Here’s what happened at the April 2014 Taunton Amnesty meeting…

11 Apr
Hakamada leaves prison after 46 years on death row © JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

Hakamada leaves prison after 46 years on death row © Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

A piece of welcome good news! Japanese death row prisoner Hakamodo Iwao has at last been released. He was sentenced to death in 1968 after a trial of dubious validity, and has been under sentence of death for an unbelievable 44 years.  However, the prosecution has appealed against this release.  The Tokyo High Court could take up to two years to rule, adding to the psychological distress already endured by this elderly gentleman.

The Group debated what campaigns and countries to focus on particularly this year. We will be working for the Stop Torture and Crisis and Tactical Campaigns. We will continue to work for Dr Tun Aung of Burma; two members will focus on North Africa, and another on China, besides continuing work on such issues as the Death Penalty.

April’s monthly action highlighted the dreadful plight of persecuted civilians in the Central African Republic, where society has broken down in a series of sectarian and inter-ethnic conflicts. Amnesty is appealing to the Americans to support an immediate intervention by international peacekeeping forces. Click here to sign the petition.

Our May meeting will be addressed by Rebecca Pow, prospective Conservative candidate for Taunton, on human rights issues. All are most welcome to come and hear her at 8pm on the Tuesday 13th May 2014 at Silver Street Baptist Church. 

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