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    June 05, 2014
    Photo: The disturbing "mass grave" allegations must be met with a wider response about state responsibility in cases of systematic child abuse.© Demotix

    Disturbing revelations about an unmarked “mass grave” of up to 800 babies and children found in Tuam, a town in the west of Ireland, must prompt urgent answers from the Irish Government about the wider issue of past child abuse in state-run and sponsored institutions, said Amnesty International today.

    “This shocking case needs immediate attention and answers from the Irish Government. A thorough investigation must be carried out into how these children died and if ill-treatment, neglect or other human rights abuses factored into their deaths. We also need to know why these children were not afforded the respect of a proper and dignified burial,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at Amnesty International.

    June 05, 2014

    Allegations aired last night in a documentary by Irish state broadcaster RTÉ that the UK Government sanctioned the use of torture in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, and failed to disclose relevant evidence to the European Court of Human Rights, underline the failure to deliver a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the past, said Amnesty International.

    In 1971, Ireland took the first inter-state case to come before the European Court on Human Rights, alleging Britain had breached the European Convention on Human Rights. The use of torture during internment was central to that case which became known as the “hooded men” case.

    The documentary, The Torture Files, was based on investigations carried out by Northern Irish human rights NGO the Pat Finucane Centre and RTÉ. It further alleges that the UK Government did not disclose relevant evidence to the European Court of Human Rights in its defence of the case.

    April 24, 2014

    Twelve times Grammy Awards winner Paul Simon was at Dublin airport yesterday to unveil a tapestry in honour of the late Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney on behalf of Amnesty International.

    Seamus Heaney, arguably the greatest Irish poet of his generation, was a strong supporter of Amnesty International for more than three decades.

    He even dedicated a poem to the movement titled “From the Republic of Conscience” which was the inspiration for the Ambassador of Conscience Award recognizing individuals who have promoted the cause of human rights through their life and by example.

    “Seamus’s poetry, although it springs from the Irish soil, has a beauty and wisdom that nourishes anyone who reads it, in all the languages it is printed,” said Paul Simon as he described how the Nobel Laureate’s inspirational work.

    The tapestry, commissioned for Amnesty International, was also supported by U2 lead singer Bono. It will now be seen by an estimated 10 million passengers each year as they travel through the airport’s Terminal Two.

    September 17, 2013

    Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were today jointly announced as the recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013.

    -        The Award will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland.

    -        Images and video footage of the Award Ceremony will be available on the night.


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