...
Apr 20 2011 12:16PM
Egypts post-revolution will not be televised
The media caravan has moved on and Egypt is yesterday’s news. Which is precisely why it’s so important to focus on what’s actually happening now that former president Hosni Mubarak and others are under arrest and the country has suppos...
Apr 19 2011 3:25PM
Fifty Fatullayevs Fighting For Freedom (shame its not on a Friday!)
Azerbaijan’s London ambassador will get quite a shock when he looks out his window tomorrow lunchtime. Instead of a quiet Kensington backstreet, he’ll come face-to-face with fifty clones of Eynulla Fatullayev, the journalist that his g...
Apr 18 2011 6:08PM
Libya: how bad is it?
I’ve been viewing a lot of entries in Amnesty's media awards recently and I was reminded of the way that sometimes it takes months or even years before the truth about human rights abuses finally emerges. It's feeling a little like thi...
Apr 15 2011 4:54PM
UN-der wraps: secret report on last days of Sri Lanka civil war
I saw a film this week. It was a tragedy (you’re not the only one who can spoil the endings Niluccio ) and has haunted me since. It was a film about a father. A father who used to play his son at tennis. A father who has got a mantle p...
Apr 14 2011 3:56PM
Essential Killing: plot spoiler alert - its about the war on terror
It's becoming almost passé to mention it (very 2005 ) but sometimes you realise the whole "war on terror" issue still has the capacity to hit home hard. At least that's sort of what I experienced watching parts of "Essential Killing" ,...
Apr 13 2011 4:09PM
Troubles still rage in Ivory Coast
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been pretty quiet on the happenings in Ivory Coast. That has actually been on purpose. We’ve had a research team on mission in Abidjan who were caught up in the thick of the violence. For their own...
Apr 12 2011 12:20PM
The Arab Spring: been there, got the t-shirt
The Arab Spring has sprung. Peoples’ protests for better living conditions, political change, an end to corruption and greater human rights are a powerful reality across the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria,...
Apr 11 2011 7:21PM
Ai Weiwei, one week on
Today China hit back at the tidal wave of international criticism it received following the arrest just over a week ago, of artist Ai Weiwei. The Guardian reports today that the Chinese authorities have produced their own human rights...
Apr 8 2011 7:02PM
Where are the Ramadan brothers?
As I've said before when blogging on these pages, the emotional upheaval of dealing with the fact that a loved one has disappeared must be horrendous. Really horrendous. I usually find even those clips of distraught family members maki...
Apr 7 2011 1:36PM
Belgrades Roma kicked out of their homes
Roma families are being kicked out of their homes to make way for the development of Belgrade, according to a new report that we launched today from the Serbian capital, ahead of tomorrow’s International Roma Day. Roma are discriminate...
Apr 6 2011 6:04PM
Goldstone: crying foul shouldnt derail justice
If a police investigator helped put together a big case file but later told a newspaper he'd altered some of his views on the investigation that would, I think, be unusual. But it wouldn't invalidate the original findings. This – the m...
Apr 5 2011 3:45PM
No more bloodbaths fuelled by UK weapons
The UK Government came in for heavy criticism today by the cross-party Committees on Arms Export Controls. The Committees' report concluded that sending weapons including armoured personnel carriers, crowd control equipment and ammunit...
Apr 4 2011 5:09PM
50- not out
I once made the mistake of asking my dad if the garden was “finished”, yet. It turns out a garden is never finished. It’s a constant process of staying vigilant, planning your moves and slogging away. Similarly, fifty years on, it migh...