Silencing the Guns “Times for guns to go silent” was the written declaration of Abdullah Öcalan, jailed leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). The declaration made on 21 March 2013, auspiciously also Newroz (the Kurdish New Year), marked the start of what was hoped to be a permanent truce between the PKK and Turkish…Continue reading The Turkish-Kurdish Truce – Six Months On
We could be on the cusp of an historic milestone in global human rights protection. After nearly twenty years of campaigning by Amnesty International supporters and others worldwide, a vote at the United Nations in New York in a few hours’ time will determine if the world is to get an Arms Trade Treaty. Here is the…Continue reading The long journey towards an Arms Trade Treaty
We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Lynda Sullivan, a human rights activist from Northern Ireland currently based in Peru, where she is working with a local community concerned at the health and environmental implications of a huge mining project in the area. On World Water Day 2013 hundreds of thousands of people…Continue reading The fight for the right to clean water in Peru
A very exciting two-day Colloquium at Queen’s University on emotional dynamics, law and legal discourse, will be held today and tomorrow. The University has confirmed, this morning, that there are still places if individuals want to attend, with sessions starting today at 1.45 PM (but note the fee in cash or cheque of £25 for…Continue reading Stop Press! Two-day Colloquium on emotions and law at QUB today and tomorrow
It’s two years since the start of the Syrian uprising and then civil war. The rising death toll serves as a constant reminder that what started as a peaceful cry for freedom and dignity has descended into a bloody armed conflict – with devastating consequences. Amnesty International has produced two reports, published today, focusing on…Continue reading Syria: two years on. Between a rock and a hard place.
There is less than a week to go before world leaders meet at the United Nations to negotiate an international Arms Trade Treaty. If delivered effectively, the Arms Trade Treaty has the potential to save lives and prevent human rights abuses. 85% of all killings documented by Amnesty International involve the sort of weaponry which could…Continue reading Gun control and the speech Obama hasn’t given
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Today, fifty years on, in tribute to the great civil rights leader, the US marks Martin Luther King Jr Day with a federal holiday in his name. Today also…Continue reading King 1963: I have a dream. Obama 2013: I have a drone
Monday 10 December is International Human Rights Day. The Human Rights Consortium will be holding a Human Rights Festival during this time, with a theme of ‘Celebrating and Protecting Human Rights’. This will be an opportunity for the wide diversity of groups that work on human rights issues in Northern Ireland to contribute to a…Continue reading Human Rights Day Festival
About 130 million people voted in the recent US elections. In contrast, just 2,270 delegates to the Chinese Communist Party Congress met to choose the new leadership of the world’s most populous country. While the Chinese leaders met in Beijing, Northern Ireland’s leaders were heading to Shanghai to front an InvestNI trade mission. The First…Continue reading China: challenges for the new leaders – and our own
As Northern Ireland’s First Minister and deputy First Minister prepare to travel to China for the first of two proposed trips, we are pleased to publish this guest post, courtesy of Amnesty International, by LI Jianhong (pen-name ‘Xiao Qiao’). She is an exiled freelance writer who longs to return home. As a new generation of…Continue reading A China to be proud of…
We’re winning! That’s not a claim you may hear too often from human rights activists, but in the case of the global struggle against the death penalty, it’s true. The momentum around the world is towards ending executions. The vast majority of countries have now abandoned the death penalty. On the eve of World Day…Continue reading Death penalty-free world?
This year at Belfast Pride, Amnesty International campaigned on behalf of South African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights defender Noxolo Nogwaza. She was raped and murdered in April 2011 in KwaThema in South Africa. There has been no proper investigation into her killing and many people on the Belfast Pride parade signed…Continue reading South Africa’s townships still not safe for gay, lesbian and transgender people