Tag Archives: meeting report

Report from our November meeting

18 Nov

468_atena_farghadaniAtena Farghadani is a 29 year old Iranian artist; she was jailed this summer for over 12 years for her art and her peaceful activism. Since then she’s faced further charges: she shook her lawyer’s hand when he visited her in prison and is now facing charges of ‘illicit sexual relations falling short of adultery’.

We sent cards to Atena and wrote to the Iranian President urging her release. There is also a petition to sign on the AIUK website here.

Members had written letters and cards, which we all signed, on behalf of people imprisoned or facing the death penalty in Morocco, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

We’re taking part in the annual Christmas Tree Festival in the Taunton United Reform Church, held from 11–13 December. Trees are displayed and decorated by groups in the town, which makes a thought-provoking and seasonal display. We hope you can go along and see our tree!

Another annual event for the Christmas period is Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign, when we send cards worldwide to those persecuted and write on their behalf to their Governments. Done on a national scale this campaign has a considerable impact. We’ll be writing cards at our meeting on Tuesday 8 December at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church. Do join us to write cards and enjoy some Christmas nibbles.

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.

 

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