21st February 2018 Open Meeting and Group AGM Minutes

Chair: David Huband

Chair welcomed all to the meeting

Minutes of last meeting agreed

Matters arising: David H is still trying to set up a letter writing sub-group.

Campaigns

Families Together

Joanna introduced the “Families Together” campaign – on 16th March there is to be a Private Members’ Bill to allow refugee children to join their parents. There is an on-line Action on the AI website.

Azza Soliman

A prominent lawyer working for women’ rights in Egypt, Azza Soliman faces three trumped up charges and imprisonment if found guilty. There is an online action on the website.

Ahed Tamini

Aged 15, Ahed Tamini was protesting in Jerusalem against Pres. Trump’s decision to move the USA Embassy to Jerusalem when her 14 year old cousin was shot in the head. She and her mother face trial for protesting. The trial is imminent – details on-line.

Registration of refugee children

Refugee children need to register once they reach 18, in order to remain in the UK. However registration costs £900. Members signed a petition to abolish this practice.

Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov

David Ford reported that the new President of Uzbekistan had just sacked the Minister of security services, which might indicate a change in policy. He distributed letters which acknowledged the reforming measures and appealed for the release of Salidzhon.

Speaker

Jo Anne Veltman, a founder member of CHAIN, spoke convincingly about climate change and the need to recognise it as an important factor in Human Rights abuses.

She was warmly thanked.

Norwich Group AGM

Members of the Committee were re-elected

David Huband gave his annual report.

He outlined the achievements of the Group

  • We have written very many letters (thanks to Joanna). Thanks too, to David Ford for his persistence in the case of Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov.
  • We have also campaigned on behalf of refugees – thanks to Jane Saunders for her work. And thanks to Hatch Brenner solicitors for sponsoring the printing of the latest refugee leaflets.
  • We have lobbied MPs and are pleased that the Norwich S. MP, Clive Lewis is a supporter
  • Thanks to David Yates who has organised events such as Pride, Peace Camp and Write for Rights – all of which generate engagement with the public.
  • We will be involved in new campaigns this year such as BRAVE – campaigning for Human Rights defenders.

We have had fewer speakers this year but all were highly relevant. Paul Clark (EAPPI) and Ben Margolis on his work with refugees at The Grange.

Members attended both the National AGM and the regional conference.

Fundraising is an important part of our work to support AI World-wide.

  • The major event is our ‘Quiz and Dips – Thanks to Debbie Campbell, Roz Cadwallader and David Yates.
  • Thanks to Nicky Leach for organising the Street Collection and to Sue Mills for Christmas cards.

We have had very fruitful relationships with other groups and organisations

  • The Octagon which held a service for AI in August and raised funds for us (Thanks to Gavin)
  • The Friends’ monthly Peace demo
  • The PSC
  • City of Sanctuary

And we look forward to continuing to work with these groups.

The result of an Amnesty survey indicates that, compared with other local group, we are average.

For the future, we must not lose sight of our main objectives and should try to promote our work more by public campaigning, holding social events and continuing to work with other organisations.

Treasurer’s Report

David Ford gave his report for 2017

  • Next Committee Meeting: Wednesday 14th March 2018
  • Next Open Meeting: Wednesday 21st March 2018