Chair: David Huband
Chair welcomed all to the meeting.
Apologies: Joanna Kinnaird
Minutes of last Open Meeting agreed
Matters arising from last Open Meeting
There have been no replies to the letters sent to Liberty and AIUK asking for advice about how to proceed in campaigning for the release of Shaker Aamer.
David Ford reported that AI’s Report on Torture in Uzbekistan has been published and makes grim reading. He suggested another action or vigil in the spring. Some cases will feature in the Write for Rights Campaign.
There is an arms equipment fair in London from 15th-18th. Amnesty is calling on the EU to tighten up torture trade laws (See AI website).
David F distributed letters to the President of Turkmenistan (copies to the Ambassador) requesting a public enquiry into the death of Ogulsapar Muradova for members to sign.
David Huband read the letter which he had written to Ash Carter, the US Defence Secretary, expressing concern that Mr Aamer remains in Guantanamo Bay, despite the fact that the Prime Minister has made it clear to President Obama that he should be released to the UK. Members signed the letter.
David Bissonet suggested emailing the case to Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister’s Questions.
David Huband had written to the Norwich Law Society and UEA Law School concerning the absence of local legal representation for asylum seekers in our area. The Head of the Law School at UEA Replied that the University did offer an optional course on International, Humanitarian & Refugee Law as an option.
Debbie Campbell pointed out that there was a drop off point at Avenue School for clothing and other items needed by refugees in Calais. There is also a Refugee fundraiser on 22nd September at the Norwich Arts Centre – all money to go to Red Cross and Bridge Plus charities.
Debbie Campbell outlined the case of two Indian sisters (23 and 15) sentenced by an unelected all-male village council in Uttar Pradesh to be raped as punishment because their brother had eloped with a married woman of a different caste.
Members are asked to write to the Uttar Pradesh authorities and/or sign the on-line petition.
Debbie circulated letters for members to sign.
Human Rights Act
David Huband passed round Amnesty publications on this.
AIUK Constitution consultation
Members will have received the AI magazine which has a pamphlet describing the on-line consultation.
David Ford explained how conference/resolutions worked and suggested that it’s important to have read through the material before going on line to give your opinion of the proposed changes. He pointed out that one proposed change – that only members of standing can address the AGM – is because of the need to have significant support before addressing the conference.
This consultation is open until November 2nd.
Sue Mills gave a short talk on Magna Carta and its relevance today.
- The Palestine Solidarity Campaign hosted a film, ‘On the wrong side of the road’.
Members who attended spoke highly of the event.
- Edward Snowden Stall held at the Greenhouse resulted in interesting chats and another sheet of the whistleblowing petition.
The Rocky Horror Show at Cinema City
We will have a stall publicising the case of a
Drag Artist in Belarus and inviting people to send postcards in support.
Meeting with Clive Lewis
Yet to be arranged. Anyone interested in taking part please contact David Huband
Write for Rights
David Bissonet has written to the Writer’s Centre and also suggested a future event of Protest Writing.
Amnesty Christmas Cards
No venue yet but the Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop will be open on 19th October. Details next month.
Next Meeting – Wednesday 21st October 2015 at 7.30pm