Tag Archives: campaigns

Report from our April meeting

28 Apr

advan_1920x1080pxOur monthly action focused on the Human Rights Act. Often attacked, rarely championed, and surrounded by myths and misconceptions, the HRA is vitally important. As the election approaches, Amnesty’s April Monthly Action is to make people aware of this. What, for example, is our prospective Parliamentary candidates’ attitude to the HRA?

The Act incorporates into English law most of the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Convention was created from the ashes of WW2, and inspired by the desire to protect individuals against those abuses happening again. It drew on British ideas – British lawyers drafted most of it, and the UK was the first to sign up to it in 1951. Don’t let those efforts go to waste!

Our meeting heard reports on, among others, the Mansoura Three in Egypt (3 young women caught up in the violence in 2014 – their appeal was being heard on April 12), letters written for those on Death Row in Pakistan, Belarus and Bahrain, and the possibility of a new Burmese Prisoner of Conscience.

At our May meeting Andy Moody, Amnesty’s China Country Co-ordinator, will be coming to speak on that country – do join us if you can. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church.

Report from our March meeting

23 Mar

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyHelp turn the lights back on in Syria and bring its people out of darkness!

For the fourth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict Amnesty International, along with many other international NGOs, is pressing to prioritise a political solution with human rights at its heart. For our March Monthly Action, we’ve been asked to  plan a light-filled vigil to mark the occasion. Find out more about this campaign at www.withsyria.com.

This month Amnesty member Nicky Saunter, CEO of Transform, gave a thought-provoking talk about their work. Transform is a charitable think tank that campaigns for the legal regulation of drugs both in the UK and internationally; currently drugs are criminalised, but there is no system of regulation. The human rights implications are considerable. Prohibition cannot be judged a success on any front. Handing control of the drug trade to organised criminals has had disastrous consequences across the globe. Transform therefore works to get drugs under control by advocating for strict regulation of all aspects of the trade.

We also signed letters on behalf of our Mansoor University cases in Egypt; Death Penalty letters to Florida for a case where key testimony has been retracted; the long-running case of Hakamada Iwao in Japan, who could be put back on Death Row; and on behalf of Liu Ping in China, who was imprisoned for campaigning for senior officials to reveal the sources of their wealth.

Members of the Group recently met with Rachel Gilmour, prospective Taunton parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, to hear her views, especially on issues that concern Amnesty; we’ve already met Conservative and Labour candidates.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 14th April at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. We’re always delighted to welcome newcomers.

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.

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