We wanna be free, to do what we wanna do
I can see that the MoD might want to stop staff from inadvertently giving away information that might jeopardise security Were going to be patrolling Acacia Avenue in Basra tomorrow, I hope there isnt going to be any trouble wouldnt be a wise blog entry but what about a grumble that a squaddie doesnt like the food, or is missing his girlfriend? Surely freedom of expression extends to the armed forces, even if the nature of their work imposes some practical limitations.
However there were some victories for freedom of expression this week. BAA failed to take out an injunction stopping peaceful protests around Heathrow airport; the High Court found that restrictions on Brian Haws anti-wear protest outside Parliament were unlawful; and magistrates even stuck up for the right to run naked across a football or cricket pitch (Im not sure Amnesty will be campaigning on this in the near future, though).
I havent seen anything scandalous yet at the Festival though I did see Alan Cummings in The Bacchae last night, featuring a bare bottom in both the advertising and onstage, which would have once caused outrage. Its brilliant, incidentally (the play, not the bottom).
I also noticed in the media today that Colonel Gaddafis son has apparently admitted in an al-Jazeera interview that the recently-released Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were tortured in Libyan custody. "Yes, they were tortured by electricity and they were threatened that their family members would be targeted. I was completely gobsmacked by this admission torturers normally stay quiet about it, they dont boast on TV about electrocuting people to extract confessions. It certainly raised a question in my mind as to whether these are really people that the UK should be striking deals with to return terror suspects.
Finally, two other Scottish things to keep your eyes out for. The first is some serious good news weve just heard that Kenny Richey, a Scotsman on death row in the US, has won his appeal. This is case that Amnesty has campaigned on for as long as Ive been here, so I really hope that this does bode well for Kenny.
The second, as its Friday is a bit more flippant. Our latest vodcast from the Festival, starring the hilarious Robin Ince:
<cke:param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kXjWqMteMqE></cke:param><cke:param name=" wmode"="">
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.