Tag Archives: human rights

Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 13th November

6 Nov

https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-48324262-63374541021-1-originalOur next meeting is on Tuesday 13th November at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton from 7.30-9.30pm (nearby parking behind Boots).

All welcome – you do not need to be a member of Amnesty International to come along to our meetings.

We don’t have a meeting in December but instead will hold a Write for Rights stall at St Mary Magdalene Church, Hammet Street, Taunton on 8th December from 10am–2pm. Please come along and sign a card for imprisoned human rights defenders around the world.

Report from our October meeting

23 Oct

It’s now more than 50 years since the 6 day war of 1967 when, in six days of fighting, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, the Golan Heights of Syria, and the West Bank and Arab sector of East Jerusalem, both previously under Jordanian rule. By the time the United Nations cease-fire took effect on June 11, Israel had more than doubled its size.

The illegal Israeli settlements that have since encroached on Palestinian land were the subject of the training session given to us by Susan Mew of the Minehead Group. Amnesty is aiming to put pressure on the UK Government to ban goods from these illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. They have caused much distress among the Palestinians whose land has been illegally taken over.This is a difficult and contentious issue which needs sensitive handling.

Amnesty wants to put pressure on our MPs to encourage to Government to be more active in its support for BRAVE Human Rights Defenders world wide.

We heard reports from members working on the Middle East (we signed letters on the case of Amal Fathy of Egypt), the Death Penalty, Burma (a wretched picture, with the two Reuters journalists now sentenced after reporting on a massacre of Rohingya men by the Burmese military) and the Women’s Network.

We discussed our Write for Rights Day (during the Christmas Season we write, and encourage others to do so too, to a selection of men and women imprisoned world wide); St Mary’s Church, Hammet Street, Taunton are kindly welcoming us to have our Write for Rights stall at their Saturday Coffee Morning on 8th December from 10am–2pm.

There is an Anne Frank Exhibition at The Brewhouse until the end of November.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 13th November at 7.30 in the Friends’ Meeting House, Bath Place. Do come and join us.

Next Amnesty Taunton meeting Tuesday 10th July

3 Jul

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyOur next meeting is on Tuesday 10th July at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton from 7.30-9.30pm (nearby parking behind Boots). Join us for news about Amnesty International’s campaigns, letter signing and more.

We hope to see you there.

Amnesty campaign evaluations

2 Jul

‘Stop Torture’ and ‘My Body My Rights’ were two global Amnesty International campaigns during 2014-16. A recent external evaluation looked at the successes and failures of these two campaigns.

Overall, both campaigns helped to produce successful outcomes in some countries. It was felt that they contributed to significant improvements in a number of countries, for example, restrictive abortion laws or provisions were dropped or changed in Poland, Portugal and Spain and there were also clear examples of individuals having benefitted from these campaigns.

Results were less strong than expected in other ways, for example, with regard to their impact in changing national law or policy. The ‘My Body, My Rights’ campaign had an important influence on public debates, especially in El Salvador and Ireland about abortion and in Burkina Faso about forced marriage. There is also anecdotal evidence that the ‘My Body, My Rights’ campaign was effective at mobilising young people in countries like El Salvador and Burkino Faso.

Taunton Amnesty International ran a campaign stall at this time focussing on Early Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. It generated a lot of interest and support among the people of Taunton who signed petitions and gave donations to help to continue Amnesty’s work; it’s good to feel that we were part of something so much bigger which had a very beneficial effect on the lives of young people in other parts of the world.

DIARY DATE: On Sat 1 September (10am–2pm) we will have an information stall in Taunton town centre (near Next) to highlight Amnesty’s campaign BRAVE, calling for the increased recognition and protection of Human Rights Defenders around the world.

Next Taunton Amnesty group meeting Tues 12th June

6 Jun

Esmail-abdi-web_0Our next meeting is on Tuesday 12th June at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton from 7.30-9.30pm (nearby parking behind Boots). Join us for news about Amnesty International’s campaigns, letter signing and more. There will be a petition to sign calling for the release of Esmail Abdi (left), a teacher trade unionist on hunger strike in Iran.

We hope to see you there.

Report from our May meeting

14 May

IMG_4276_crop.jpgA Human Rights Defender is a person who individually or with others acts to defend and promote human rights at local, national or international levels, using non-violent means. Someone like Sakris Kupila, a medical student in Finland who is a transgender activist, who has been denied legal gender recognition. “I dream of the day when I can truly feel that this world is for people like me, too. I’ll stop when this fight is over.” We focussed on Sakris’s case at our May meeting.

Amnesty is calling for Sakris Kupila to be legally recognised as male by the Finnish state, without the required diagnosis of mental disorder and an irreversible sterilisation. We wrote to the Prime Minister of Finland, and to Sakris himself, and shared on social media a photo of the group symbolically sending our love and heartfelt solidarity to him.

We were updated by group members on Burma, the Middle East and North Africa. One member had written to holiday group Kuoni raising the issue of ethical tourism in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Egypt, and had received a reply from them, arguing the benefits of tourism.

We wrote to the County Gazette on the death penalty and our relationship with countries such as Saudi Arabia who are enthusiastic exponents of the death penalty.

Taunton Amnesty is organising a Seventies-music themed picnic for the Great Get Together – Long Run Meadow, 5pm on 23 June. Do join us!

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton; visitors are always welcome.

Next Taunton Amnesty meeting: Tues 8th May

1 May

DCXzJucXUAAPVk6Our next meeting is on Tuesday 8th May at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton from 7.30-9.30pm (nearby parking behind Boots). Join us for news about Amnesty International’s campaigns, letter signing and more. There will be an action for Sakris Kupila, a transgender rights defender from Finland.

We hope to see you there!

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