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August 2006 (12)
Aug 31 2006 11:32AM
Behind the Berlin Wall

Anna Funder in her book Stasiland paints a picture of what life was like in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down. The Stasi were the secret police. It was a very effective police state, with an extensive network of informers...

Aug 27 2006 9:29PM
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas has written a book titled 'As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade' which I have started to read. I have seen Mark Thomas on television a few times so I already knew that I...

Aug 27 2006 8:19PM
Falun Gong

I have been trying to understand why the government of China tries so hard to suppress Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. It is a practice involving slow gentle movements and meditation. Three of its key values are truth, compassion...

Aug 23 2006 2:31PM
Extra cruelty

Amnesty invites you to take action for Ahraf Kalhori, a mother of four children, who faces death by stoning for adultery. A death sentence is in itself cruel and inhumane but then to choose a method that makes the dying slow and...

Aug 17 2006 7:04PM
Creative minds

Writers suffer persecution in many countries of the world. English PEN is part of an international organisation campaigning against this persecution. Other creative people also can fall foul of the authorities, for instance comedians...

Aug 17 2006 12:06PM

In an appendix to his novel 1984, Orwell gives a description of Newspeak. It is a language based on English but it makes discussion or even thought of freedom or rebellion impossible by the removal of words and phrases. The book 1984...

Aug 16 2006 9:20PM
Open up if you have nothing to hide

Openness allows everyone to see that things are being done properly and fairly, in accordance with laws. Amnesty International sometimes sends observers to trials but in other cases they may not be allowed. I wonder whether there is...

Aug 11 2006 3:30PM
Andizhan Massacre

A peaceful protest ended up with hundreds dead. Amnesty International pressed for an investigation of the fatal violence. The government of Uzbekistan rejected all calls for an independent, international investigation into what...

Aug 9 2006 5:14PM
Control Arms: Why stop at a million?

I am pleased to see that the counter is still going up for the number of people who have joined the Million Faces petition.

Aug 9 2006 2:57PM
Export of arms

MPs highlight loopholes in UK arms legislation:"The MPs have asked the Government to explain why exports of weapons are granted to destinations listed as 'countries of concern' in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Annual Report on...

Aug 7 2006 12:56PM
Peaceful mass protest leads to massacre

Trawling through history that should not be forgotten I have come up with an event in August 1819, in St Peter's Field, Manchester, England. It started with a peaceful gathering of about 50 000 people, radical protesters. One...

Aug 6 2006 4:55PM
Global arms treaty: when?

The Control Arms campaign in a statement dated 24 July, 2006 welcomes Arms Trade Treaty proposal. Ambassadors of seven countries, including the United Kingdom, have written to all governments to try to keep going towards the goal of an...