Times theyre a-changing

Bob Dylan summed up the current events surrounding Zimbabwe’s elections succinctly when he wrote this:

“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'”

Should there indeed be a change of power at the top as the newspapers seem to indicate, let’s hope that the transition is a peaceful one. Whatever the outcome – what is crucial for Zimbabwe is a greater improvement in civil and political liberties, and a total revamp of the country’s economic, cultural and social rights. 

Amnesty International’s Simeon Mawanza has just returned from Zimbabwe, you may have heard him on Radio 4 or 5 Live News programmes over the weekend, or seen him this morning on BBC Breakfast.  Listen back to Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast this morning for what he had to say.  You need to go about one hour in.

While on the subject of time, the chorus of voices coming out against an extended, 42-day pre-charge detention limit is getting louder and louder.

The second reading of the Counter-Terrorism Bill starts tomorrow and the Equality and Human Rights Commission may start a court challenge against 42-day pre-charge detention limit, says the BBC.

Former chief constable of West Midlands Police Geoffrey Dear calls the proposals “A PR Coup for Al-Qaida” in the Guardian, stating that Chief Constables with whom he’s spoken are not in favour of the measure.

Also in Comment is free is Andrew Holroyd, President of the Law Society, arguing that extending pre-charge detention would fail three crucial tests to establish whether a measure is necessary, effective and proportionate.

Meanwhile the Independent carries our story of leading arts and cultural figures speaking out against 42 days. You can add your voice too, at our petition on the No.10 website at: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/notadaylonger

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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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