The wonderful world of the Daily Mail
Sometimes the world of the media throws you a bit of a curve ball. And so it was today. What am I talking about? None other than the Daily Mail putting its weight behind a human rights pressure group campaigning against forced evictions.Now as regular readers of this blog will know forced evictions are one of the main pillars of Amnesty’s new Demand Dignity work – so this move by the Mail has to be welcomed.However, there are a few caveats. The country concerned is not really one of the main ones we’ve been working on. It’s not Kenya, where the Deep Sea Community in Nairobi is under constant threat from developers. Nor is it Cambodia, where Group 78 in Phnom Penh were forcibly evicted back in July. Or even Angola, where 3,000 families were kicked out from their homes in the capital Luanda.The country the Mail has chosen to highlight is Spain. And those being persecuted – if you hadn’t guessed already – are British ex-pats.The Mail has picked up a campaign being run by the group Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No (AUAN). At the centre of it all is the case of eight ex-pats who are set to see their homes in the town of Albox demolished.Apparently the homes – bought in good faith – did not have the right planning permission.And yesterday, as part of the campaign, 800 British and Irish ex-pats from as far as Malaga and Valencia gathered to march through the city of Almeria in Southern Spain to complain to the Spanish authorities.Whether the Mail’s intervention will make any difference we will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, given the precedent they’ve now set, perhaps they will turn their attention to other communities under similar threats.
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.