Report from our May meeting

14 May

IMG_4276_crop.jpgA Human Rights Defender is a person who individually or with others acts to defend and promote human rights at local, national or international levels, using non-violent means. Someone like Sakris Kupila, a medical student in Finland who is a transgender activist, who has been denied legal gender recognition. “I dream of the day when I can truly feel that this world is for people like me, too. I’ll stop when this fight is over.” We focussed on Sakris’s case at our May meeting.

Amnesty is calling for Sakris Kupila to be legally recognised as male by the Finnish state, without the required diagnosis of mental disorder and an irreversible sterilisation. We wrote to the Prime Minister of Finland, and to Sakris himself, and shared on social media a photo of the group symbolically sending our love and heartfelt solidarity to him.

We were updated by group members on Burma, the Middle East and North Africa. One member had written to holiday group Kuoni raising the issue of ethical tourism in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Egypt, and had received a reply from them, arguing the benefits of tourism.

We wrote to the County Gazette on the death penalty and our relationship with countries such as Saudi Arabia who are enthusiastic exponents of the death penalty.

Taunton Amnesty is organising a Seventies-music themed picnic for the Great Get Together – Long Run Meadow, 5pm on 23 June. Do join us!

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton; visitors are always welcome.

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