At least ten activists protesting the blockade on the Gaza strip have been killed by Israeli forces. The activists were on a flotilla of ships carrying aid to the Gaza strip in defiance of the blockade.
Israel says its forces acted in self-defence but the level of lethal force used by Israeli troops appears to have been out of all proportion to any threat posed.
The Israeli authorities have the primary responsibility to investigate the use of lethal force by its forces but given the international nature of this incident, there is also a need for an immediate international investigation. We are calling on Israel to launch an immediate credible and independent investigation into these killings, and to allow the UN access to conduct an international inquiry.
Take action at http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=699
We spent hours yesterday collecting letters from people at Birmingham Pride on the case the Malawian gay couple sentenced to 14 years hard labour in prison. It seems the Malawian authorities fearing the deluge of letters from Birmingham, UK changed their minds and have now pardoned them. In reality I think the visit of Ban Ki-Moon was the reason for the decision being made yesterday. However, external pressure played a role and our work as Amnesty activists has contributed to this (our work didn’t start yesterday). The BBC report can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/10190653.stm – I say in the spirit of Peter Bennenson who launched Amnesty 49 years ago on Friday lets raise a toast to freedom 🙂
Photo of Amnesty presence in Birmingham Pride Parade 2010.
It’s not too late to join the Amnesty part the Birmingham Pride Parade tomorrow. For further details see http://amnestybrum.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/amnestybrum-at-birmingham-pride-2010/
Most people join Amnesty because they want to make a difference. However, being an Amnesty activist can also be fun too. Whether its meeting new people with a shared interest, being creative or organising amazing social events campaigning is often an enjoyable experience. In my time with the Central Birmingham Amnesty International I have met wonderful people, done things I never thought i’d be doing (such as TV interviews) and learnt so much about inspiring people in this amazing world we live in. From old to young the vibrancy of Amnesty campaigners and the smiles they have on their faces whilst working creatively and passionately to defend vulnerable people from the most appalling violations of their human rights never fails to amaze me. Its a serious business defending human rights but we can have fun at the same time.
Torture in 111 countries, free speech curbs in 96, unfair trials in 55
A global justice gap is being made worse by power politics despite a landmark year for international justice, said Amnesty International today in its annual assessment of human rights worldwide.
Launching Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World’s Human Rights, a 420-page report documenting abuses in 159 countries, the organisation said that powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.
Photos of Cranbrook School Cookies – for more photos of Amnestea events see http://www.flickr.com/photos/7855337@N02/sets/72157623379704970/
It’s Amnesty’s birthday on Friday so why not use it as an opportunity to feel inspired.