Chair: David Huband
- Chair welcomed all to the meeting
- Minutes of last Open meeting: Agreed
- Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has an online petition calling for a public enquiry into the actions of the Israeli embassy, to determine the extent of interference into UK democratic politics.
- Andy Tsege – British man rendered to Ethiopia in 2014 Reply received from Boris Johnson, lists actions in his support but states UK Government does not interfere in other countries’ judicial system so therefore it will lobby on his behalf against the death penalty and give him a list of local lawyers. Jim suggests we raise his profile and given the Daily Mail’s support for Shaker Aamer it might be interested. Jim and David H will liaise.
- Christmas cards – £1,500 worth of cards sold giving the group £310 profit. Thanks given to Sue for all her organization and hard work.
David H introduced George Szirtes : Hungary Past and Present: a personal view.
George talked about how he came to be a refugee in the UK in 1956 and the warm welcome he received and his sadness that this is not the case for many now. He traced the early settlement of Hungary from Southern Russia, Transylvania, the influences of outside forces from the Ottoman Turks through to Hitler and Mussolini and the regular chopping and slicing of the country redefining its territory. He described the current political situation and suggested we look at two websites for further interest Hungarian Spectrum and the Budapest Beacon. Questions followed and David H thanked George for a very interesting talk.
- Refugees – Letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU, expressing concern about refugees trapped in Greece, circulated and signed
- New Routes – Ask for volunteers to become home visitors with refugees.
- Uzbekistan – Letter to new president on Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov. 12 letters given out
- Peace vigil – First Saturday of each month 12-1 outside St Peter Mancroft joining the Quakers. Our banner focuses on arms sales to Yemen. Thanks given to Gill and Pru who joined David H at the January vigil.
- Amazon voices film about the effects of oil drilling on indigenous people UEA Lecture theatre 1 23 January 6.30
- Norwich High School visit 24th Jan David H
- “We are all born free” exhibition at Millennium library 26th – 14 Feb
- Freedom from Torture group – Ceilidh 4th Feb Quiz 28th April Trinity United Reform Church Unthank Road. Tickets available from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Border Control a 20 minute play by Michelle Sewell 15 Feb 8pm Norwich Arts Centre.
The play will be followed by 40 minute panel discussion to include Alan Waters (Norwich City Council) Andrew Wiltshire (Conservative spokesperson for Chloe Smith MP) Dr Ulrike Theuerkauf (UEA political scientist)
Michelle will send David H a link for the minutes and website. David H thanked Michelle for coming to the meeting.
- International Women’s’ Day – Norwich Anglican Cathedral 8th March 10.30-12.30 coffee and information about violence against women and young girls.
- Chelsea Manning sentence reduced to 7 years by President Obama.
- Supreme court has upheld Abdel Hakim Belhaj’s right to put claims of UK government complicity in torture, to trial.
- A member highlighted the plight of Leonard Peltier, a leading member of the American Indian Movement an activist group promoting the rights of indigenous people. Amnesty has urged President Obama to grant clemency to him but there are only two days left to do this.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 15 February 2017 but will start at 7pm so that we can be at Norwich Arts Centre for 8pm performance of Border Control.