Chair: David Ford
Chair welcomed all to the meeting
Minutes of last meeting agreed
Apologies: David Huband (delayed)
Syria – marking the 5th Anniversary of the uprising
Joanna distributed letters asking that Human Rights benchmarks are addressed in the Syria ‘peace process’. Members signed the letters – to be sent to Philip Hammond MP.
Joanna also circulated the petition some members had signed last month concerning the prevalence of early forced marriages in Burkina Faso. This petition will be posted to AIUK who will forward it to the President of Burkina Faso.
David F explained that our campaign on behalf of the imprisoned journalist, Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov is a difficult one as we get no response to our letters, but members signed letters to the President (copied to the Ambassador) for posting.
Humanitarian Crisis in Greece
David H has written a letter to the EU and UK urging respect for Human Rights. This was signed by members present.
The Human Rights Act
David H reported that German Basic Law has in-built Human Rights so the Courts can strike down incompatible legislation. In the UK, Parliament decides if laws which are incompatible should be changed. Thus, Parliament retains its sovereignty.
David H confirmed that we will continue to petition the UK government for a judge-led enquiry into torture allegations.
Norwich Group’s response to the Special Resolutions on Governance and other issues to be debated at the AIUK’s AGM
- The Norwich Group Committee had made the decision to hold our own AGM in February to enable the Group to discuss Resolutions to be put before the National AGM in Nottingham before it will convene on April 10th.
- David Ford expressed his belief that of all Amnesty’s national Sections, AIUK has the best governance.
- David Ford took us through the Special Resolutions on Governance, explaining their meaning and significance clearly. (National Members can find these Special Resolutions in the Booklet: Notice of the 2016 Annual General Meeting which came with the Spring 2016 Newsletter).
- Members present voted to support Resolutions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6a, 7, 8, 11 & 12.
- They voted to reject Resolutions 3, 6, 9 & 10.
Of the Human Rights Resolutions, the Group supported the following:
- The AIUK strategic Plan
- The proposal to initiate a process of discussion on AI’s policy on abortion
- The proposal to campaign against Human Rights abuses in the Western Sahara.
- At the proposal to develop a policy on climate change and its impact on human rights.
- The Group voted to reject the proposal to campaign for human rights in Eritrea.
David F, David H and Joanna will all attend the AGM.
David H will exercise the Group vote on our behalf.
The Group did not support the proposal (from an individual member) to campaign for Human Rights in Eritrea.
- March 18th. UNA Meeting about Burma
- March 20th. Walk for Refugees, leaving the Roman Catholic Cathedral at 1.30
- March 23rd. Committee Meeting at David Ford’s house
- May 7th. Street Collection
- June 25th. Sponsored walk
NB: The Quiz and Dips has been postponed until the 2nd half of September.
Next Meeting – Wednesday 20th April 2016 at 7.30pm