Tag Archives: action

Stop Torture campaign – good news!

31 May

Moses AkatugbaMoses Akatugba, who was sentenced to death for stealing mobile phones, has been granted a total pardon by Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria. Moses was just 16 when he was arrested, and 24 when he was sentenced to death. He was convicted based on ‘a confession’ obtained through repeated torture.
More than 34,000 people signed the Amnesty petition to the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria, asking him to show mercy on Moses Akatugba – and it’s thanks to those actions that Moses will experience freedom again after ten years behind bars, the last few of which were on death row.

Moses sent Amnesty International this message:
‘I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activists for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation. Amnesty International members and activist are my heroes.
‘I want to assure them, that this great effort they have show to me will not be in vain, by the special grace of God I will live up to their expectation.
‘I promise to be a human rights activist, to fight for others. I am thanking the Governor for his kind gesture and for keeping to his words.’

Together our voices really can free people, change laws and defend human rights around the world.

Report from our May meeting

21 May

Amnesty Taunton -  writing cards to Mahdi Abu DheebAbducted by the security forces, held incommunicado and tortured: this was the fate of Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President of the Bahrain Teachers Union, during the Arab Spring of 2011. He’s now serving a 5 year jail sentence; he’s denied medical care, and his health is deteriorating. In neighbouring United Arab Emirates, Dr Mohammed Al Roken, a well known and respected human rights lawyer, is in the second year of a 10 year sentence which effectively silences a voice speaking out in defence of human rights.

For our monthly action on their behalf we sent messages of solidarity and signed a petition to keep up pressure on the authorities.

Andy Moody, Amnesty’s UK China co-ordinator, talked to us on China’s poor record on human rights under the current regime, and its heavy use of the death penalty.

He spoke of three major dissidents, including Liu Xiabo, a prominent writer and academic, currently jailed. In 2010 Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, despite threats by China to Norway if the award went ahead. No one was able to receive it on his behalf; his empty chair stood on the stage during the award as mute testimony to his achievements.

We hope to ‘adopt’ another Chinese prisoner of conscience, Liu Ping. A member of the New Citizens’ Movement, a peaceful network of activists, she is serving a 6 year jail sentence.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 9th June at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. Do join us to find out more about our work.

 

Keep The Act

20 May

imageDear Supporters,

The latest message from Amnesty International UK says:
“There are many different stories about the Human Rights Act. We’re being told that certain rights will be removed from criminals and terrorists. But taking rights away from anyone undermines your rights too; a fundamental principle of human rights is that they are universal, they apply to all humans. It cannot be down to the whim of the politicians of the day to say who rights apply to and who they do not. In order to show the unity and the power of the UK public, we need to send a powerful message to Justice Secretary Michael Gove and demand that he saves the Human Rights Act.”

Please can you go to http://keeptheact.uk/#signup-form to sign the online petition and then forward this link to your friends and contacts to ask them to do the same.

Many thanks for your support!

Do the human right thing

15 Apr

i-stand-for-human-rights-468x283_0The Human Rights Act is a powerful tool. It brings home fundamental, universal rights we all have as human beings, and allows us to challenge authorities if they violate them.

However, it is misunderstood by many and misreported by sections of the press. Find out why the Human Rights Act matters to all of us by reading this thought-provoking article: Eight reasons why the Human Rights Act makes the UK a better place

UK Election 2015 – Join The Fight For Rights

Our human rights are under attack at home and abroad. In the UK, plans to scrap the Human Rights Act are threatening our fundamental freedoms. And despite a global ban, three quarters of the world’s governments still use torture – yet continue to deny it.

Tell your parliamentary candidates that you stand for human rights.

It’s time to show the next government that human rights matter. Click here to take action.

Urgent Action: They plan to hang him tomorrow

18 Mar

Shafqat-Hussain-pictured--007Shafqat Hussain was still a child – fourteen years old – when Pakistan authorities sentenced him to death. His execution is due to take place tomorrow.

According to his lawyers, he was convicted based on a “confession” following nine days of torture by police.

Hussain has been in prison for ten years now. But late last week, authorities suddenly issued his death warrants.

They’re planning to hang him tomorrow.

Please, call on Pakistan to halt this execution immediately.
Take action by clicking here to help save this young man’s life. It will only take you a couple of minutes to sign the petition.

Thank you.

Next Taunton Amnesty Group Meeting Tues 10th March

3 Mar
syria
Our next monthly meeting is on Tuesday 10th March at the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton, TA1 3DH.  8pm start.
All are most welcome to join us for campaign updates, news and actions and to find out more about human rights and the work of Amnesty International.
We will be starting with a talk from Nicky Saunter, who is a group member and a committed Amnesty activist; she will be telling us about human rights issues relating to the work of Transform  – Getting Drugs Under Control www.tdpf.org.uk/about-transform which she recently joined as Chief Executive.
Our monthly action is for Syria and we’ll also have a report from the Amnesty Regional Conference last month.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Note: there is parking at the rear of the church; ring the bell at the rear entrance if there is no-one there to let you in. Check the board by the entrance door for which room we are in.

Report from our February meeting

23 Feb

197010_mansoura_women1200The meeting began with the Taunton Group’s AGM; we decided which of Amnesty’s campaigns we should focus on this year. These include Stop Torture and the Death Penalty, and a focus on country campaigns: a new Burmese prisoner of conscience now that Dr Tun Aung has been released, a new interest in China, and a continuation of our work for the Mansoura Three in Egypt (pictured). We signed letters to the Egyptian authorities on behalf of these three women who were caught up in protests in 2014 and face years behind bars.

This month’s group action took an ironic look at typical Valentine’s Day messages against the background of the ‘My Body, My Rights’ campaign. Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a basic human right. Yet all over the world, people are persecuted for making these choices – or prevented from doing so at all.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. Everyone is most welcome to join us.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

keepyourbodily600x600My Body My Rights

Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a basic human right. Yet all over the world, people are persecuted for making these choices – or prevented from doing so at all.

A woman is refused contraception because she doesn’t have her husband’s permission. A man is harassed by police because he’s gay. A teenager is denied a life-saving termination because abortion is illegal in her country. Whoever you are, wherever you live, you have the right to live without fear, violence or discrimination.

Find out more about Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign here.

Good news from Burma

21 Jan
Dr. Tun Aung

Dr. Tun Aung

We have received confirmation that our group’s ‘adopted’ prisoner of conscience in Burma, Dr Tun Aung, was released at about 10am GMT on Monday and is now with his family. Our group Chairman, Martin Shirley, said: ‘We are delighted to hear that Dr Tun Aung had been released from his unjust sentence, and hope that there will soon be no more prisoners of conscience left in Burma’s prisons. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has written on behalf of Dr Tun Aung since we took up his case just over two years ago. This is very much part of what Amnesty is all about.’

The EU Torture Trade: Sale Must End Now

13 Nov

stick_web_final_0Struggling to keep a crowd in check with your ordinary truncheon? This spiked baton delivers maximum impact with virtually no effort! And thanks to loopholes in EU laws, you can trade in an array of gruesome torture equipment like this right here in Europe.

Sign the petition calling on the EU to fix the flaws that allow people to profit from torture.

 

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