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To our supporters

31 Mar
Keep Calm and Support AmnestySelf isolation. Funny, isn’t it, how the expression has quickly become part of our everyday language?
But the isolation we, as Amnesty members, read about is of a different order. This is not isolation for the good of the community, with free access to our friends and family by phone, text, email, Facebook and Whatsapp. It is isolation in unsanitary conditions, with poor or little food, often with a ration of torture and no access to lawyers, doctors, friends or family.
So, while you – our supporters and followers out there – are coping with isolation, might you be able to go to the Amnesty UK website to read about Human Rights Defenders?
There are 3 cases you could help with: the Bhima Koregaon 9 (BK9) in India, jailed for fighting for the rights of the poorest in the country; three women in Iran facing 42 years in prison for unveiling; and the women in Saudi Arabia who, having campaigned for the right to drive – a right that has now been granted by the Saudi Government –  find themselves in prison.
You won’t need to write a letter. It is difficult to obtain the correct postage now, so please email or sign the petitions!
Thank you and stay safe.

Amnesty Taunton meeting: Tuesday 10 March

9 Mar

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyOur next meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10 March at the Quaker Meeting Rooms, Bath Place, Taunton. It will include a workshop on Amnesty and Climate Change led by our Amnesty Trainer Susan Mew.

We hope to see you there.

Families Together display at Taunton Library

16 Feb

IMG_5079Yesterday, Taunton Amnesty Group donated several children’s books about refugees to the Taunton Library (pictured). This donation accompanies a small display at the library to highlight the Families Together campaign.

More than half of the world’s refugees are children, many of them separated from their families as they flee war and persecution. But needlessly strict laws in the UK IMG_20200215_150336229mean many are prevented from being joined by their parents, brothers and sisters. These restrictive rules leave people isolated, traumatised and alone in the UK, knowing that the people they love still face untold dangers in other countries.

Amnesty International and many other organisations that form the Families Together Coalition are calling on the UK Government to expand the current refugees family reunion rules.

If you get a chance, please pop by Taunton Library to see our display and learn more. The display will be at the library during normal opening hours until the end of Saturday 22nd February.

Report from our January meeting

28 Jan

Write for Rights: our stall in St Mary’s at the end of November generated interest among the plethora of other events going on that day.  We collected nearly £80 for AI, and received a generous donation from Taunton School as a result of our visit to them – we hope to maintain that contact.

At our January meeting our coordinator for India filled us in on the Kashmir issue, and the protests about the new citizenship changes and restrictions on Muslims.

Our North Africa coordinator had written a letter for us to sign on behalf of Assa Mohammed in Egypt, asking that his sentence be quashed.

Amnesty International had also asked her to keep up the pressure on behalf of Ali Arras of Morocco, who should be released on 2 April. She reminded us that Ali, a Belgian-Moroccan national, was forcibly returned to Morocco in 2010 from Spain, where he was caring for his ageing father. He was tortured for 12 days in a secret detention centre and afterwards confessed to using weapons illegally and supporting a terrorist group. He has been in prison since then.

We discussed future actions, particularly an event on ‘Families Together’ to highlight the plight of refugee children in this country who are again (contrary to the Government’s previous undertaking) being denied the right to re-build a family life.

Our selected Book of the Month is First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung on her experiences in the Cambodian killing fields.

We meet at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month in the Friends’ Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton (next meeting 11 Feb). We’re always delighted to welcome visitors.

Amnesty Taunton meeting Tuesday 14 January

9 Jan

Keep Calm and Support Amnesty

Please join us at our first meeting of 2020, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14 January in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton.

The meeting will include a short talk by Alex Melbourne providing an introduction to the humanitarian and human rights situation in South Sudan.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Taunton Amnesty Write for Rights stall

22 Nov

httpscdn.evbuc.comimages766168812813991100631originalWe hope that you can pop in to say hello and support us at our annual Write For Rights stall in St Mary’s Church, Taunton on Saturday 30th November between 10am and 2pm.

We will have information on this year’s human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience around the world that Amnesty is asking us to send greetings cards to at this time of year to show them support and hopefully boost their morale. We will have a supply of greetings cards too, so all you need to do is spare 5 minutes and stop by our stall!

The Eat Festival will be happening in Hammet Street, so it’s well worth coming by!

We look forward to seeing you,

Taunton Amnesty Group

Amnesty Feminists update

18 Sep

EGYPT: The Giza prosecution office has ordered the release on bail of a 15 year old girl who was arrested after stabbing a microbus driver who attempted to rape her. In July, Amira was lured to Al-Ayat by a microbus driver, her boyfriend and another man and then offered a lift home by the driver after the other commuters got out. The driver attacked Amira with a knife and attempted to rape her so she stabbed him 14 times in self-defence. Reuters has stated that Egypt is the worst place in the world to be a woman – women who do speak out about sexual harassment are often punished by authorities – in 2018, Amal Fathy was sentenced to prison after posting a video on FB calling out sexual harassment.

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: 25th November – marks the start of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. AI advocates for the full decriminalisation of sex work because if offers a better framework to protect the human rights of sex workers.

dometic-abuse-bill-webUK – DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL – not fit for purpose. Supposed to ‘transform’ our approach to domestic abuse’, it leaves some of the most marginalised women behind. Migrant women are often already isolated in society. They can face language barriers, racial discrimination and many are on low-income jobs. Help support migrant women and join call on the government to make sure the new Domestic Abuse Bill doesn’t discriminate against migrant women. (ON-LINE PETITION)

ON-LINE ABUSE: widespread in the UK with one if five women having suffered online abuse or harassment, latest research has discovered.

ECUADOR: Amazonian Women Patricia Gualinga, Nema Grefa, Salome Aranda and Margoth Escobar are putting their lives on the line every day protecting the world’s largest rainforest. In doing so, they are taking a stand against climate change, while defying huge political and economic interest linked to extractive industries in Indigenous territories. In 2018, unidentified attackers targeted them in a series of attacks and death threats. For more than a year Ecuador’s authorities have failed to protect them or identify their attackers. In Ecuador, dozens of Amazonian Women work together to defend the Amazon, home to hundreds of Indigenous communities, thousands of species and half of the world’s rainforests. Large-scale economic activities such as oil, mining and logging often pose a threat to the environment and to people’s rights.

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