In its haplessness and interminability, it’s been an insult to the victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks
Press officer at Amnesty International UK - media relations on all aspects of Amnesty's human rights work, especially the Middle East, the USA, counter-terrorism, the death penalty and music.
Walk around any medium-sized town in Britain and you can usually find old city walls. Remnants of its medieval origins
20/11/2017 14:44 GMT
What is there left to say about Syria? The horrors have been reported on and reported on. Discussed and discussed. Outside of the human rights, diplomatic and aid communities, you suspect the wider public is finding it hard to focus on any more.
06/08/2017 17:18 BST
Was Theresa May's Storm In An Easter Egg-Cup A Welcome Diversion From Saudi Arabia's Abysmal Human Rights Record?
There's a lot more one could say about Saudi Arabia's almost unimaginably bad human rights record. But unless something miraculous happens, Theresa May won't mention of any of this during her time in Riyadh. A semi-ritualistic reference along the lines of "a range of issues were discussed, including human rights" is probably all we'll get.
05/04/2017 17:09 BST
In DeLillo's White Noise the narrator Gladney spends a lot of time with his academic colleague, Murray Jay Siskind, a cynical New Yorker with a penchant for constant theorising. Gladney, half-appalled, sums up his colleague's acidic take on the world: "Murray says we are fragile creatures surrounded by a world of hostile facts. Facts threaten our happiness and security."
17/03/2017 12:54 GMT
Creepy it may be, but <em>Rillington Place</em>'s slow-burn horror is essentially a slice of good old-fashioned British macabre - think Jack the Ripper, <em>Brighton Rock</em>, <em>The Elephant Man</em>, <em>Burke & Hare</em>. Far more frightening than these dark historical dramas are the real-life death penalty cases unfolding around the world <em>right now</em>.
09/12/2016 07:57 GMT
01/11/2016 11:16 GMT
In just one recent four-week period (mid-September to mid-October) something like 120 children were killed by the barrel bombing and air strikes in east Aleppo. That's an average of four or five children killed every day. It's an absolute tragedy and nothing can justify it. The wider situation for children in Syria is beyond bleak.
25/10/2016 16:35 BST
Such is the self-absorption of Britain with things that affect Britain, you could almost be forgiven for thinking the world's refugee crisis is largely about who comes to this country. It's all about Calais, isn't it?... The UK is just a bit player in the global drama - the tragedy - which has seen tens of millions of people forced out of their homes because of war and repression.
19/10/2016 16:46 BST
I Went On Holiday To Russia And All I Got Was This Lousy Replica Kalashnikov Automatic Assault Rifle
Allowing passengers to cram a plane's overhead lockers with large imitation AK-47s seems an odd thing to permit in these days of heightened airport security (where every 100ml-plus container of moisturiser is banned and travellers are ordered to remove their shoes at the er, drop of a hat), but there you go
28/08/2016 20:18 BST
To paraphrase Kafka's most famous line, one might almost say that one day the country of Israel awoke to discover it had been transformed into a gigantic security state which routinely sets aside basic human rights. Except that no such sudden metamorphosis has taken place. In truth Israel has been acting this way for a very long time.
15/08/2016 12:53 BST
Mitchell's "new Srebrenica" line echoes Jan Egeland, the United Nations official who's responsible for trying to broker humanitarian access in Syria. The effectiveness - or otherwise - of UN efforts to deliver aid into Syria has been one of the many vexed issues of this crisis. With Srebrenica (as with Rwanda) the UN failed abysmally. Is it going to fail with Syria as well? Let's fervently hope not. And let's hope that Aleppo stays at the centre of international attention. Because, even without a standalone massacre of Srebrenica's magnitude, Aleppo is already a frightening humanitarian emergency. Aleppo isn't the new Srebrenica, it's the old Aleppo. And that's easily bad enough.
08/08/2016 16:42 BST
04/07/2016 16:48 BST
When news of the accusations against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe came though recently, the phrase that caught the eye in many of the reports was that the Revolutionary Guard alleged that she'd participated in the "design and implementation of cyber and media projects to cause the soft toppling of the Islamic Republic". <em>Soft toppling</em>. Rather like a chess piece casually knocked over.
17/06/2016 16:59 BST
Is the UK government doing enough over the terrible case of Giulio Regeni? By "enough" I mean: is the governent putting any real time and effort into supporting the campaign to find out what really happened to this Cambridge University student who was abducted and tortured to death during his PhD research in Egypt?
26/04/2016 18:15 BST
As with around 600 hundred other Palestinians, a six-month "administrative detention" order has been served on Abu Sakha by the Israeli military. With these scandalously unjust orders, no reason needs to be given and lawyers for those held have no real means of contesting the rulings which can be based on secret evidence. In Abu Sakha's case, the Israeli military have been quoted as saying the circus trainer poses a "danger ... to the security of the region". So that's supposed to be that.
15/03/2016 15:28 GMT
The idea of a springtime in relations between Iran and the rest of the world is fanciful, a false spring no less. A new, slightly warmer relationship between London and Tehran might indeed lead to scheduled BA flights... but I'm unconvinced that anything fundamental has changed or is likely to do so.
18/02/2016 18:20 GMT
Maybe we shouldn't fret. As with the old reggae producers (King Tubby et al), we've apparently got our top people in the control room when it comes to the Saudi-Yemen onslaught (Philip Hammond, you might say, is "at the controls"). No, let's stop worrying and learn to love the bombing campaign in Yemen. Now repeat after me, "We have some of the most stringent export controls ...".
28/01/2016 10:21 GMT