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July 2008 (22)
Jul 31 2008 7:15PM
Amnesty bigger than UK political parties

The Daily Telegraph today reports (somewhat gleefully) on the declining membership of the Labour Party and the UK's political parties genrally. Labour Party member numbers are down from a 1997 high of 405,000 to only 177,000 today...

Jul 29 2008 4:45PM
Tatchell: Iris Robinson has united the gay community

Peter Tatchell and last night's Amnesty International Pride Lecture have been at the centre of something of a Northern Ireland media storm for the last couple of days. Peter, with his widely reported comments on Iris Robinson MP, King...

Jul 28 2008 1:06PM
King Billy: an early champion of gay rights?

You have to hand it to Peter Tatchell. The veteran gay rights campaigner – who will be giving the Amnesty International Pride Lecture this evening – really knows how to maximise media attention. In the wake of Iris Robinson MP's...

Jul 27 2008 3:05AM
4,000 US Deaths, and a Handful of Images

A New York Times story of this headline raises important questions about freedom of the press in reporting an unpopular war, which has now generated over 4,000 US fatalities and over 170 UK military deaths, including two from Northern...

Jul 27 2008 2:12AM
Thomas Paine on the BBC

As previously blogged in more detail, the BBC is broadcasting a two-part radio play on the life of early human rights advocate and activist (and much more), Thomas Paine. First part was broadcast today on Radio 4 as its Saturday play...

Jul 25 2008 1:24AM
Obama: Ich Bin Ein Skeptiker

The rest of the world is destined to be disappointed by every American President. This is normal. Don't be depressed. Don't be surprised. American Presidents look after American interests, not European or anyone else's. Sometimes our...

Jul 22 2008 11:35PM
Let's tell Iris Robinson where she can stick it!

That's the rather piquant name of a Facebook group at the heart of a fightback against homophobia in Northern Ireland. The four thousand-strong campaign group on the social networking site is just one element of an online and offline...

Jul 22 2008 10:10PM
Tom Paine and The Rights of Man

It may soon be the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but December 10th 1948 – albeit a massively significant moment – was not the starting point for human rights. We could have a long argument about...

Jul 17 2008 8:35PM
'Outsourcing abuse'

There is a lot to be said for 'bringing human rights home'. I personally believe that, as individuals and humans, we have the moral authority to criticise other countries and others' governments for human rights abuses. If this was not...

Jul 15 2008 2:21PM
Is Northern Ireland fuelling genocide in Darfur?

Could Northern Ireland be helping to fuel genocide in Darfur? That's the almost incredible prospect opened up by new revelations from the BBC. I have previously blogged about the possibility that Northern Ireland companies could be...

Jul 14 2008 12:22AM
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is a recently published book which has now reached the American bestseller lists without having received a single review in the mainstream American media. Irony knowing no bounds, the New...

Jul 11 2008 10:04AM
The law cannot make a man love me... #2

It's July 11th. This time last year I was prompted to write on the personal and political significance of the date in Northern Ireland. A few people were kind enough to remark positively on the piece. Given the day that's in it, our...

Jul 10 2008 1:00AM
'No-one gives a damn about civil liberties

Bob Marshall-Andrews, QC and rebel Labour MP, has joined the campaign to elect David Davis in todays Haltemprice and Howden by-election as a means of defending UK domestic human rights. Writing in the Yorkshire Post, he takes a tilt at...

Jul 9 2008 10:22AM
42 days sentenced by Lords

That's the verdict given by long-time Westminster-watcher Brian Walker over at Slugger O'Toole, full of choice quotes from the good Lords, but rounded off with this assessment from Walker: "It’s very hard to see how 42 days can survive...

Jul 8 2008 10:22PM
Advertising rights

I came across a fine bit of creative campaigning and locally targetted advertising by pressure group Unlock Democracy (successor of Charter 88). They have taken out wraparound advertising in two local freesheets, East Riding Advertiser...

Jul 8 2008 6:25PM
US tries to dodge cluster bomb ban

In Dublin in May, 111 countries agreed to ban cluster bombs. The United States didn't show up for the conference and, according to a report in The Guardian, has now published its response: to reduce the number of unexploded bomblets...

Jul 7 2008 2:58PM
Will Lords restore Northern Ireland's reputation at Westminster?

Will Northern Ireland's (non-DUP) Lords help restore Northern Ireland's Westminster reputation when the Government's counter-terrorism Bill comes to the upper house tomorrow? When the government won the vote at the Bill's first reading...

Jul 6 2008 11:28PM
Protesting detentions in the War on Terror

Where human subjectivity continues to be celebrated, and the potential of connection, solidarity or relationship, advocated through protest or letter-writing, a better future must surely soon materialize. Committed readers of this blog...

Jul 5 2008 8:20PM
UN checks on Northern Ireland Bill of Rights progress

The two-day conference staged by the Human Rights Consortium in Belfast last week was a confident assertion of the continued determination of Northern Ireland civil society to secure a Bill of Rights worthy of the name. The current...

Jul 5 2008 5:02PM
Hello from the Belfast Youth Group!

This is Laura from the Belfast Amnesty Youth Group – the first non-school youth group in Northern Ireland. This is just an outline of who we are, and saying hello! We've been running since the end of February 2008. Our meetings were...