Not smiling for the camera

We dont always say enough about photos in journalism in this blog - so today I will!


First of all, the Guardians got an appalling one on its front page. Its of a massive crowd in Gaza carrying the dead body of a 21-month-old girl killed in an Israeli air-strike. Words (almost) fail me.

Weve said it before and well say it again (and probably again and again and again) but Israels right (and duty) to defend its citizens from rocket attacks doesnt entitle it to indiscriminately bomb civilian areas in (heavily populated) Gaza.

Its actually that simple. Yes Hamas in Gaza should be stopping the missile-firers and punishing them (no excuses for that). But Israels military are using indefensible tactics and children and other civilians are dying day in day out.

Amnesty and other leading humanitarian organisations like Oxfam and Save The Children will be bringing out a new report on the already perilous humanitarian crisis in Gaza on Thursday - so look out for that.

Meanwhile, our next photograph of the day: two burly leather-jacketed men at a Dad-Rock gig. Yes, its none other than Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev at a concert in Red Square last night as they soaked up the adulation of a hyped-up crowd after the presidential election in Russia confirmed what everybody already knew. That Putins chosen successor Mr Medvedev had well, succeeded.

Im personally not a fan of that bulky leather is it a coat, is it a jacket look (though Ive noticed its also very big in Ukraine), and I have to say Im not too impressed either by Putins onslaught on the media and human rights activists in the last eight years either.

The king is dead, long live the king: are we going to get more of the same in Russia? Lets hope not. Instead, Ill be hoping that Dmitri can shake off the more regressive human rights behaviour of his patron (and maybe ditch the coat as well).

Finally, back to another photo in the Guardian. Their Eyewitness centrefold is stunning and disturbing in equal measure. Its of a razed village called Abu Surouj in Darfur, Sudan, after it was bombed last week by Sudanese planes (possibly ones supplied by the not-too-fussy-about-where-their-equipment-goes Russian government).

For our part, weve written to the Guardian to say well done for reproducing this amazing photo and giving it proper space (do we actually need another Prince Harry photo?)

That said, I cant actually find the photo on the Guardians website! - so instead check out the actual photographer Lynsey Addarios own site and the New York Times' earlier (smaller) version of the pic.

So, with voices like Spielbergs and photos like these, we might even get the world focusing again on the atrocities in Darfur. Maybe.

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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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