Chair: David Huband

  • Chair welcomed all to the meeting
  • Minutes of last meeting agreed

Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

Actions

  • Joanna distributed a petition to the Foreign Secretary to boycott the sale of products produced in the Israeli Settlements and to stop UK companies from trading in Settlement goods.
  • Joanna introduced an Urgent Action concerning two Palestinian women, held by the Israeli authorities in administrative detention – without charge or trial. They both face indefinite imprisonment as these detention orders can be renewed indefinitely and without prior notice.

International issues

David Ford gave a resume of the changes taking place in Amnesty’s governance, with the aim of making Amnesty a more global organisation: moving positions away from London and getting closer to other governments, with offices now in cities around the World – Beirut, Dacca, Mexico City, Nairobi, for example.

This has cost £14 million.

Currently, the International Secretariat meets in London every 2 years, but there are plans to replace this with annual global assemblies – with the aim of speeding up the decision making process.

Media

The lack of media coverage of the awful crisis in Yemen was highlighted, particularly concerning the death of the head of the Red Crescent in Yemen, who was refused permission to fly out by the Saudi authorities who have control the airport.

Campaigns

Uzbekistan – Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov: David Ford spoke about this case and pointed out that in cases in Azerbaijan. Belarus and Kazakhstan, prisoners have seen an improvement in their condition and one man has been released from prison in Uzbekistan. And a Crimean Tartar protestor has been released. Information sheets, with guidance for letter writing were distributed.

The next major campaign will be focused on Human Rights defenders. In 2016, 281 people were killed for defending human rights – a significant increase on last year’s figure of 156. (Mostly in the Americas). Joanna and David F will report back from the Regional Conference in Chelmsford where this campaign will be introduced.

The Refugee sub-group: Jane Saunders gave a resume of the research the group has done on the horrific plight of unaccompanied children. She pointed out that none has been admitted to the UK through the Dubs Amendment or the Dublin Regulation this year – both legal means of entry for unaccompanied young refugees.

There was a lively discussion of the situation. Jane highlighted the next meeting of the sub-group (Café Bar Marzano’s Oct 3rd. @7.00) when members will work on putting this information into a pamphlet.

Another major campaign will be against the use of the death penalty.

Write for Rights: This will take place on Saturday 16th December. St Stephen’s church is no longer able to accommodate us – David Ford is waiting to hear if we can use St Peter Mancroft.

At the last committee meeting, members agreed that we should try to provide more opportunities for letter writing.

Events

Unitarian Service: Thanks were expressed for the very generous donation of £200 from the Unitarian congregation following the joint service.

Street Collection: Nicky Leach has organised this for Saturday 14th October and it will be based at The Greenhouse on Bethel Street. Collecting is between 10.00 and 4.00pm. Volunteer collectors needed.

Christmas Cards: Sue Mills will order Amnesty Christmas cards for the Original Norwich Charity Christmas Card Shop and publicise the venue once a shop has been found.

Films: Helen Maimaris is planning a film programme at Cinema City. More details later.

Peace Vigil: Saturday 21st September (outside St Peter Mancroft). To coincide with the UN Day of Peace.

Give a home to Human Rights: This International event was supposed to be happening on the 20th. But David Ford has heard nothing – he will follow this up.

Lego Competition: This is to be a fundraiser for Amnesty, held at NUA, probably in Jan 2018 and organised by David Bissonet. More details later.

Quiz and Dips: Maybe next April/May. Watch this space.

AOB

Norwich Community Law Service: October 12th at the Hostry at 6.00pm- Lecture by Martha Spurrier (director of Liberty,) Human Rights and access to justice in a post-Brexit World. £6.

Ely AI group: Annual Ben Jupp Lecture –Terry Waite Out of the Silence. Ely Cathedral, Sunday 1st October 7.00pm.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 18th October 2017

Speaker: Philip Champain will speak about his work in Conflict Resolution