Dec 14 2010 9:03PM
Derry couple's human rights court victory today

The right to marry is protected by Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In today’s Chamber judgment in the case O’Donoghue and Others v. the United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that...

May 9 2010 12:26PM
An American Supermax cell - our human future?

"He will be confined in a cell 7 feet by 12 feet, with a moulded concrete bunk; his food will be delivered through a slot in the door; external communication, even with a doctor, will come via a closed-circuit television in his cell...

Sep 6 2009 11:25AM
RIP Abeer Qassim Al-Janabi (2006), David Kelly (2003) and 100,000 others

I am pleased that Canadian playwright, Judith Thompson, won the 2009 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for her political play Palace of the End. This post is perhaps premature, as I haven’t read the play yet, but this...

Aug 29 2009 10:50AM
Romanian evictions:  a political matter not a private one...

The recent evictions of Romanians from a house in South Belfast should be considered a political matter concerning civil and socio-economic rights, rather than as a purely private dispute between individuals. Commenting on the latest...

Aug 14 2009 9:53AM
Cause for celebration:  Hicham Yezza is free

Some good news: I’ve just heard that Hicham Yezza has been freed from prison. Hicham, a member of staff in the Faculty of Modern Languages at Nottingham University, was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on 14 May 2008. As reported...

Jul 14 2009 6:23AM
Immigration Minister's woeful reply to policy criticisms

The Immigration Minister’s failure to engage with genuine criticisms of new immigration controls betrays his appeasement of the far right minority and constitutes a failure for freedom of expression, cultural association and freedom of...

Jun 21 2009 2:47PM
Shockwaves:  Romanians in Belfast

The recent racist attacks against migrant workers have turned my stomach. But two things have shocked me more than the attacks themselves. The first shock was the police tactics in dealing with this crisis. The Romanians have...

Jun 12 2009 1:11PM
NEW IMMIGRATION DETENTION EMERGENCY HELPLINE

NEW IMMIGRATION DETENTION EMERGENCY HELPLINE The Refugee Action Group (RAG) is pleased to announce the launch of its out-of-hours Immigration Detention Emergency Helpline which goes live on 15 June 2009. RAG aims to be an independent...

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...

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...

Feb 22 2009 9:28PM
UK exports £20m arms to Israel?  Legal challenge.

I wouldn't normally copy-and-paste a press release without commentary as it's a rather lazy form of blogging, but in this case, it's an urgent press release: all in London should turn up at the court to show support. Good on veteran...

Feb 7 2009 9:10PM
Beyond Guantanamo:  the inhuman body of the iconic face

Tony Blair famously said that Guantanamo bay is ‘an anomaly’. House of Lords Law Lord, Lord Steyn, called Guantanamo Bay a ‘legal black hole’. Both these descriptions would help us believe that, if carried out, Obama’s pledges to close...

Jan 11 2009 9:37PM
Tiken Jah Fakoly singing for freedom (video)

Go to youtube url here. Enjoy! This inspiring video feeds my new year's hopes for an end to immigration control. Reggae superstar, Tiken Jah Fakoly, singing here, was featured in the documentary film, 'An Independent Mind', directed by...

Dec 30 2008 8:02PM
New Year's Wishes

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice." - Arnold...

Nov 30 2008 7:06PM
Be what?  Be human?

The new 'Bs' of Belfast got me reflecting on what it is to 'be'. I'm afraid that this alliterative campaign first brought to my mind an anecdote I learnt as a child growing up on the edge of the damp dump (sorry, picturesque Victorian...

Nov 12 2008 8:14PM
Iraqi sanctions:  567,000 of the dead children under the age of five

A trawl through some of the online responses to the coverage of Bilal Abdulla's words on Iraq at his ongoing trial reveals a predictable variety of replies from some who find his views totally unacceptable, to those who are willing to...

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 6 2008 3:46PM
New Minister not welcome

The appointment of Phil Woolas as the new Minister for Immigration is not good news for anyone dreaming of, or trying to hold on to, an anti-racist society that welcomes newcomers. One blog noted earlier this year, when Woolas was...

Oct 5 2008 8:55PM
Campaign against criminalising immigrants:  a call to Belfast students

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has recognised the realities of migrants' lives in his call for migration not to be criminalised. Thomas Hammerberg says: “…many migrants cannot claim refugee status, even if their...

Aug 19 2008 8:49PM
UN criticises UK human rights record

Benjamin Zephaniah, the Rastafarian dub poet, was recently talking on Radio 4 about the focus on China's human rights record during the Olympics. The gist of what Zephaniah said was: how would the UK react when London holds the...

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