Lost in translation?
It’s early afternoon and I’m still suffering from the “I’m really sleepy after going out on a school night” effect. Thankfully, I’m not the only one in the office feeling that way as we were all at Amnesty’s Annual Media Awards ceremony last night.
It was a great night. As Rupa Huq writes in her blog, it was a perfect combination of canapés and consciences. Events like last night remind me why I love doing the job I do. Last night showed how relentless, gritty journalism can expose human rights abuses and potentially bring about change, but sadly sometimes at the peril of the journalist’s own life.
Never was this more apparent when Amnesty’s UK Director, Kate Allen, made an award to the winner of the New Media category – the Iraqi reporter called Sahar-al-Haideri – who was killed shortly after making her award-winning piece.
The finale of the night came when Alan Johnston revealed this year’s Special Awards Winner – Yemeni journalist Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani. Mr al-Khaiwaini wasn’t present to receive his award because last week Monday he was sentenced to prison for six years for his investigative reporting in Yemen. You can find out more, and take action to call for the release of Abdul Karim al-Khaiwaini here.
Simon Mann appeared to have been cheerful when his court case began yesterday according to the Guardian but he must have been slightly lost and confused as the trial began, as the translators were not used for the first three hours of the case.
Amnesty has expressed concern about the way this trial has been managed, and we’re particularly concerned for the six Equatorial Guineans who are also standing trial with Simon Mann in connection with the alleged attempted coup. We’ve received reports that three of the six men have been tortured and were forced to sign a statement that they didn’t make. Sadly the media spotlight doesn’t shine as brightly on these men…Well we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation, that’s for certain.
Right well I’m off to my local coffee shop to get a double macchiato.
Til the next time!
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.