All eyes on Burma

We are all watching the events unfolding in Burma today and - like others - giving comment, calling for the UN to send a mission to help resolve the crisis and urging the countries with most influence China, India and Japan to help ensure that the bloodbath of 1988 is not repeated. Again, the Independents coverage is fantastic and to some extent the other papers are playing catch-up Burma was their front page weeks ago.

Ive been on demos and marches myself with Amnesty, but never one where the threat of being shot hangs over the demonstrators. You have got to admire the bravery of the monks and other Burmese civilians who continue to stand up for human rights despite the increasing military presence. Our new colleague Niall has leapt straight in at the deep end and has been giving interviews on the issue hes now down at a demo outside the Burmese embassy in London. There's another demo tomorrow - come and join us outside the Burmese embassy at midday.

As if things werent busy enough, we are also launching a new short film today at the Labour Party conference, produced by Nick Broomfield, which highlights the plight of refused asylum seekers in the UK who are forced into destitution when their support is cut off by the government. The film is a bit of a new direction for us the idea is that Amnesty activists use the film as a campaigning tool and show it to their MPs to get them to help change government policy. The film is called Still Human Still Here: The Destitution of Refused Asylum Seekers and the launch event is at 6.30pm today at, Punshon Memorial Church, Bournemouth. If youre down that way do come along.

And then the Met police also announced today that it will start handing out Taser stun guns to non-firearms officers as part of a pilot project. Were really worried about this as theres a real chance it will be the start of a slippery slope towards greater arming of the police and wider Taser use. Youll have seen the Youtube footage of someone being Tasered just for failing to show their library card in the US do we want that kind of policing over here?

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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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