Chair: David Huband
Chair welcomed all to the meeting
Minutes of last meeting agreed
Apologies: Debbie Campbell
Joanna reported that there was no monthly action, but she introduced an action from the Children’s Human Rights Network concerning police violence against young men in Brazil. Amnesty launched a report “You killed my son”: homicides by the military police in Rio de Janeiro, in August 2015. Amnesty has found that of 220 investigations of police killings in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, only one case led to an officer being charged. Letters to the Governor of Rio and the Public Prosecutor’s Office requesting a full, independent and impartial investigation into all killings by police on duty were distributed to members.
David Ford distributed letters to members to send to the Deputy Procurator-General (copies to the Ambassador) concerning the imprisonment of Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov – a prisoner of conscience.
Jim reported that on 29th December 2015 it was announced that 17 detainees would be released. 14 of these had been released by 14th January. 3 more are due for release this month, after which there will be 90 detainees left in Guantanamo. 31 have been “approved for transfer in one fashion or another “(Miami Herald).
The other 59 detainees can choose to go before a special Parole Board. Some are to be tried (a procedure which takes years) and the President is trying to get the residue transferred to a maximum security prison in the US – which is bitterly opposed by Congress – so that Guantanamo can be shut down.
There is an on-line petition on the AIUK website urging MPs to pressure the PM to do what he can to close Guantanamo.
Other On-Line Petitions
There are currently three:
- Concerning UK sales to Saudi Arabia
- Concerning the death sentence imposed on the poet Ashraf Fayadh
- Concerning refugees to the UK
We were very pleased to welcome Alexandria Innes from the UEA who spoke about ‘Mediterranean migration: myths and crises’. She described the ways in which the crisis has developed and, by using individual stories, gave a very moving picture of the complexity and difficulties of the situation.
Members might be interested to learn more from the following websites.
For a shorter, less ‘academic’ piece:
PGCE Day at UEA
David Ford and Sue Mills took Amnesty materials to the PSHE Fair for Primary Teacher students at UEA on 13th January. It was a very successful event with 45 students requesting teaching materials.
Poetry Evening at The Arts Centre
This was held in support of Ashraf Fayadh on 14th January and was extremely successful. David Huband took Amnesty publicity along. Admission was by donation and the event raised an extraordinary £781.
The Amnesty Service at the Octagon Chapel
This was very enjoyable and moving. Young people were involved in the service and it was particularly warming to hear three girls from CNS speak about the reasons why they joined their school Amnesty Group. Thanks to Lynn Holt for devising and organising the service. And for the collection which raised £200 for Amnesty.
This will be held in Cambridge on February 6th. The topic is to be on Women’s Rights in Egypt. See David Huband for directions.
This is on the weekend of 9th/10th April
This will take place on 7th May. Details to follow.
This will be organised at the next Committee Meeting
This also to be planned at the next committee meeting
Next Meeting – Wednesday 17th February 2016 at 7.30pm