May 2011 (20)
May 31 2011 6:37PM
WANTED: EXECUTIONER

COMPETITIVE SALARY, MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE START, EXPERIENCE NECESSARY It’s rare that the executioner is the one on the wanted list, but in India this week there is a hunt on. The perversity of advertising such a post, really...

May 27 2011 8:46PM
The icing, on the candle, on the birthday cake

Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organisation, is celebrating 50 years of work tomorrow- the 28 May 2011. As if you didn’t know. Surely you must have clocked this wonderful, harrowing piece on the BBC about...

May 27 2011 11:33AM
Virtual Brutality

Prisoners passing their time playing video games frankly sounds a little bit like a luxury that would ordinarily be denied behind bars, but this has been happening in China,where prisoners are being forced to play online games, as part...

May 25 2011 6:33PM
Gong! It's the Amnesty media awards

Awards sometimes get a bad rep. If it's (say) Ronnie Wood getting the Lifetime Achievement Award For Consuming Copious Amounts Of Drugs Whilst Being In A Top Stadium Rock Band, then you can kind of see why. (I exaggerate, but you know...

May 24 2011 3:45PM
Twitter and free speech

You might have noticed one or two stories around recently involving Twitter, the free speech vs privacy debate, and a certain very successful footballer. In fact its the lead story pretty much everywhere today. Today Amnestys also...

May 23 2011 4:41PM
Jamaica: a year on and no justice

A new Amnesty report is out today “Jamaica: A long road to justice? – Human Rights violations under the state of emergency to mark the one year anniversary of the sensational stand off between armed residents of Tivoli Gardens in...

May 20 2011 4:59PM
Obama: fine words, but what about Shaker?

Reaction to President Obama’s speech on the Middle East and North Africa looks pretty mixed to me. For example, BBC News Online’s vox pop of some voices from the region was an interesting snapshot. Mohammed in Tobruk in Libya (ie not...

May 19 2011 1:08PM
Egypt. The story so far

As I've said on this blog before, there's always a tendency for media organisations to "move on" from an issue once the story’s been "done". This is basically what’s happened with Egypt. From those heady February days when images from...

May 18 2011 7:37PM
Nobody wants to get stoned

I have spent most of the day loitering outside the Iranian embassy. It is not illegal but it is frowned upon. From a great height, through an open window, by burly looking security officials. I was there with 20 school children from...

May 17 2011 2:40PM
Is Gaddafi headed for The Netherlands?

Is Gaddafi going to end up paying an unintended visit to The Netherlands in the near future? It certainly looks possible. Of course he and others in the Libyan government are now busy sounding off about how the International Criminal...

May 16 2011 6:52PM
Will the Iranian authorities remain blind to human rights?

Thankfully the judicial blinding of a man in Iran, which created a lot of news interest over the weekend, has been postponed. Majid Movahedi was sentenced to “retribution in kind” (qesas) in 2008 after he poured a bucket of acid over...

May 13 2011 10:21AM
The state of the world's human rights - revealed today

Today Amnesty International launches its annual report on “The state of the world’s human rights”, a global overview that exposes abuses in 157 countries. Needless to say, much of the focus has been on recent events in the Middle East...

May 12 2011 5:45PM
Has Holder got a grip on Guantánamo?

Interestingly the Today programme’s big 8.10 interview this morning with US Attorney General Eric Holder went from the killing of Osama Bin Laden onto the issue of Guantánamo and also the fate of former UK resident Shaker Aamer. Holder...

May 11 2011 3:56PM
Best not: Uganda contemplates death penalty for gay people

Good, better, best never let them rest, until the good is better, and the better is best.This chant was always a favourite for me and my sisters when we were little- not just because it is delightfully, if simplistically, phonetically...

May 10 2011 5:30PM
Egypt: one hand, but no iron fist

The appalling attacks on St Mena’s Coptic Christian church in the Imbaba suburb of Cairo at the weekend have, understandably, got everyone rattled. Violent clashes between Muslims and minority Christians are obviously the last thing...

May 9 2011 6:23PM
Europe's humanity is lost at sea when it comes to refugees

I had just one question when I read the Guardian’s story this morning about the boat full of refugees and migrants, lost in the Mediterranean, which was reportedly ignored by NATO vessels despite its distress pleas. No-one came to the...

May 6 2011 1:08PM
The tragedy of Misratah

If, like me, you caught this week’s gripping Channel 4 News report on the aid ship trying to get into the besieged port of Misratah in Libya, you’ll know what this post is about (if you didn’t, see it here). Reporter Alex Thomson...

May 5 2011 12:14PM
Ten reasons why we shouldnt accept the torture works argument following Osama Bin Ladens death

As the debate continues over "enhanced interrogation techniques" (ie torture) and how they have supposedly been shown to be effective because of Osama Bin Laden’s detection and death, here are ten reasons why we shouldn't accept the...

May 4 2011 7:38PM
Big Brother is back

Channel 4 might have jumped ship on that format, but here at Amnesty, we are still very into it. Today we released a new round of satellite images, which reveal the alarming rate at which secret prison camps in North Korea are...

May 3 2011 6:23PM
Bamboo sticks, batons and the Bank Holiday

I was on my way home from a long weekend in Norfolk yesterday when I took a call about torture. Sorry, enhanced interrogation techniques. Although I’d obviously already heard the shock news about Osama Bin Laden, it was tough to be...