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Aug 23 2011 2:20PM
Between a rock and a hard place: Egypt’s slum dwellers

During Egypts historic uprising in January and February one of the popular chants in places like Tahrir Square was bread, freedom and social justice. Its maybe not as snappy as Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! / Out! Out! Out!, but it neatly...

Aug 22 2011 3:14PM
Libya’s momentous weekend

I was at a music event in east London on Saturday night (watching the rather manic band Atomic Suplex, if you’re interested …) when I starting seeing excited tweets on my phone about how Libyan rebels were closing in on Tripoli. After...

Aug 9 2011 2:23PM
Policing protest: from Hackney to Hama

Theresa May has (ahem) poured cold water on the idea of water cannon being used to quell the disturbances. Neither do we seem to be looking at the use of rubber bullets, tear gas or the possibility (as called for by my mum on the phone...

Aug 5 2011 6:30PM
Lack of evidence? Don’t let that deter you. Hang ‘em high!

Following Guido Fawkes’ little blaze (ahem) of publicity with his “bring back hanging” e-petition campaign, there’s been a lot of stuff (including from him) about the supposed “deterrence” of having a noose in the criminal justice...

Aug 4 2011 6:21PM
Shell’s clammy hand in the Niger Delta

For a company whose logo is the shell of a giant clam, a marine and freshwater creature millions of years old, it's ironic that Royal Dutch Shell is so cavalier about the pollution of watercourses that its operations frequently cause...

Aug 2 2011 5:31PM
Hammering Hama: Syria on the edge

Reports that people in the besieged city of Hama in Syria have been burying people in public gardens ought to be a wake-up call. The Guardian’s correspondent in the country says the onslaught on Hama by Syria’s security forces in the...

Aug 1 2011 6:52PM
Blind justice? The case of Ameneh Bahrami

Anyone who’s seen the horrendous damage done to the face (and other parts of the body) of Ameneh Bahrami in an acid attack in Iran will be appalled. Her assailant, Majid Movahedi, apparently committed this disgusting crime because she...

Jul 27 2011 2:34PM
A world of pain: executions in Minsk, in Gaza … in Florida?

Last week I blogged about some grotesque public executions in Iran – “bus hangings” – where three men were put on buses and then hanged from a road bridge. This week it’s a (no-less grotesque) execution in Belarus, two in Gaza and –...

Jul 26 2011 2:20PM
Does the Saudi Arabian government read George Orwell?

I was having an Orwellian “moment” last night. First, watching Channel 4 News, I caught an item about how the Chinese authorities are trying to control reporting of the bullet train crash. They’ve been texting journalists with (pretty...

Jul 22 2011 3:11PM
Don’t look now? Video of hangings in Iran

I think there are some things Id almost rather not see. Witnessing an act of cruelty is itself mentally painful. For instance my girlfriend will positively not look at (or even hear accounts of) anything to do with animal cruelty, and...

Jul 21 2011 2:07PM
We are 1,000 today!

Yes, this is the 1,000th post on this humble PRESS RELEASE ME, LET ME GO blog. That’s around four years’ worth of blogging, Monday-Friday, on human rights issues in the news (and sometimes things that are not in the news but arguably...

Jul 19 2011 1:47PM
Syria: another BRIC in the wall?

The situation in Syria is truly brutal and you wonder how bad it has to get before the United Nations Security Council will do something about it. What is the Security Council for if not to step in when something like 1,500 people have...

Jul 6 2011 9:07AM
Syria: how much more horror …?

Earlier in the week I watched that video clip where a person using a video camera to film events (said to be in Homs, Syria) appears to be shot by a person in uniform seen pointing his weapon towards the camera. Quite honestly, it’s...

Jul 1 2011 11:58AM
A not-so-happy birthday for Ramze Shihab Amhed

The last time I blogged about Ramze Shihab Ahmed, the dual Iraqi-UK national detained in Iraq, things were well, extremely uncertain. They still are. Today is his birthday (hes 69). But I dont think hell be celebrating. Ramze remains...

Jun 29 2011 5:06PM
Tahrir Square: unfinished business

The new clashes in Tahrir Square are a blunt reminder of the fact that Egypt’s “25 January” revolution is unfinished business. To say the least…. Many of the people protesting in the square and surrounding streets are reported to be...

Jun 24 2011 2:28PM
Smashing the Twitter nut with a Kuwaiti sledgehammer

Like a lot of people, I’ve occasionally been guilty of tweeting in haste and repenting at leisure. When I say repent, I mean: feel slightly embarrassed that I’ve sent a tweet marred by a spelling mistake or containing a faulty link...

Jun 16 2011 6:12PM
Poetry: a jailing offence in Bahrain

“Free Ayat now, Amnesty tells Bahrain regime”, says a headline in the Independent today, and yes, that’s exactly what ought to happen. Ayat al-Qarmezi (sometimes transliterated as Gormezi) is the 20-year-old Bahraini student and poet...

Jun 10 2011 6:07PM
Bahrain: human rights in the pits

As attentive readers of this blog may have noticed (well, very attentive), I’ve made the occasional mention of how I’m often in Italy (Italian girlfriend, I have to keep her happy). Her place is in the north, not far from Milan. In...

Jun 7 2011 12:54PM
The Angola 3: punished for Black Pantherism?

When people heard about the punitive conditions that the US soldier Bradley Manning was enduring in prison in Virginia there was (rightly) an international outcry. The same can be said – multiplied by nearly four decades – about Albert...

Jun 3 2011 6:01PM
Dinosaur rock comes of age: Roger Waters and 'Hey Ayatollah!'

When I was getting into music in my teens in the late 70s it was deeply uncool to like "old" stuff. The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, Blondie, The Undertones, The Ruts, The Specials, Stiff Little Fingers. This was all...