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April 2009 (24)
Apr 27 2009 12:40PM
Recession: no excuse to trample on refugee rights

It's Community Relations Week in Northern Ireland, with the theme this year being how community divisions hamper our economy. The call for more action by politicians on community relations will receive the backing of business leaders...

Apr 26 2009 12:06PM
Gay rights, modern art and why Belfast is 10 years behind Glasgow

I find myself at Glasgow's wonderful Gallery of Modern Art, right in the heart of the city and just a short toddle from Border's bookstore, one of my favourite Clydeside haunts. I'm there for the sh[OUT] exhibition – contemporary art...

Apr 24 2009 1:53PM
Tweet to help Amnesty win $100k for human rights!

Get tweeting! Having just become a Twitter / tweeter, I am fresh with the enthusiasm of a recent convert to this abbreviated social networking platform. If you're not yet tweeting, here's one good reason to get onsite now. Hollywood...

Apr 24 2009 12:52PM
Ulster teacher tells world's racists to '#@?# off!'

The rest of the world's leaders may have been (conveniently) scared off by the presence of controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but it takes more than a fiery speech to keep a Belfast teacher at bay. Especially when...

Apr 20 2009 12:56AM
BOOK REVIEW: A Problem from Hell - America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power

A Problem from Hell – America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power (Paperback, 656 pages, Flamingo, rrp £10.99, available £7.69) Genocide is back in the news. Who would have thought? There are allegations of genocide on Tamils made...

Apr 16 2009 2:29PM
Walzing with Bashir

Watching Walzing with Bashir is a traumatising experience. This important film in Hebrew, written and directed by Israeli Ari Folman, challenges Israeli collective amnesia about their involvement in the Lebanese war in 1982 ; and...

Apr 15 2009 10:48AM
Never mind the 'First Pooch', Obama's done a Cheney!

Our friends over at Human Rights Now, the Amnesty USA blog, are reporting a worrying resort by President Obama to the unaccountable, limitless Executive power so beloved by his predecessor in the White House. "Last Friday, the Obama...

Apr 9 2009 1:38PM
Who guards the guards?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about an approaching SDLP seminar on the oversight of policing in times of threat. With the events in London of recent days – rough-house public policing, followed by attempts to obfuscate; blundered...

Apr 5 2009 1:59PM
AGM '09: twenty things wot we have learned (#12)

1. Student accommodation has not improved one iota since I were a lad. 2. AIUK Chairperson Tom Hedley's official Amnesty age is twenty-nine-and-a-half. He must have started young. 3. I too am getting older. Last night, as I was bed...

Apr 5 2009 1:38PM
AGM '09: David Petrasek - poverty & human rights (#11)

David Petrasek is the special advisor to AI Secretary General Irene Khan and co-author, with Irene, of the book Unheard Truths – human rights and poverty (to be published later in 2009). 11:35am Petrasek delivers a thoughtful speech...

Apr 5 2009 12:02PM
AGM '09: Sunday morning voting (#10)

8:46am It may be Sunday morning after the Saturday night before, but there's a big crowd in the auditorium for the continuation of the great democratic process. AIUK's national conference isn't like a party political affair when the...

Apr 4 2009 10:13PM
AGM '09: Voices from the frontline (#9)

This session is chaired by James Savage, manager of AIUK's programme for individuals at risk, and presents an opportunity to hear directly from and to speak to some of those overseas human rights defenders on whose behalf and with whom...

Apr 4 2009 7:36PM
AGM '09: voting on journalists, Israel and boycotts (#8)

5:30pm We are about to get serious – serious topics, serious votes. I'm already feeling seriously grumpy. I picked a 200/1 outsider for the Grand National in the Amnesty sweepstake. Then I missed the race (too busy protesting against...

Apr 4 2009 6:36PM
AGM '09: 'Show of voting cards, please' - individuals at risk & Burma (#7)

5:00pm After the preparatory debates in the working parties of earlier today, the conference now moves on to take resolutions in plenary session and to either endorse or discard the proposals. First up for debate are two fairly non...

Apr 4 2009 4:32PM
AGM '09: Ed Husain on challenging Islamism (#6)

2:20pm Given the enormity of my cooked breakfast this morning, I really didn't need the pasta, chips, salad, carrot cake and two cups of coffee that constituted my lunch. But hey, a campaigner has to eat and at least it helped fuel my...

Apr 4 2009 1:17PM
AGM '09: debating and voting (#5)

11:15am The four working parties are the fora where much of the substantive debate and discussion about each of the proposed resolutions takes place. It's where the key arguments for and against are put, where amendments (friendly or...

Apr 4 2009 11:26AM
AGM '09: Treasurer's report (#4)

10:03am Glyn Isherwood, AIUK's treasurer, comes to the podium to lead us through our annual examination of the numbers. With economics dominating the world's headlines, backs are a little straighter and eyes a little less glazed-over...

Apr 4 2009 11:03AM
AGM '09: Kate Allen, Director's speech (#3)

9:10am Kate Allen, AIUK director takes the stage. She casts her mind back to 1999, one of the last times we gathered in Swansea. Amnesty's campaign for former-General Pinochet of Chile to be brought to justice; the refugee flows out of...

Apr 4 2009 10:28AM
AGM '09: Saturday morning / opening - (#2)

8:40am A powerful Amnesty video opposing torture is screened. A shocked set of delegates eventually remembers to applaud. Hell of a start to Saturday morning. AIUK Chair Tom Hedley welcomes delegates to the Taliesin theatre for the...

Apr 3 2009 8:29PM
Can you volunteer for RAG's immigration detention helpline?

Do you want to support refugees and other immigrants? Can you be on call for one night per week from 5 PM until 9 AM? If so, then you could be a Refugee Action Group (RAG) helpline volunteer. The Refugee Action Group (RAG) is setting...