by Emma

Gaza Situation ‘worse since 1967’

March 6, 2008 in main by Emma

According to Al-Jazeera news:

A new report has said that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is at its worst since Israel seized the territory in 1967.

The study released on Thursday was conducted by a coalition of eight British-based human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Save the Children.

Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty international said:

“Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens, but as the occupying power in Gaza it also has a legal duty to ensure that Gazans have access to food, clean water, electricity and medical care.

“Punishing the entire Gazan population by denying them these basic human rights is utterly indefensible. The current situation is man-made and must be reversed.”

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/D5E2E344-E9E7-42E3-8CEB-71EBC35152BC.htm

Sleep Out Photos

March 5, 2008 in events, photos by Rob Hallam

Photos from the Sleep Out. It was cold, but good fun!

Sleep Out

March 4, 2008 in events by Rob Hallam

GU Amnesty and S.T.A.R are having a sleep-out outside the Wolfson Medical School building on Wednesday 5th March to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and failed asylum seekers.

If you’ve got a few hours spare or you feel like a chat on your way back from the pub, come along and join us for food and hot drinks, music and banter. It’ll be cold but fun!

We have a poster promoting the event:

Sleep-out Poster

by Emma

Arab broadcast charter

March 3, 2008 in main by Emma

Reuters

DUBAI, March 3 (Reuters) – Outspoken Arab broadcasters said they would not cave in to a charter designed to force them to self-censor their programmes or risk going off air.

The satellite broadcasting charter, endorsed at a meeting of Arab information ministers in Cairo last month, will entrench state control over broadcasts and curtail political expression on the airwaves in a region of some 300 million.

Analysts said the obvious targets of the document, led by U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were the Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel and Lebanon’s al-Manar TV owned by the Shi’ite Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group.

Al Jazeera are of course the channel renowned for broadcasting al Qaeda videos.

I found this interesting. Some are praising it, some are not. Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org) are condemning it as a restriction of free speech. (http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/02/26/mena18153.htm)

Personally I think I’d like to see what it says before making a judgement. It could be a good thing, especially where Al Jazeera are concerned. It might be a restriction of freedom of speech, which of course is to be avoided.

I also find this quote from HRW interesting:

The document, intended as guidelines that carry no legal obligations, recommends that the regulatory bodies of Arab League members states confiscate equipment, impose fines, and suspend, refuse to renew or withdraw licenses from satellite channels that authorities deem to have violated those “principles.”

So they’re just guidelines, not obligations, but there are to be sanctions imposed. I wonder how far this will go?

What are your thoughts, anyone?