18th December 2013 Minutes

Chair: David Huband

Chair welcomed all to the meeting

Minutes of November’s Open Meeting agreed.


  • Monthly Action
    This month’s action comprised a petition to Vladimir Putin to stop the attacks on Human Rights in the Russian Federation over the last few years. These include homophobic legislation, the criminalisation of ‘blasphemy’ and labelling foreign organisations as ‘foreign agents’ – (both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty have had their offices raided under this legislation.) This petition has been designed to coincide with the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.Members are also asked to send cards to each of the ‘Bolotnaya Three’. (For details see p.16 of the Write for Rights greetings card and letter writing campaign.)
  • Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan
    David Ford distributed the information needed to send greetings cards to the families of Ogulsapar Muradova in Turkmenistan and Salidzhon Abdurackhmanov in Uzbekistan.
  • Shaker Aamer
    David Huband reported that William Hague has written to Shaker Aamer in Guantanamo saying that he will do all that he can to ensure his release to his home in London.A letter to the Chair of the US Committee on Homeland Security, putting our case for the release of Mr Aamer will be sent.There was a brief discussion on whether or not a bus ad./a banner/car stickers might be useful propaganda – to be discussed more fully at the next committee meeting.


  • International Issues
    The IS is consulting on the de-criminalisation of sex workers on the grounds that adverse consequences of criminalisation harm sex workers.
  • Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
    Joanna Kinnaird read the reply to her letter to MP Richard Bacon – detailing policies to promote action against violence to women.
  • Board Elections
    AI is asking for nominations.
  • Re-structuring
    In the recent re-structuring, 20 staff took voluntary redundancy and 7 others were offered alternative roles. No-one has been sacked.
  • Panorama
    In the Panorama programme of December 10th investigating charitable finances, the sacking of and payments to Irene Khan and her deputy were featured as well as the financial loss incurred by the Secret Policeman’s Ball. It was generally felt that Amnesty had ‘got off quite lightly’.


  • Write for Rights
    This was judged to have been very successful. 20 letters and 89 cards were written and £76 collected towards postage.
  • Christmas Cards
    All sold. We will know the sum raised at the end of January.
  • 38 Degrees
    Roz Cadwallader highlighted the on-line petition to Teresa May, posted by 38 Degrees, against the trafficking of children.

Future Events

  • The annual Amnesty Quiz and Dips will be on Saturday February 1st at St. Thomas’ Church, Earlham Road.

Next Meeting

Wednesday 15th January at 7.30pm

Nazir Ahmed will speak about the origins and work of “Freedom from Torture”


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