March 2008 (16)
Mar 29 2008 11:27PM
Civil rights at 40 anniversary programme
As previously blogged , the launch of a programme of events by the Civil Rights 1968 Commemoration Commmittee was held on Thursday evening in Belfast's Linenhall Library. The 2nd floor was thick with leaders and activists from 40 years...
Mar 28 2008 8:13PM
Northern Ireland Bill of Rights moves a step closer
You can read a work-in-progress version of the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum's proposals over at Mark Devenport's BBC politics blog . There is a lot more work still to happen before close of business on Saturday afternoon / eve...
Mar 25 2008 4:44PM
We shall overcome: civil rights at 40
I hope to get along to the launch of the programme later this week of a series of commemorative events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Northern Ireland civil rights movement . Of course, the local civil rights movement neither star...
Mar 25 2008 3:49PM
Tasers: PSNI operational guidelines published - by us
In the interests of transparent and accountable policing, I am publishing here the PSNI's operational policy and guidance on the use of Tasers , which I have obtained through a Freedom of Information enquiry. You can follow my blog tra...
Mar 25 2008 12:08PM
Who will guard the guards?  
Privacy International listed the UK as the leading surveillance society in the EU in 2007 in its survey of 47 countries. The UK is the only country within the EU to be classified as ‘an endemic surveillance society’. It finds itself in...
Mar 19 2008 4:59PM
Iraq: Belfast and the countdown to war #2
I previously blogged about the two big peace rallies held five years ago in Belfast in response to the preparations for and the onset of the war in Iraq. Here, as a follow-up, I thought I'd post the text of the speech I gave in front o...
Mar 16 2008 2:37PM
Amnesty activist elected President!
No, not that presidency! Congratulations to Ciarnán Helferty who has recently been elected new President of Queen's University Belfast Students Union . Ciarnán is currently the Welfare Officer at the students' union and also has recent...
Mar 14 2008 5:41PM
Amnesty lifts lid on Shannon role in torture programme
Amnesty International has revealed that a Gulfstream V jet – nicknamed the 'torture taxi' – used in the 'rendition' of a Yemeni man, was refuelled at Shannon Airport the day before it was used to move him from Baghdad to Kabul. Khaled...
Mar 14 2008 5:14PM
Women trapped in violence
The Belfast AI office did some media work around the launch of Amnesty and Southall Black Sisters' new report, 'No Recourse' No Safety , this week. The report highlights the difficulties faced by women with insecure immigration status...
Mar 14 2008 9:14AM
Iraq: Belfast and the countdown to war
Belfast-born writer Ronan Bennett has created a series of ten-minute films for the BBC about the countdown to the invasion of Iraq, which took place five years ago. Ten days to war is currently being broadcast on BBC2 just before Newsn...
Mar 13 2008 4:30PM
A triple ring of security around Britain
TheHome Secretary yesterdayset out her plans for a “triple ring of security aroundBritain”. This “triple ring” entails the funding of new SpecialBranch police to patrol UK borders; tougher checks at borders and ID cards forforeign nati...
Mar 13 2008 9:47AM
A crazy upside down world
So apparently not content with bombing their country into the stone-age, the Government wants to send 1400 "failed" asylum seekers back to Iraq; this is despite the UNHCR consider it unsafe to return refugees to central or Southern Ira...
Mar 12 2008 10:47PM
Irene Khan: Northern Ireland's own
Northern Ireland's very own Irene Khan is featured in a fascinating profile in today's Guardian (well if the Belfast media has the cheek to claim Katie Melua, then I think we are well within our rights to claim Amnesty's Secretary Gene...
Mar 11 2008 1:09PM
School girls get a rough deal
Three reports which have been launched in the last week into the human rights of girls have left me feeling slightly depressed: Safer schools: Every Girls Right is an Amnesty International report exploring the experience of girls from...
Mar 10 2008 8:58PM
Torture - 1970s Northern Ireland; 21st century world
There’s a debate under way (I’ve joined in myself) over at the BBC NI-hosted blog, Will and Testament , about torture, the CIA and why “good people turn evil”. The debate is prompted by a book , interview and slideshow (horrific pictur...
Mar 10 2008 4:30PM
A Week Is a Long Time in Amnesty
So a busy week last week in the Amnesty Office I have just cherry picked a few of the activities to give you a flavour. Monday saw the launch of Making the Grade Northern Ireland , Amnesty working as part of the End Violence Against Wo...