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March 2009 (19)
Mar 31 2009 1:06PM
Womens Human Rights in Afghanistan

Its always a very difficult tight-rope to walk between cultural sensitivity and insisting that the rights of women and minorities are respected. However I will come down firmly on the side of upholding human rights, this is...

Mar 31 2009 10:57AM
'Is this the start of our troubles?'

(continued from 'How do we respond to a time of threat? Lawfully.') Dame Nuala O'Loan is a solicitor and former law lecturer and was Northern Ireland's first Police Ombudsman from 1999 to 2007. She is the Irish government's special...

Mar 30 2009 8:57PM
'How do we respond to a time of threat? Lawfully.'

Policing and oversight at times of threat – how to respond (report continued from: Omagh: 'You can kill 31 people and get away with it') Chaired by Margaret Ritchie MLA, this was the second of three sessions presented at the SDLP...

Mar 30 2009 1:37AM
Omagh: 'You can kill 31 people and get away with it'

The Omagh bombing, the Panorama programme and the needs of victims (report continued from Omagh bombing: 'Sir Hugh can't have it both ways' ) Michael Gallagher lost his 21 year-old son Aiden in the Omagh bomb. With other families he...

Mar 30 2009 1:18AM
Omagh bombing: 'Sir Hugh Orde can't have it both ways'

The Omagh bombing, the Panorama programme and the needs of victims Chaired by Alban Maginness MLA, this was the first of three sessions presented at the SDLP seminar, 'Policing and its oversight at times of threat', held on Saturday in...

Mar 27 2009 6:10PM
Being John Ging

John Ging looks and sounds like someone you know well already, his was the voice of outrage over the extremities of the gaza incursion in January 2009. John Ging, Director Operations in Gaza for the UN Refugee and Works agency ex Irish...

Mar 26 2009 2:56PM
Policing and it's oversight at times of threat

Ten years on from the landmark Patten report on policing in Northern Ireland, authored by former Conservative minister and Hong Kong governor general Chris Patten, this Saturday the SDLP are to stage a half-day conference on "policing...

Mar 24 2009 3:27PM
The Secret Policeman's Fall

Secret Policeman on the loose in Britain. Whodda thought? Well done to my Amnesty colleagues whose persistence appears to be paying off in the case of Remzi Hoxha, who is believed to have died under torture at the hands of the Albanian...

Mar 23 2009 8:08PM
Modern liberty on the Northern Ireland blogosphere

Just a quick blog about a spirited debate happening over at our friends 'Slugger O'Toole'! In an interview for the Observer Gordon Brown has been framing his drive for security on the recent situation over here. Slugger blogger Brian...

Mar 20 2009 3:38PM
Ulster should say 'yes' to Guantánamo prisoners

Northern Irish politicians have never been shy about going cap in hand to Washington to ask for help with our political and economic problems. They were there again this week for the annual St Patrick's Day shindiggery. Now it's time...

Mar 20 2009 9:25AM
Prisoner Abuse: From Abu Ghraib to The Passion of the Christ

Can't resist the provocative title of this public lecture, being staged next Thursday evening at the University of Ulster's Belfast campus. It is a Lenten initiative from the University chaplaincy and will be delivered by Dr David...

Mar 17 2009 11:16AM
Radio Ulster: An unhappy St Patricks Day for immigrants

Radio Ulster responded to messages from the Refugee Action Group and ran a piece about the UK Border Agency's St Patrick's Day enforcement operations on 'Good Morning Ulster' this morning.You can listen to it online here (just scroll...

Mar 13 2009 1:06AM
Obama's war: follow the money

"Just … follow the money" was the advice given by Deep Throat to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward in the brilliant 1976 film All the President's Men. It is sage advice to which I frequently turn when trying to get a handle on...

Mar 11 2009 2:57PM
Thousands Rally for Peace

I have just attended the Peace Rally at the City hall in Belfast. I stood alongside trade unionists, unionists, republicans, nationalists, socialists, parents, young people a complete cross section of Northern Irish society. We all...

Mar 11 2009 10:17AM
Northern Ireland bloggers for peace

I see that BBC online has picked up on my blog about the killings in Northern Ireland and used it to reflect on some of the opinion being aired in the blogosphere. From my scanning of some my usual and not so unusual blog haunts, I'd...

Mar 9 2009 11:45PM
Shadow of the gunman lengthens

I'm from Antrim. Born and brought up there. Eighteen years. I know it well. Including the gates of Massareene army barracks where two soldiers were shot dead and four others, squaddies and civilians alike, were left wounded on the...

Mar 5 2009 7:14PM
When the Dalai Lama rocked the Ulster Hall

The wonderful Ulster Hall re-opens tomorrow after two years' closure for refurbishment. The opening programme will have something for everyone – from Stiff Little Fingers to the Ulster Orchestra – and seems designed to rekindle fond...

Mar 4 2009 8:50PM
Progress of Sorts on the Devolution of Policing and Justice

In Westminster today the second reading of the Bill to Devolve Policing and Justice to Northern Ireland has received some staunch support from the Secretary of State Shaun Woodward. A BBC report on the proceedings indicates that Mr...

Mar 3 2009 12:45AM
The Perils of Politicising the Transfer of Policing and Justice Powers to Northern Ireland.

With the dust settled on Belfast's link up with the Modern Liberty Convention in London, it is time to take stock of all that has been achieved. As a paying customer I found the convention to be a resounding success thanks to the...