15th August 2012 Minutes

Chair: David Huband

Minutes: Joanna Kinnaird

Welcome

Chair welcomed all to the meeting.

Minutes of last meeting
Matters arising – David F will report on the Turkmenistan workshop in due course.
Meeting agreed that the minutes were a true record of the July meeting.

Extra items AOB
Chair – Amnesty’s position on women’s rights and war in Afghanistan.

Campaigns

Turkmenistan – David Ford
Letters have already been sent to President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jim asked if we could also send them to the Justice Minister and the Minister for Internal Affairs.
David will find out ACTION David F

David asked us to write a follow up letter to the President post Olympics.
David needs to record what letters are sent and to whom.
In due course Carl will compile a DVD of messages.
New address of the Embassy in London is 131 Holland Park Avenue London W11 4UT and replaces the address in Wells Street.
Email   tkm-embassy-uk@btconnect.com
David asked for new ideas for raising awareness and a member suggested we contact the regions’ MEPs initially to inform them of the situation in Turkmenistan. MEPs were matched to individuals at the meeting. Details are with David.

Forced Evictions – Carl on behalf of Steph
Haiti – Families living on land at risk of a landslide are under threat of eviction with no alternative adequate land being provided by the government or compensation.

Women’s Rights – Carl on behalf or Roz
Mexico – The offices of a Mexican Women’s Rights organisation have been broken into on several occasions, latest March 2012. No action taken to investigate the break-ins

Honduras – Radio journalist received death threats because of issues she covers in her programme. Action is to call on govt authorities to set up an independent investigation.

Arms Trade – David Yates
July deadline for the treaty passed without agreement being reached. However sufficient international pressure will ensure that the draft will proceed, hopefully, to UN in October. Previous attempts have been based on consensus but next time it will only need a two-thirds majority, to be passed. UK government is still actively supporting the treaty so pressure from Amnesty members is not necessary. Gordon has received a supportive letter from Simon Wright MP with a copy of a letter from Alistair Burt. This letter will be available on the group’s website.

Treasurer’s Report

– David F
Group’s funds are with Co-op bank. Those with standing orders will need to inform their own banks of this change of details. David will contact these individuals.

Website

Carl has updated our group website with a new design and yellow and black colours inline with Amnesty International. We have had an enquiry from another Amnesty group who prefers our site to the one offered by AIUK.

Financial situation AIUK

David H updated us on the financial situation of AIUK/AI following his meeting at AIUK. The contribution that national sections of Amnesty give to AI has increased because of AI’s decision to be proactive in recruiting members in areas of the world where there is no Amnesty presence, or little, at the moment.
Economies will be in areas of staff/communications/AGM length cut from 3 to 2 days

Past events

Pride at the Forum – The day went well the stall focused on 3 cases of Turkmenistan. The petition has 120 signatures. Thanks given to David Y for organising the stall.

Forthcoming events

November 21 -Training session led by Sarah Oliver from the Cambridge group will look at the Human Rights Act. Regional representative Liesbeth ten Ham will join the meeting. David H suggested we think up questions that we feel the public might ask us.

Carl suggested we might record the meeting. David will ask Sarah. ACTION David H

We have few fundraising events coming up, ideas to raise money will be very welcome.

Christmas cards at Assembly House – Sue M is liaising with Lesley P about organisation.

Burston Rally Diss group is organising a stall.

AOB

Amnesty’s position on war in Afghanistan
AI’s involvement relates to the rights of women once the troops leave and only that.
Tom R was at a meeting of Stop the War coalition, in Norwich, where opinion was expressed that Amnesty supported the war. He contacted AIUK and has had an official response, which clarifies the situation and states that Amnesty does not support one side or the other.

Georgetown University USA would like to link to our group website.

This is a courtesy, as they don’t need our permission. We’ll discuss this at the committee meeting.
ACTION David H (agenda)

Committee meeting 12 September– if anyone has items to be raised please contact one of the committee

Date next meeting:
Wednesday 19th September, 2012 : 7.30pm – All are Welcome

Jenny Kelly “How to live and farm under Israeli occupation”

Downloads

Download August Minutes (Word)

Download August Minutes (PDF)