• Chair: David Huband
  • Chair welcomed all to the meeting with a reminder that this was “Refugee Week” and that according to The Guardian newspaper, 35,000 refugees have died trying to get to a place of safety.
  • Minutes of last meeting agreed.

Speaker

Mike Clemo of the Norwich International Youth Projectspoke very movingly and in detail about the work done to support young people in Norfolk who are asylum seekers, refugees or otherwise displaced from their country of origin. The project began with the Balkan wars and continues today as numbers of asylum seekers continue to rise – since the beginning of the year there have been 64 individuals, from 16 countries, currently accessing support; 25% of them unaccompanied under 18s.

A question and answer session followed and Mike was warmly thanked for his excellent, informative talk and discussion.

Campaigns

Esmail Abdi

Joanna introduced the case of Esmail Abdi, a teacher from Tehran. He is a prisoner of conscience – in prison for standing up for workers’ rights in education. He has been in Evin prison for 6 years. A petition was circulated for members to sign, calling for his release and improved health care.

Gabriella Ratcliffe

David Huband took a photo of members holding Birthday Greetings cards on her 4thbirthday for Gabriella, the daughter of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who remains in Evin prison. AI will be sending all the photos to Gabriellas

Letter on Capital Punishment

David Ford had written a letter to the EDP on Capital Punishment. It was, apparently, published, but no-one saw it – which suggests that our monitoring system has broken down.

It was agreed that next month’s meeting would focus on letter writing. David Huband reported that Write for Rights is the World’s biggest HR event.

He quoted some powerful statistics…

  1. 5.5 million actions were taken last year
  2. 758,000 letters were sent from Taiwan
  3. In Poland there were 700 Write for Rights events across the country
  4. In China, there has been a notable reduction of harassment of those Chinese whose homes were demolished before the Olympics.

Previous Events

  • Amnestea: Very many thanks to Lyn Holt for all her hard work in organising this enjoyable event which raised an astonishing £314.
  • David Huband was very impressed with the pupils during his School visit to Newton Flotman Primary: 18th June.

Future Events

  • Refugee Week June 21st-24th
  • Community sponsorship of Refugees meeting at St Andrew’s Church hall, Eaton – June 21st. 7.30
  • Quiz and Dips St Thomas’ Hall, Earlham Road – June 23rdMore volunteers needed.
  • Street Collection June 30th
  • School visit to Norwich High School for Girls
  • Amnesty Bookshop opening early July

Next Meeting

Mainly focussing on letter writing

Wednesday July 18th

Charing Cross centre 7.30