When is good news actually good news ?

Other Amnesty bloggers have got there before me, but it seems only right to say in this post that there’s a palpable sense of relief in the office today that Troy Davis has avoided execution in Georgia, USA – for now – following his eleventh-hour stay last night. 

As we’ve been saying in our somewhat gloomy office (it’s been raining in a dank and steel-grey-sky-ed London this morning), its completely unimaginable what a condemned prisoner must be going through in those “last” hours. On this occasion Troy was about 100 minutes from his death….. 

But, as with the good news about U Win Tin and other prisoners of conscience (finally) getting released in Burma yesterday – there are reasons to be both pleased and immensely worried all at the same time. As Patrick explains in his blog post, Davis is still in very, very real danger of being executed. It could be just days away.  

And (switching horses again to the other “good news” story on Burma), how “good” is the news of U Win Tin and six other peoples’ release in the context of Burma’s 2,100 political prisoners still being behind bars? As the Amnesty Burma researcher was saying yesterday, releasing less than 1% of a country’s 2,100-plus political prisoners (who should never have been detained in the first place) is hardly cause for massive celebration. Fair point. 

(One thing that caught my eye about yesterday’s news, by the way, was the quite incredible fact that one Burmese man had been dumped into prison for seven years for “having a motorcycle without a licence.” Words fail …) 

Anyway, all human rights work is (I guess) posited on the notion of never giving up, and the campaign for Troy Davis goes on.

As the Kenny Richey case only went to show, you CAN finally win through against immense odds on death row … but it is an incredibly cruel system that damages everybody involved with it along the way. 

Please keep checking the Troy Davis appeal site for further news – including about how to take action again soon – and meanwhile listen to him talking about his case (and Amnesty’s support) on protectthehuman.org

More on Troy soon. I hope (hope) then that it will be cast-iron good news …

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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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