18th July 2012 Minutes
Chair: David Huband
Minutes: Debbie Campbell
Chair welcomed all to the meeting, especially first-time visitors.
Chair asked for any items to include in AOB – none raised.
Minutes of last meeting (20 June 2012)
Agreed as true record.
Matters Arising from Minutes of last meeting
Monthly Action – Roz Cadwallader
This related to a petition about the ongoing abuses in the Burmese criminal justice system.
Joanna Kinnaird referred to a case concerning children in Bahrain.
Roz Cadwallader had nothing to report.
David Yates reported that the UN is meeting between 3-27 July to negotiate an International Arms Treaty.
MENA (Middle East & North Africa):
Tom Reed gave a short update on the region but had no actions to report.
Stephanie Laimer reported on two cases on Nigeria and Serbia. [The Serbia case has since been resolved.]
Individuals at Risk
David Ford (DF) would be leading session later in the meeting.
DF reported the good news that three Burmese prisoners, who had been taken on as Amnesty cases some time ago, had been released. David Huband suggested informing Ed Balls and Diane Abbott who had both participated in the ‘Hand’ action at the Burston Rally last year. David Ford offered to write to them. ACTION David Ford
David Ford informed that the move to the Co-Op Bank was going through but will take a few weeks to complete the transfer. He will arrange for all members to be informed (by email if possible) about the new banking arrangement should they wish to donate.
Carl Grint updated.
Tom Reed had nothing to report.
AI’s financial situation
David Huband updated the meeting.
He said that the situation was of concern though not dire and would involve some staff redundancies and other economies.
He reported on AIUK’s proposal for a two-phase strategic plan to meet the organisation’s financial concerns which were due to its increased contribution to help finance investment in the global South.
There will be a members’ meeting on 25 July in London. David is planning to attend on the group’s behalf, and will stress that AIUK’s membership must continue to be serviced at grassroots level. He will also express some surprise that the financial concerns were not raised at the recent AGM which would have provided an opportunity to invite feedback from the membership.
Norwich Peace Camp
David Yates reported on this event which took place on 23 June. He said it was very successful and reminded the meeting that there were photographs on the group’s website (within the Gallery).
David Yates reminded that the group would be holding a Norwich AI stall at this event on 28 July, and distributed a rota for running the stall.
This will be on 1 December in Cambridge.
David Huband (DH) said it was hoped to have a speaker on Syria at the October meeting.
DH has invited Clive Stafford-Smith to be a key speaker at an event; Clive S-S has responded to say he may possibly be able to take this on at a future date. DH will contact him in the New Year. (Action DH)
Next Committee Meeting
Chair reminded the meeting that anyone is welcome to suggest any item they would like the Committee to discuss at their next meeting on 12 September.
Turkmenistan Case Files
David Ford (DF) led a session on the three AI cases relating to human rights abuses in Turkmenistan. He explained that 25 August is the anniversary of the date on which all three were sentenced. The anniversary of the death in custody of Ogoolsapar Mooradova falls on 14 September.
The group explored what actions could be undertaken.
DF asked that he is informed of any actions/letters that anyone takes on as he has to report these on to AI central office.
DF said that a dedicated email address had been set up relating to these cases: Turkmenistan@norwichamnesty.org.uk and all incoming emails to this address will be redirected to DF’s own email which will be kept confidential.
Chair thanked DF for his clear summary and lead on these cases.
Group speaker for Hewett School
Chair asked if anyone would be willing to talk on AI to the Hewett School.
Close of Meeting
Chair thanked all present for their attendance.