Photo campaigning at the Belfast Festival

Sadly, not able to make to the opening concert tonight of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's. Valery Gergiev and St Petersburg's Mariinsky Orchestra both bring formidable reputations to Belfast and their version of Shostakovich's Leningrad should be an appropriately grand opener for Belfast's international festival.

While I'll not be at the Waterfront Hall to enjoy that concert, I and lots of Amnesty volunteers will be out in force at various Festival events over the next fortnight with our campaign for justice for Dr Binayak Sen.

He's a doctor in India, facing trumped up charges, as a result of him standing up for the rights of the poor of his area. We've adopted his case as the focus for Amnesty's campaign Belfast Festival at Queen's.

The campaign was launched yesterday with a demo in front of Queen's University, with lots of student group activists dressed as doctors parading – in chain gang fashion – the campus grounds. Over the next two weeks, the campaigners hope to get one thousand festival-goers to back the campaign by having their photograph taken as part of an online photo-petition.

So, if your're out and about around Queen's from now until the end of October, or if you're attending a Festival event, look out for Amnesty, grab a placard and have yourself 'papped' for justice.

Meanwhile, there's still time to get tickets for our great Stand Up For Justice comedy extravaganza at the Ulster Hall next Tuesday night. Top Scottish comic Jayne Godley (a regular five-star stand-up at Edinburgh fringe) has just joined the bill as MC for the night.

We've already got Edinburgh if.comedy award winner David O'Doherty, the camp kilt-wearer Craig Hill, Kevin Gildea, Maeve Higgins and Karl Spain. Unbeatable value and the best night's craic at this year's festival.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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