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October 2008 (28)
Oct 31 2008 1:50AM
A (controversial) sort of homecoming

Belfast is not a city unaccustomed to parades. From the orange of the Twelfth to the green of St Patrick’s Day to the pink of Pride, we delight in and despise them in all their hues. Yet this Sunday, Belfast’s streets will experience...

Oct 29 2008 7:44AM
Fifty Iraqi Kurds forcibly deported to Iraq

I am circulating this press release from my friend, Dashty, at the International Federaton of Iraqi Refugees, published today, and would urge all members and supporters of Amnesty to write to the new Immigration Minister to protest the...

Oct 26 2008 9:04PM
Poetic Redress: A night of "middle class c**ts acting out" at the Baby Grand, Belfast

The title refers to an anecdote from Glenn Patterson regarding an email he received from a friend about her feelings on human rights and those who would gather to discuss them at Thursday night's "Poetic redress" in the Opera House's...

Oct 26 2008 11:04AM
Stand Up For Justice - (almost) live blog #3

9:37 Andi Osho takes the stage. She’s from Newham – a dangerous place to have the Olympics. She tells us about living there. The word ‘chav’ features heavily in her comedic discourse as does a bit of MCing. Not the John Bishop sort of...

Oct 26 2008 10:57AM
Stand Up For Justice - (almost) live blog #2

8:48 Mike Wozniak takes the stage. He’s from Portsmouth, a town full of sailors. He has floppy hair and a moustache. He’s very popular in Portsmouth apparently. He tell us he’s never been to Ireland before, but his surreal, slightly...

Oct 26 2008 1:16AM
Stand Up For Justice - (almost) live blog

Stand Up For Justice returns to the Belfast Festival at Queen's for the sixth year running. Our regular Festival blogger, Mairead , has cried off, so I'm filling in for one night only. This should be live blogging but the Whitla Hall...

Oct 23 2008 1:34AM
Mary Robinson....take a bow.

This is the final blogging of the Mary Robinson Lecture for the Annual Amnesty International Lecture as part of the Queens Festival, Belfast. The previous two blogs can be found here and here After an uplifting speech peppered with...

Oct 23 2008 1:29AM
Mary Robinson....strike two!

* This is a continuation of a blogging of the Mary Robinson lecture given as The Annual Amnesty International Lecture as part of the Festival at Queens. 13.30 From calling on the ghosts of human rights past Dr. Robinson moved on to the...

Oct 22 2008 1:04AM
Laughing in the face of injustice

Human rights can be a serious business. Dealing with torture, wrongful imprisonment, war, extreme poverty and the rest mean that we at Amnesty are pretty serious people much of the time. That's as it should be. But we also love nothing...

Oct 21 2008 11:45PM
'Free and full' - Glenn Patterson, Article 29, UDHR

Brilliant Belfast writer Glenn Patterson (long-time host of the irregular literary fundraisers organised by the Belfast AI Group) will be taking part in the Amnesty International event 'Human Rights, Poetic Redress ' at the Belfast...

Oct 20 2008 7:09PM
Human rights and narrowing the scope for telling lies about the past

Some detailed leaks in the News Letter this morning about the supposed likely recommendations of the Eames-Bradley Consultative Group on the Past in Northern Ireland. As I have blogged before , their report isn't now due for...

Oct 20 2008 1:00AM
Hunger strike film opens in Belfast

Hunger , the film about the 1981 Irish republican hunger strike in Northern Ireland's Maze prison, has just had its official European premiere in Belfast, to a predictably controversial reception . Playwright Gary Mitchell ( about whom...

Oct 18 2008 9:54PM
Mary Robinson in Belfast - Irish News TV report

Mary Robinson delivers the tenth Amnesty International Annual Lecture in Belfast at the start of the Belfast Festival at Queen's. Short filmed report courtesy of Irish News TV (click to view).

Oct 17 2008 7:19PM
Mary Robinson: Queens' Festival Annual Amnesty International Lecture

The idea today had been for me to do a live blogging of Mary Robinson's presentation at this year's Queen's Annual Amnesty International Lecture. Alas due to low wireless reception this was not to be. So what I did instead was log...

Oct 16 2008 9:34PM
'An anthem for the king' - Article 28, UDHR

Award-winning Limerick-born writer Kevin Barry will be taking part in the Amnesty International event 'Human Rights, Poetic Redress ' at the Belfast Festival at Queen's next Thursday (23rd October) at 6:30pm in The Baby Grand. He will...

Oct 14 2008 1:39PM
42 days: how Northern Ireland peers voted

I have now had a chance to consult Hansard for yesterday's Lords' vote on the '42 days' counter-terrorism proposals and am happy to report that our noble peers from Northern Ireland voted an overwhelming 8 – 2 against the government...

Oct 13 2008 10:19PM
Home Secretary lashes out as 42 days defeated... for now

Disgraceful speech from the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith this evening, as she dropped proposals for 42 days detention without charge, yet announced a new piece of counter-terrorism legislation to contain similar proposals in response to...

Oct 13 2008 8:56PM
Lords rout government to defend liberties

Well done to the 309 peers who stood up and were counted this evening in defence of UK civil liberties by soundly defeating the government 's plans to extend the limit on pre-charge detention of terror suspects to 42 days. Amnesty was...

Oct 9 2008 11:27PM
1968: Year of Human Rights

The United Nations General Assembly had designated the year 1968 as the International Year of Human Rights . To many on the streets of Derry/Londonderry in 1968, the designation seemed ironic. Derry Housing Action Committee took care...

Oct 9 2008 1:57AM
Poems for human rights - your suggestions please

I've spent the last few hours reading about torture and genocide and it's time to elevate the mind to finer things before bed. It's National Poetry Day , so I have chosen my favourite human rights poem and reproduced it below for our...