Monthly Archives: May 2016



Congratulations on winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. I am very pleased for you. Singing about your grandmother is not political, it can never be political in your perspective. If Russia thinks that it is political, they are responsible, it was Stalin who made it political by deporting your family. Like so many in this position you have grown up with the benefits and hardships of a mixed background, a Crimean Tatar father, an Armenian mother and early years spent in Kyrgyzstan. May you soon return to your home in Crimea and enjoy your success.

Our families have a common thread. I am thinking of your great aunt who died during deportation. Please remember my grandfather, who lies in the Forest of Bykownia, next time you are in Kiev.



Joan Baez

photo thanks to


It’s rare for me to stray even a tiny weeny bit sideways from the main topic, but I feel impelled to say how much I admire and love Joan Baez, the person and the singer. She was well into her career when I became a fan in the mid sixties and she has gone on to astound us all ever since. If you are not aware of her anti war and pro civil rights protests see wikipedia as a starting point. Joan has been a big supporter of Amnesty International so really she is very much on topic, as always! Her recent endorsement of Bernie Sanders is a very powerful piece of prose.

I am getting very excited as we approach 10th June, the release date of her 75th Birthday Concert DVD. Many more Happy Birthdays to you Joan!

And this links nicely to a letter I received from Amnesty UK.

13th April 2016.

Dear Peter,

This is a big thank you for once again donating the royalties from The Long Bridge, which we do appreciate very much indeed. (£5625 has been donated over the last six years.)

You’ve reminded me I need to place another order for the book with Sandstone, as I often give it to Amnesty donors as a thank-you – it is so powerful.

With very best wishes from everyone here,

Nicky Parker, Publisher

Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. Phone 020 7033 1500.