The Olympics: a celebration of human rights abuses? by underground

Amnesty International have said China’s human rights situation has deteriorated, not improved, despite being awarded the hosting rights of this years Olympic Games. Upon being awarded the games, China promised to uphold the values of human dignity associated with the Olympic tradition, promising increased freedom for journalists, better health and education programmes for its citizens and an improvement in human rights, but the international human rights organisation says this has not occurred. In a report entitled “The Olympics Countdown: Broken Promises”, AI has documented greater restrictions on dissidents, with the organisation’s deputy director Rosanne Rife saying the Olympics have led to a deterioration in human rights in China.

“Specifically we’ve seen crackdowns on domestic human rights activists, media censorship and increased use of re-education through labour as a means to clean up Beijing and surrounding areas,” said Rife.

So was it right for the International Olympic Committee to award the games to Beijing? Continue reading


Prison unit takes a bashing – is it out for the count? by underground

The news that a prisoner has been beaten within an inch of their life at the faith-based He Korowai Whakapono unit at Rimutaku Prison will further jeopardise the future of the facility and the Prison Fellowship not-for-profit organisation that runs it. The inmate is believed to have suffered brain damage in an attack with a pool cue and was taken to Wellington Hospital. This is probably the last thing the Prison Fellowship wanted to happen, as it is only months away from closure, due to a desperate lack of funds. Continue reading

A sign from God? by underground

Currently the number one read story on the BBC News website as I type, is a story about pieces of meat that have the name of Allah spelt out in Arabic in the gristle. Nigerians have flocked to a restaurant in Bernin Kebbi to see the pieces of beef with the alleged inscription. The owner of the restaurant who found the pieces says, “When the writings were discovered there were some Islamic scholars who come and eat here and they all commented that it was a sign to show that Islam is the only true religion for mankind”. I sure hope not. Continue reading

Play your hand! by underground

A Fairfax-Nielsen poll has found New Zealanders are becoming increasingly impatient with National’s delay releasing detailed policy, with 55 per cent of respondents asking for policy to be released now. Even National supporters are keen to find out more about the party they plan to put a tick beside on election day, with 49 per cent wanting detailed policy now, against 47 per cent who for some reason don’t mind waiting. As the Dominion Post article says, the National party has come under increasing scrutiny for not releasing detailed policy and Labour has clawed back some support in the latest Fairfax poll. According to the Dom Post,  party strategists suggest that with the election stll some months away, there are few signs the wider electorate is keen for National to play their hand. National maintains that it will  wait until the first week of the campaign before releasing detailed policy, arguing doing so earlier gives Labour an advantage. Continue reading

You make it hard for me to agree with you! by underground

Chris Trotter’s latest Sunday Star Times column reflects the desperation of the left as Labour plummets in the polls, and National threatens to obtain enough votes to govern alone. He pleads with those voters who have abandoned Labour for National to think about who are National’s core supporters they will be joining. He then proceeds to attack the “cockies”, the “rich” and the “reactionaries”, like a rabid Marxist only can. And I agree with what he has to say. Well, not entirely! Continue reading

Tears of Joy by underground
July 18, 2008, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Like most people, I love a happy ending. So I was relived when I read online that five-year-old Ma Xin Xin had been found alive, just down the road from her Albany, North Shore home where she was taken.

None would have been more relived than her family, although if the Herald is to be believed, her grandparents were not too distressed by her being taken. I could not help but ponder what the Herald meant by this line here: Continue reading

Zimbabwe: Death of a nation by underground

Death of a nation

Zimbabwe’s political crisis continues to become ever more dire, with heinous political violence, skyrocketing inflation and a seemingly impotent international community. Having South African friends and having known people who had fled Zimbabwe, I have followed the situation closely. When Morgan Tsvangirai clearly beat Robert Mugabe in the Presidential election on March 29, and with MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) faring well in the parliamentary vote, I optimistically, and naively, felt the country may turn for the better, as did many others. Now over 3 months on, that hope is almost entirely extinguished as  Mugabe has claimed a landslide victory in an uncontested presidential run off vote and diplomacy is making little headway. Farcical as the charade was, Mugabe appears to feel he has been legitimised and continues to slate the world that conspires against him. Continue reading