The Sound Kitchen

Amnesty International’s new chief

Audio 19:49
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the new head of the international rights watchdog, Amnesty International. There’s a bit of history on celebrating May Day, Ollia’s “Happy Moment”, and music chosen by The Sound Kitchen’s producing engineer, musician Erwan Rome. All that, and the new quiz question too! Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

I am busy cooking up special shows with your musical requests, so get them in! Send your musical requests to  Tell us why you like the piece of music, too – it makes it more interesting for us all!

Be sure you check out our wonderful podcasts!

In addition to the breaking news articles on our site,, with in-depth analysis of current affairs in France and across the globe, we have several podcasts which will leave you hungry for more.

There’s Paris PerspectiveAfrica Calling, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present at the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

Send me your music requests! I’ll make programmes of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

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RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

Would you like to join the RFI Listeners Club? Just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

This week’s quiz: On 3 April, I asked you a question about the new secretary-general for the global rights watchdog, Amnesty International. I asked you to send in the name of the new chief, as well as her title in her former job at the United Nations, and to tell me which high-profile investigation she led at the UN.    

The answer is: Agnès Callamard. As RFI English reporter Michael Fitzpatrick wrote in his article “French human rights specialist takes the helm at Amnesty International”:

“Callamard's lengthy career has seen her lead human rights investigations in more than 30 countries and her work has been published extensively.

She had held the role of director of the Global Freedom of Expression initiative at Columbia University since 2013.

In 2017 she was appointed as the United Nations' special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, and headed the investigation into the gruesome killing of Khashoggi.

A Saudi insider-turned-critic who wrote for The Washington Post newspaper, he was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Callamard's report, published in June 2019, concluded there was "credible evidence" that top Saudi officials, including Prince Mohammed, were liable for the killing.

Last week she accused Saudi Arabia of bullying after a top official allegedly threatened her life following the probe.”

The winners are:  Hari Madugula, president of the Young Stars Radio Club in Hyderabad, India, and RFI Listeners Club members Arne Timm from Harjumaa, Estonia; Badrunnesa Busra from Narayanganj, Bangladesh; Muhammad Nasyr from Katsina State, Nigeria, and Hans Verner Lollike from Hedehusene, Denmark.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s programme: “L’Internationale” by Pierre de Geyter, performed by Grup Özgürlük; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Happy” by Pharrell Williams; “Three-Four vs. Six-Eight Four-Four Ways” by Hasaan Ibn Ali, performed by the composer with the Max Roach Ensemble.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 31 May to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 5 June podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here

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