Write for Amnesty on Blog Action Day

On Blog Action Day, thousands of bloggers, vloggers and social media people do their thing to raise awareness about one big issue. © PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images

For this year’s Blog Action Day on Thursday 16 October, we’re asking for your thoughts, films and photos about inequality – an issue close to Amnesty’s heart.

What is Blog Action Day?
For one day, thousands of bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, social media people, photographers and designers do their thing to raise awareness about one big issue. This year’s focus is inequality, and we’d love for you to contribute your thoughts on what it means for you.

Inequality and Amnesty

Right now, the issue of inequality touches many areas of Amnesty’s work. From attacks on Roma communities in Greece to discrimination against homosexual people in Uganda, it’s often the most marginalised groups in society whose human rights are most under threat.
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Posted in Discrimination, Maternal Mortality and Reproductive Rights, Poverty, Women | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Russia’s increasingly harsh climate for environmentalists

Evgeniy Vitishko protested against the environmental impact of development around Sochi 2014. © AFP/Getty Images

Evgeniy Vitishko protested against the environmental impact of development around Sochi 2014. © MIKHAIL MORDASOV/AFP/Getty Images

By Conor Fortune, News Writer, and Friederike Behr, Researcher on Russia at Amnesty International

There’s plenty wrong with the environment in Russia today, though the authorities might have you believe otherwise.

It’s true that the country boasts an expansive network of protected areas. And President Vladimir Putin appears to relish media coverage of his bare-chested escapades fishing and riding on horseback through the seemingly pristine Russian countryside.

But scratch beneath this healthy veneer and the reality is not so clean and green. The aftermath of decades of poor policy and corruption dating back to Soviet times continues to result in problems ranging from deforestation and air pollution to chemical contamination of ground water.

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Posted in Russian Federation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

‘The voices of free Russia will be heard’

Yulia Berezovskaja, Director General of Grani.ru. © Private

By Yulia Berezovskaja, Director General of Grani.ru, a banned independent online media outlet in Russia

In Russia we have paid dearly, very dearly, for words: penal servitude under the tsars for the distribution of subversive tracts, and years of Soviet labour camps and madhouses for using the underground system of samizdat to pass documents from reader to reader or for telling political jokes.

In this country, now, there are people in power who forged their careers in the KGB through brutal suppression of free speech and ideas. Now deeply implicated in the Ukrainian war, their actions are increasingly shameless and cruel. Continue reading

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Lives on hold

In April 2012, Sasha and Stepa dance their way to the finals of the Russian Boogie Woogie Championships. Two months later Stepa is arrested.

Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty’s Campaigner on Russia, meets Sasha Kunko whose boyfriend has been imprisoned in Russia for the last two years. He was arrested following the May 2012 Bolotnaya protest in Moscow, when tens of thousands of people demonstrated against much-contested presidential election results.

The trendy Moscow café is busy with chatter when I arrive. Vintage tables and chairs stand cluttered between bookshelves. People mill around noisily helping themselves to the free tea, coffee and biscuits– in this café you only pay for the time you spend there.

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Posted in Censorship and Free Speech, Demonstrations, Human Rights Defenders and Activists, Internet and Social Media, LGBT Rights, Press Freedom, Russian Federation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Belgrade Pride 2014 – ‘We are all LGBTI’

Belgrade Pride took place for the first time since 2010 © Amnesty International

Belgrade Pride took place for the first time since 2010 © Amnesty International

By Todor Gardos, Amnesty International’s campaigner on Serbia

As I was getting on a plane to Serbia last Friday, my mind ran through all the different scenarios that could potentially have halted Belgrade Pride again this year. I know how crucial Pride is for many LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people and human rights defenders and I was not ready to accept another failure.
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Posted in Discrimination, LGBT Rights, Serbia | 1 Comment