Tag Archives: Dr Tun Aung

Report from our June meeting

15 Jun

The life of a 10-year-old girl, pregnant after being raped by her stepfather, is in danger in Paraguay. Despite the high risk this pregnancy poses, and her mother’s request, Paraguayan authorities have denied her access to a safe abortion. We signed letters to the Attorney General and President of Paraguay pleading for swift action in this distressing case.

We also signed letters to the Japanese authorities for Hakamado Iwao, the Japanese man who, until his provisional release last year, had been on death row for 46 years, living under the constant fear of execution, never knowing from one day to the next whether he was going to be put to death. This adds psychological torture to an already cruel and inhumane punishment. At 79, he now awaits a possible re-trial.

Dr. Tun Aung

Dr. Tun Aung

On a happier note, the Group were delighted to read the letter that Dr Tun Aung (left), our now released Burmese Prisoner of Conscience, had written to Amnesty:

‘When I was arbitrarily arrested and sentenced, Amnesty was the first organization I thought of and I hoped in some way it would work for my release….I started receiving some letters from Amnesty International members. It was the first flicker of light in my dark days…. The extent of the campaign and hundreds of personal letters written to me and my family made me very emotional and humbled.’

Our next meeting is at 8pm on Tuesday 14th July at the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. We look forward to seeing you there.

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.’

Report from our October meeting

23 Oct

 

egyptwomenNeil Guild, prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate for Taunton, was our speaker this month (Rebecca Pow, Conservative Parliamentary candidate, spoke in May).   In a very interesting talk he sketched in his life so far: University, Army, service in Iraq, Civil Service, and then moved on to how these experiences had shaped his current concerns, with particular reference to those issues that concern Amnesty.

This month’s Action is a call for Asylum Support rates to be increased; currently asylum seekers (who are not allowed to work) receive 50% of Income Support – about £7 a day for all living expenses outside accommodation. This is not enough to live on, and those left thus stranded may resort to illegal work, prostitution and begging.

Asylum seekers get a terrible press in the UK. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not entitled to council housing. An increase in support rates in other countries has not led to an increase in applicants there. The UK is only fourth in popularity among asylum seekers – Germany, France and Sweden all receive higher numbers of applicants.

We were asked to write to our MPs on the issue.

We now have prisoners of conscience in Egypt: 3 Egyptian women from Mansoor University, imprisoned for peaceful protest. We signed letters to President el-Sisi on their behalf, as we did for a number on Death Row in the US and other countries.

There is no further news about Dr Tun Aung, our prisoner of conscience in Burma; 3000 prisoners were released in Burma last week (in advance of the ASEAN conference), but only 3 of them were political prisoners.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. Do join us there, and follow us on our website: amnestytaunton.wordpress.com

Please write on behalf of our adopted prisoner of conscience, Dr Tun Aung

28 Jan
Dr. Tun Aung

Dr. Tun Aung

Dr Tun Aung has been imprisoned since 11th June 2012 following riots in Maungdaw, Myanmar (Burma).  Despite eyewitnesses testifying that Dr Aung actively tried to calm the situation, he has been convicted of inciting communal violence.  

He was held incommunicado for at least three months and denied the right to appoint a lawyer of his own choice. Dr Aung suffers from a pituitary tumour and may not be receiving the medical care he needs.

During his visit to London in July 2013, President Thein Sein gave his guarantee that all prisoners of conscience would be freed from his country’s jails by the end of the year, but Dr. Tun Aung has not been released.

Ask the Burmese authorities to release Dr Aung immediately and unconditionally.

Please write to President Thein Sein, Office of the President, Building No. 18, Naypyitaw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

If possible, please also write to Chief Justice, U Win Tun Tun Oo, Office of the Supreme Court, Office No. 24, Naypyitaw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

And send copies of your letters to H. E. The Ambassador Of The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 19A Charles Street, London W1X 8LR

Copies also to U Win Mra, Chairman, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, 27 Pyay Road, Hline Township, Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Missed January’s meeting? Read all about it here…

25 Jan

The first meeting of 2014: an occasion to look forward to new plans and initiatives, and maybe, even, in hope.

One for whom we hope, and on whom we are still concentrating as the New Year begins, is Dr. Tun Aung, the Group’s adopted Prisoner of Conscience in Burma. He has been sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment after an unfair trial, having been arrested following riots between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Maungdaw, a town in western Burma, in June 2012. Independent eyewitnesses confirm that Dr Aung actively tried to calm the crowd during the rioting and played no role in the violence. Nevertheless, he was convicted of inciting riots and various other criminal offences.

Speaking in London in July 2013, Burma’s President Thein Sein gave his guarantee that all prisoners of conscience would be freed from his country’s jails by the end of the year; we continue to press him for Dr Tun Aung’s release.

We heard reports on the Death Penalty (possibly some improvement in China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, but more, and more brutal, in Iran) and signed a plea for a prisoner in Iraq. One of Amnesty’s main campaigns for 2014 is for victims of torture.

The group’s AGM will be held in February; in March Ann Marcus will speak on the Middle East and North Africa.  All are welcome at our meetings, 8pm the second Tuesday of the month at the Silver Street Baptist Church.

December group meeting: Tuesday 10th December at 8pm.

7 Dec

wordcardOur last Taunton Amnesty meeting of 2013 will be an informal seasonal one.  

Join us at 8pm on Tuesday 10th December at the Silver St Baptist Church, for festive food & drink and the opportunity to send messages of hope to those suffering human rights abuses around the world.  This year, Dr Tun Aung (the group’s adopted prisoner of conscience) features in the Write for Rights campaign.

We would like to thank everyone for their continued interest and support throughout the year.

Wishing you all a joyful festive season and peaceful New Year.

About Write for Rights: Every year during November and December, Amnesty International asks people to write a letter and send a message of hope to someone suffering human rights abuses. Presidents, police chiefs and prison governors do take note when they receive hundreds of appeals to release a prisoner, stop the harassment of an activist or change an unjust law. For more information on this year’s cases please click here.

Join our group member Pat at her Write for Rights Day on 17th December

29 Nov

Write for Rights 2013Join Pat on Tuesday 17th December and sign cards to support prisoners of conscience worldwide.

Sessions take place:

10am-12pm

2-4pm

6-7pm

14 Georges Mews, Dunkleys Way, Hillyfields, TA1 2LX

Tel: 01823 332773

£1.50 donation per card and stamp.

Tea,coffee and mince pies too!

About Write for RightsEvery year during November and December, Amnesty International asks people to write a letter and send a message of hope to someone suffering human rights abuses. Presidents, police chiefs and prison governors do take note when they receive hundreds of appeals to release a prisoner, stop the harassment of an activist or change an unjust law. For more information on this year’s cases please click here.

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