Update from our March meeting

21 Mar

We were updated through the AIUK Local Groups news on Amnesty activities round the country. A section on 2023 Priority Campaigns, including ‘Protect the Protest and Freedom of Expression’, and  ‘Ending Israeli Apartheid’ made disturbing reading. 

There are reports on the Central England Conference and the national Student Conference.  Speaking of Conferences, don’t forget that Amnesty’s South West Conference is in Exeter on 25 March, 10am-4pm,  at the Mint Methodist Church Centre.

We plan to attend the Pride march through Taunton on 22 July, with a stall in Vivary Park.  We’re hoping too for a presence at the BTC Freshers Fair in September.

Regretting the absence of  the actions we used to take for specified individual prisoners, one of our Group has initiated a letter writing programme for Moroccan Omar Radi, an activist and human rights journalist.  First arrested in 2019, and tried on what appear to be spurious charges, his sentence of 6 years imprisonment has recently been confirmed.  We wrote individually to the Moroccan Minister of Justice.

Our Middle East and North African specialist has been writing on behalf of Abderrahmane Zitout of Algeria, imprisoned and on hunger strike, and for Hassan al Rabea, threatened with extradition from Morocco to Saudi Arabia.  The case of Egyptian Alaa ab del Fattah is for the moment on hold while the best way forward is considered by Amnesty.

A newly rejoined member has begun work on Afghanistan. No surprise that women’s rights lead the field of concerns.  The UN Special Rapporteur has a report on this same subject.

We selected as Media of the Month the film Till, the dreadful story of a 14 year old black youth tortured, shot and lynched in Mississipi in 1955,  and his mother’s fight for justice.

Our next meeting will be at the Friends’ Meeting House in Bath Place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 April – hope to see .you there!

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