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The dog ate my homework...

My first day back at work after a year’s maternity leave – with a horrible feeling of being back at school and not having done my homework!

I might foolishly have hoped that after a whole year away from Amnesty I’d come back to find the international human rights situation vastly improved and us with less work to do.

But today alone there’s a barrage of attacks on the freedom of the press and free speech.

 An Afghan journalist has had his death sentence commuted to twenty years imprisonment for downloading and circulating information which questioned the role of women in Islam.

A poet in Jordan has been charged with insulting Islam and faces possible imprisonment if convicted.

And Reporters Without Borders publish their annual round up of the worst places to work as a journalist, including their chilling analysis that especially those countries involved in wars are “black zones” for journalists trying to tell the rest if the world what is happening.

Last October I had a blissful 4 week start to my maternity leave waiting for the late arrival of my lazy overdue baby.

I had time to clear my mind and focus on the imminent arrival of the one who would change my life. I was a long way from Amnesty and human rights.

But then Edward Anthony Hayward was born, and I was overwhelmed with how the fight for human rights seemed more important than ever – this perfect little child born randomly to two parents who already loved him and in a place where he will not suffer want or persecution.

So many children are born every day in places where their basic rights to food and shelter, not to mention other fundamental freedoms, are denied. It’s up to all of us to make the future better for everyone’s children.


About Amnesty UK Blogs
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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