Posts Tagged ‘Irish Times’

Funding for NGOs and electoral integrity: a debate that transcends Ireland

January 18, 2019
A letter signed by several NGOs in Ireland addresses an important question that could be an issue in other countries too. The threat of external interference in elections is perhaps in the mind of many people when considering the issue of funding from abroad for NGOs, but the letter makes clear that there is an important distinction. Small local NGOs simply do no have the means that the wealthy and big corporations already enjoy and deploy. Moreover, it is the lack of transparency that matters most.
Here the full text of the letter, signed by Irish Council for Civil Liberties; The Wheel; Amnesty International Ireland;  Uplift; Front Line Defenders.

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Jailed Bahraini doctors should be released now, says Mary Lawlor

March 27, 2013

In a piece in the Irish Times of 27 March 2013 Mary Lawlor, Director of Front Line Defenders, makes a strong plea for the release of the medical staff arrested and ill-treated in Bahrain:

Medical ethics is apparently too sensitive an issue to discuss in Bahrain following the cancelling of an international conference that was being organised by the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland RCSI and Médecins Sans Frontières. Hardly surprising given that the Bahraini government jails and tortures medical professionals and human rights defenders……………..

….It is a pity that the RCSI did not feel strongly enough on the issue of medical ethics to speak out publicly when colleagues, some of whom had studied in Dublin, were being tortured in police custody in 2011………But the reality is that the government continues to jail those who raise their voices in defence of human rights. At this moment Dr Ali Al Ekri, Dr Saeed Al Samahiji and Ibrahim Al Demistani, a nurse, remain in prison having been convicted of “trying to overthrow the monarchy”, by treating injured demonstrators and speaking out about killings and torture. At the same time another 20 medics and health professionals will find out today whether the charges of participating in illegal gatherings have been upheld against them. They face the possibility of receiving a three-month prison sentence, although in practice, many of them have already spent that time in prison awaiting trial. Even those medics who have been released or who have had charges against them dropped have been removed from their posts. …. Repression in Bahrain is not a secret. Medical ethics would best be served by releasing the medics from prison together with Nabeel Rajab and all those human rights defenders who have had the courage to speak truth to power.”

via Jailed Bahraini doctors and human rights defenders should be released now – Middle East News | Latest News Headlines | The Irish Times – Wed, Mar 27, 2013.

Blogger and symbol of Syria uprising, RAZAN GHAZZAWI, wins Front Line human rights award

June 11, 2012

MARY FITZGERALD, Foreign Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times, did an excellent profile on this courageous woman, who is on trial in a military court for her part in the anti-regime protest. It is worth reading in full:


“Do you understand, that I was scared to protest, but now I am no longer scared? Do you understand that I was scared of detention and now we don’t even think about it? ‘Fuck it all. My people are being killed,’ is what everyone is saying.”

“There is a common feeling that is generally discussed in Syria, well, at least in Damascus where I live. It has to do with the question: ‘What can I do more for the revolution?’”

“I can write about those amazing revolutionaries who left their families and children and [are] living solely for this revolution . . . some were detained and tortured, you stand listening to them speak about their experience with detention, and you know that what you witnessed from detention is nothing compared to theirs, those unknown activists, the unprivileged, who don’t have Facebook nor Twitter, but they are the very ones who inspire you and make you truly believe that there is hope.”

“People who do not live in a country that is living a revolution may not know that time is revolutionaries’ biggest enemy . . .

“I have a 10-to-5 job, after that I go to do some other work till 9, sometimes till 11.

“I get home to check my email and

Facebook to discover new massacres, new statements, and further escalations on many levels.”

“Yesterday, regime army bombed the neighborhood of Karm El- Zeitoun in the city of Homs and destroyed several buildings, two whole streets were evacuated, and 27 civilians killed, many were injured . . . [the] regime’s violence keeps surprising us. Last night when I saw this picture I froze for a moment before I ‘shared’ it on my [Facebook] wall. I didn’t cry, I didn’t have room for more anger, I just felt helpless, I felt time was, is, not on my side . . . After last night’s massacre, Syrians now feel more outraged and will cry for the right to self-defense, even if they didn’t agree with the term the day before.

“That’s precisely how regime violence is pushing the country to more violence, that’s precisely how time moves very rapidly, and leaves you back in history.”