April 2012 (18)
Apr 30 2012 5:40PM
Bahrain’s screeching isn’t over yet
After recently blogging on the controversial Bahrain grand prix, I've just spent the past weekend in Italy listening to the interminable drone of cars at the Monza F1 track. Blimey. If you happen to like listening to what sounds like g...
Apr 27 2012 6:12PM
The great escape - Chen Guangcheng flees house arrest
Chen Guangcheng, the blind human rights activist and long-time Amnesty case, has escaped from house arrest in a dramatic bid to end the imprisonment and the severe harassment he has been subjected to for a year and a half. A self-taugh...
Apr 26 2012 5:41PM
No head of state should rest easy – today a precedent has been set – Taylor-made justice will catch up with you in the end
Justice is a dish best served, even if it is lukewarm, and today it has been . History was made when international judges in The Hague found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the S...
Apr 25 2012 2:22PM
Journalism is not all spattered by the mud of Leveson
With every revelation that spills out of the Leveson inquiry the reputation of journalism in the UK seems to sink deeper into the black, oozing mire. Hacking, blagging, deal-fixing … the allegations mount. Who would want to stand up fo...
Apr 24 2012 10:23AM
Will Europe take a stand on Islamaphobia?
On Sunday, France went to the polls in the first-round of their presidential election. Now while the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy slipped to second place – the first time a sitting president has failed to top the first-round poll since th...
Apr 23 2012 12:21PM
Shell 'inaccurate' figures exposed at start of Amnesty's week of action
So here it is our week of action on Shell. Let’s roll up the sleeves and begin. Now for those of you in the dark, big multi-national oil giant Shell has been at the centre of allegations that they’ve ruined the livelihoods of millions...
Apr 20 2012 6:05PM
Beyond the rhetoric and declarations - the reality for people living in South Sudan
A small Amnesty delegation has spent just over a week in South Sudan assessing the direct impact of the volatile situation on people living in region. Visiting the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan earlier this week, the message they we...
Apr 19 2012 5:40PM
Do you agree that the following is a leading question?
Q: Do you agree that human rights have become a charter for criminals and the undeserving? Apparently 75% of people in Britain do, according to this article in the Daily Mail. Bad news for Amnesty and for everyone interested in promoti...
Apr 17 2012 2:03PM
Why using the Bahrain Grand Prix as PR will backfire
If you’ve been bored enough to read my posts before you might have picked up a certain ... reticence when it comes to sport. In fact, I more or less turned my back on all sport a long time ago (this has absolutely nothing to do with th...
Apr 16 2012 1:50PM
The Angola 3: 100 years of solitude
I wrote about Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, two-thirds of the notorious “Angola 3” USA solitary confinement trio last June, and re-reading the post ( “Punished for Black Pantherism?” ) … I don’t think I have a lot to add to what I...
Apr 13 2012 6:01PM
Cameron in Burma
Another day, another Asia blog – but if North Korea are in the naughty corner, Burma is definitely on its way to top of the class status – on the surface at least. David Cameron was seen meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi today, and wit...
Apr 12 2012 5:42PM
To eternity, and beyond!
So, the world is braced for a rocket launch, the countdown is on. This isn’t just any rocket launch, this is a North Korean rocket launch and the prevailing feeling from the watching world is sheer terror, generally. Sometime over the...
Apr 11 2012 5:35PM
Humphrys goes to Africa
I think it was perhaps unfortunate that the first question I heard on the Today programme as I woke up this morning was this one: ‘it’s hard for someone who doesn’t know Africa well to understand how … people who use the bush as a toil...
Apr 10 2012 3:58PM
Until freedom or death: Abdulhadi al-Khawaja’s hunger strike
A question. What were you doing on Wednesday 8 February? Er, you probably don’t know. (Why would you?) Me neither. You’re even less likely to remember what you had to eat that day. Again, why on earth would you …? I mention it as 8 Feb...
Apr 5 2012 5:35PM
Cam on – roll up for a bird’s eye view of Ai Weiwei
At my family’s home up in Yorkshire, we are sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for the new season of our very own private screening of spring watch to kick off. We have installed a camera in a bird box, and are waiting for the e...
Apr 4 2012 5:09PM
Pussy Riot: a riot of their own
A little while ago I was blogging about protest songs and Bob Dylan . I'm sure you'll recall (!) that I was saying that Dylan's often described as a "protest singer" more because of his artistic decisions than the content of his songs....
Apr 3 2012 3:14PM
Arizona’s prisons: maxed out on sensory deprivation
With the “war on terror” interrogation and detention regimes of the last ten years we’ve heard a lot about sensory deprivation/overload techniques: hooding, placing people in cells without light (or constant 24-hour light), or subjecti...
Apr 2 2012 5:25PM
Aung San Suu Kyi's election is just the first step
Historic? Yes. Life-changing? Not yet. That’s my view on Aung San Suu Kyi’s election to the Burmese parliament. The leader of the National League of Democracy swept to victory in the Kawhmu by-election yesterday with an estimated 99 pe...