Breaking Policy, Breaking Children

Josephine Thum explains the injustice behind Britain’s actions towards child refugees.

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Last week saw the government backing out of the ‘Dubs’ amendment, a policy which promised to take in 3000 out of the 95000 unaccompanied migrant children. Instead we will accept a maximum of 350.

It is now essential that the public take responsibility into their own hands to speak up on behalf of these children whose voices are being smothered, whose lives are being threatened and whose human rights are being violated by a government accountable to and representing – us.  Continue reading

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Rwanda’s Disappeared: Where Are They?

Josie Thum examines the human disappearances and self-censorship rife in modern Rwanda.

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Rwanda’s press scene is a media ghost town. Freedom of speech has deteriorated into a widespread culture of fear and self-censorship. This is a result of police-state style oppression of voices seen as dissenting or threatening to the regime. Today tactics such as forced disappearances, forced confessions, torture, intimidation, exiles, harassment and violence are used as political weapons to silence opposition and maintain a hold on a dictatorial power which is dressed in the clothes of democracy. Continue reading

Delney Road – A Short Story

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The jagged chimes of a phone alarm shot through Jess’s dreams and jerked her awake. 8 o’clock, Thursday morning. Sunlight was glaring off a metal streetlamp outside and unwelcomely in through the crack between blind and windowsill. Jess sighed. Seminar at 10.

The marshmallow fluff of duvet and pillow felt so nice wrapped around her, battling back the winter morning cold. Seminar at 10, though. Get up. She’d stayed up late last night to finish the reading and could feel the lost three hours of sleep tugging at her to stay in the warm. She leant down over the side of the bed, picked up her phone, and turned off the angry blare still squealing out of it. Continue reading

Backlash – Raif Badawi, Three Years On

 

Three years on from the media storm that erupted around Raif Badawi’s imprisonment, Laila Amawi considers the political climates surrounding such acts of repression and how to stop a campaign from losing momentum. 

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In his iconic novel 1984, George Orwell sets a dark vision; “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever”. If you alter the image of a boot stamping on a human face to an image of a whip lashing against a human back, you can say Orwell’s prediction was pretty spot-on. Continue reading

A Match Made in Hell – Narco-Politics, Censorship and Corruption in Mexico

 

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Tianna Graham writes about the challenges facing freedom of speech and of the press in a country torn apart by the ‘war on drugs’, and the new publication, The Sorrows of Mexico, that’s daring to speak out. 

Mexico has not seen a peaceful year in many a century and 2006 was no exception. There was an uprising and demand for justice emerging from all four corners, creating revolutionary groups such as ‘The Other Campaign’ on the 1st of January. Ironic it was that the beginning of the year would commence on a seemingly positive foot – and yet in February an explosion shook the nation. Continue reading

‘You have to be tough, life is a dogfight’: The depiction of the Latin American struggle in Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna

 

eva lunaEva Luna is a richly descriptive novel by Chilean writer Isabel Allende about personal and political struggles in 1950-80s Latin America. It follows two characters, one in Austria and one in Chile, whose difficult lives slowly join in the fight against the Chilean dictatorship. Eva Luna, an orphan born into Chilean poverty with ‘a breath of the jungle’, eventually becomes an influential figure through her eloquent storytelling. She copes with South American turmoil by creating a fictional version of life around her, which she writes as scripts for television: ‘I try to open a path through that maze, to put a little order in that chaos, to make life more bearable. When I write, I describe life as I would like it to be.’

Continue reading