Report from our November meeting

9 Dec

Our meeting was as usual a virtual one.  We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm. Newcomers are always welcome – you’ll find joining instructions on our website, amnestytaunton.com.

Our November meeting heard reports on the Death Penalty; it seems probable that, with an incoming Democratic President in the US, Federal executions will cease. Some members were planning to take part in a Twitterstorm, bombarding the Egyptian authorities with tweets on the birthday of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din who turned 28 on Sunday 15 November 2020.  By then he will have been in prison in Egypt for 17 months simply for standing up for housing rights. 

Amnesty’s work in India has had to cease because AI India’s bank accounts have been suspended by the authorities.  Julie Verhaar, Acting General Secretary of AI said:

 “This is an egregious and shameful act by the Indian Government, which forces us to cease the crucial human rights work of Amnesty International India for now. However, this does not mark the end of our firm commitment to, and engagement in, the struggle for human rights in India. We will be working resolutely to determine how Amnesty International can continue to play our part within the human rights movement in India for years to come.”

This is the time of year that Amnesty holds its Write for Rights events, but things will be a little different this year. However, we are still sending a card, email or tweet of support to ten individuals or groups of people whose freedoms are being denied, and writing to those in power to challenge their actions.

We will be holding a Vigil in Taunton town centre on 12 December from 10-11am, focussing particularly on the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer sentenced to a horrific 38 years imprisonment and 148 lashes. Write for Rights materials and advice will be available at the vigil. Please join us – we will be standing near the Tourist Information Office at the bottom of the High Street. Please wear a mask and we will maintain 2m social distancing. If you want to find out about Nasrin in advance – here is a link.  https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-nasrin-sotoudeh

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