Pregnant pause

WHILE the news that Tian Tian the panda may be pregnant will no doubt be celebrated by Edinburgh Zoo and more than a few residents and tourists alike, we can’t help but be reminded of her homeland’s appalling record on human rights.

China, for example, continues to be an prolific user of the death penalty – despite a worldwide trend that has seen a consistent reduction in the most cruel and inhumane punishment. In fact, China executes more of its own citizens than the rest of the world put together.

And as the “pregnancy” news spread, Tian Tian herself trended on Twitter. Alas, that won’t be possible in China where some of the world’s strictest controls on freedom of expression are commonplace – Twitter is banned.

Mark Bevan
Amnesty International – Scotland