17th April 2013 Minutes
Chair: David Huband (DH)
Minutes: Sue Mills
Chair welcomed all to the group’s AGM meeting.
Received from: David Ford, Roz Cadwallader, Peter Jones and Nicky Leach.
David Mead also sent his apologies that, due to pressure of work he was unable to give his talk planned for this meeting, but hoped to be able to do so later in the year
- Monthly Action – Roma Rights
David Huband (for Roz Cadwallader) reported that the campaign highlighted abuses against Roma in Hungary, France, Romania, Italy and Serbia. Issues included Roma children being segregated in schools; limited access to housing, healthcare and education; forced evictions and relocation. A petition was circulated.
- Arms Trade Treaty
David Yates reported on the very good news that an Arms Trade Treaty has been passed by the General Assembly of the UN. Although the first drafts were poor, Amnesty’s concerns were largely addressed for the final draft. And even though the Treaty is not perfect, it is the first control of the international arms trade and thus a very important step forward.
David Huband (for David Ford) welcomed the news that Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khadzhiev had been released after the completion of their sentences but reported that we need to continue to campaign for an independent investigation into the death in custody of Ogulsapar Muradova. Copies of a letter, putting these points, to be sent to the Minister, the President of Turkmenistan and the Ambassador were circulated.
- Shaker Aamer
Jim Massey gave a very detailed report of the events of the last month concerning the plight of Shaker Aamer at Guantanamo. Briefly, he and many other inmates who have been cleared for release, are on hunger strike against their treatment and continuing incarceration. Jim read out a very moving letter from Aamer which had been published in the New Statesman and Guardian newspapers. He reported that an e-petition had passed 100,000 signatures which means that it will be considered for a debate in Parliament. Another encouraging development was a planned debate on the Guantanamo issue at the EU Parliament on the 18th. Members of the group agreed to email our MEPs. In addition, the text of an e-mail to be sent to William Hague and Alistair Burt was circulated.
- Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
Joanna Kinnaird reported on this major Amnesty campaign which will focus on 4 key priorities:
- Peace and reconciliation- promoting increased participation of women in the peace process.
- Security and transition – working to increase the number of women in the Afghan National Security Forces.
- Violence against women and girls.
- Protecting human rights defenders.
Tom Read drew our attention to a letter in the current issue of the Amnesty magazine. For more information about this campaign please go the Amnesty website or follow the links on the Norwich AI website.
Report on the AGM at Warwick University
David Huband and Joanna Kinnaird reported that at this AGM there was much debate on the governance and financing of AIUK and the IS and that campaigning discussion was more limited.
Resolutions passed included:
- The growth strategy of AIUK was too optimistic and should be re-assessed.
- The salaries of senior management of the IS were inflated and should be subject to performance indicators.
There were also concerns that raising AIUK’s contribution to the IS from 30% to 40% might be too ambitious.
Both David and Joanna felt that, after the EGM, there was now increased criticism of the IS, particularly in reference to financial management and general managerial competence.
- Norwich School Show – David Huband reported that the evening was very enjoyable and that the students raised £513 for Amnesty.
- Norwich Street Collection – May 11th – Collectors are badly needed.
Please contact Nicky Leach for more details.
- Treasure Hunt – June 2nd – A fun event for all the family. Only £5. Check the website for details.
Next committee meeting – April 24th at Joanna’s house.
Bruce Kent is speaking at the Friends’ Meeting House on April 27th @ 3.00p.m.
Wednesday 17 April at 7.30
Speaker Rupert Read (UEA): “How to care for future generations”