In response to dramatic developments in Egypt, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “I congratulate the protesters for their extraordinary courage and commitment to achieve fundamental change.”
“Persistent attempts to put down peaceful protests have not only failed but redoubled the determination of those demanding change.”
-What is Amnesty International doing about the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the region?
We’ve sent a delegation to Egypt to help witness, record and expose human rights abuses being committed during the uprising, as we did during the unrest in Tunisia earlier in the year. We’re doing this in close cooperation with local human rights activists.
In Uganda, funeral services are being held today for a prominent LGBT rights activist beaten to death this week. David Kato was killed after an unknown assailant attacked him in his home. Kato was a leading opponent of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which calls for the death penalty or life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.
Pinagpalang Kamay Association or PKAI is an NGO formed by Ms. Mina Tecson to aid two communities in need, one a poverty-stricken community in Payatas on the outskirts of Quezon City, and the other a home for abandoned physically and mentally ill children residing at Cottolengo Filipino, Montalban Rizal, quite nearby. I toured both in December 2010.
*I am looking at the families that have been affected by the violence. Especially those families like ours whose members have been killed or detained or tortured. I want to focus on what happens with these families, especially of the children, for the restoration of peace in the family, the restoration of peace in the communities.
Today we are Nayem Elgarhi, we are the mother weeping for her son. Today we are each of the dead, each person battered in the camp of Gdeim Izik. Today we are each of the missing, each of the violated, each of those persecuted for speaking out. Today we are one of the forgotten. Today we also belong to the Saharawi people.
The European Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, stated on Friday last that the situation of the Roma people living in Europe is a “scandalous matter” “We have the largest minority in Europe – 10 million people – living in absolute poverty, without access to housing and often without any access to healthcare“, she said.
*China’s Communist Party Central Committee 15 October, 2010, started its annual closed-door meeting to map out the country’s economic course for the next five years, amid increasingly fervent calls for political reform and against the continuing crackdown on human rights activists, dissidents and lawyers. Also, open letters by opposing voices and a wider press coverage*
Liu, a literary critic, writer and political activist, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2008 for “inciting subversion against the state”. In 2008, Liu and several hundred intellectuals in China issued a manifesto, Charter 08, calling for political reform and an end to one-party rule. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has proposed Liu for a Nobel Peace Prize.
This year International Conscientious Objectors’ Day will be celebrated as usual in the UK with a small ceremony at the CO’s Memorial consisting of a lump of volcanic rock in Tavistock Square, London, close to the statue of Gandhi and the Hiroshima blossom tree. It commemorates those who refused to kill, even when they faced their own death for disobeying military orders.