Tag Archives: take action

Next Taunton Amnesty Group meeting Tuesday 8th March

1 Mar
Keep Calm and Support Amnesty
Our next monthly meeting is on Tuesday 8th March at the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton, TA1 3DH.  8pm start.
Join us to hear about our campaigns, human rights and the work of Amnesty International.
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

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Arms export licences from the UK worth £5.5 billion in the last 5 years, bombs worth £1.7 billion and a further 37 arms export licences since 2014. All for Saudi Arabia which, since 2014, has been waging war on an armed rebel group, the Huthis, in Yemen. Schools and civilian targets have been bombed, and hundreds of civilians killed. Read more and sign the petition here.

For our Monthly Action we sent a petition to David Cameron calling on him to suspend all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and call for an international investigation into human rights violations committed by all sides.

Our Group held its AGM this month. The overall message was ‘Steady as she goes’, with group numbers maintained, and points to be focussed on both in past activities and future campaigns.

We took part in the United Reformed Church’s Christmas Tree Festival, actively supported Amnesty’s Write for Rights Campaign and the Taunton Literary Festival’s impressive young speaker Gulwali Passarlay, talking about his account of his journey from Afghanistan to the UK in “The Lightless Sky”.

We continue to work on the Death Penalty, on North Africa, China, Women’s Rights and the Unity 5 group of imprisoned journalists in Burma. We wait with concerned interest to see how things will develop in Burma after the recent elections.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm. Check the venue and our other activities on amnestytaunton.wordpress.com. All are welcome.

 

Poet facing execution in Saudi Arabia

10 Feb

468x283_ashraf_fayadh_instagram

Ashraf, a 35-year-old poet and artist, is sentenced to be executed by Saudi Arabian authorities for his art.

On 17 November, the General Court in Abha, southwest Saudi Arabia, found Ashraf guilty of ‘apostasy’ – renouncing Islam – for his poetry and sentenced him to death.

Arrested for poetry and pictures on his phone

Ashraf was initially arrested on 6 August 2013 following a complaint registered against him by another Saudi citizen, who said that the poet was promoting atheism and spreading blasphemous ideas among young people. Ashraf was released the following day, but then rearrested on 1 January 2014, when he was charged with apostasy – he had supposedly questioned religion and spread atheist thought with his poetry. He was at the same time charged with violating the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law for allegedly taking and storing photos of women on his phone.

On 30 April 2014, Ashraf was sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes for the charges relating to images of women on his phone. The General Court accepted Ashraf’s apology for the charges of apostasy and found the punishment to be satisfactory.

However, the court of appeal recommended that Ashraf should still be sentenced for apostasy, and his case was sent back to the General Court, which in turn sentenced him to death for apostasy.

Throughout this whole process, Ashraf was denied access to a lawyer – a clear violation of international human rights law, as well as Saudi Arabia’s national laws.

What we’re calling for

Quite simply, we’re calling for Ashraf to be freed. He has committed no crime, and as such should not be imprisoned, let alone face execution.

We’re asking the Saudi Arabian authorities to drop Ashraf’s conviction and all charges against him. We’re also asking for them to stop executing anyone for ‘apostasy’.

Please sign the petition here calling for Ashraf’s release.

Taunton Amnesty Group monthly meeting Tuesday 9th February

2 Feb
imageTuesday 9th February at the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton, TA1 3DH.  8pm start.
Join us to hear about our campaigns, human rights and the work of Amnesty International. This meeting also includes our AGM.
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 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.

The adverts shaming Britain’s arm trade

17 Sep

7150f7e4-ff63-4b52-8029-db2630119764-1360x2040Here is an interesting Guardian article highlighting some creative adverts that are helping Amnesty to raise concerns about the selling of illegal torture equipment at the London Arms Fair this week. Read the article here and sign Amnesty’s petition here if you haven’t already.

Thank you!

Next Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 14th July

8 Jul
Our next monthly meeting is on Tuesday 14th July at the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton, TA1 3DH.  8pm start.
You 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 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.

Global Day of Action in Support of Victims of Torture

19 Jun

468x283mexicotorture2Friday 26th June is the annual Global Day of Action in Support of Victims of Torture.  Amnesty is currently running a major campaign focused on the use of torture. To support the Global Day of Action, please would you sign a petition demanding justice for victims of torture in Mexico?

Amnesty’s research shows that torture in Mexico has increased by 600% since 2003. Despite making the right noises, the Mexican authorities have failed to properly tackle the issue. Claims of torture are rarely properly investigated, and scant few perpetrators are ever brought to justice.

Prompt and impartial forensic medical examinations are a key step towards justice for victims. Such examinations rarely happen and when they do, they are often years after the claims of torture – by which point, many physical wounds have healed and the experts often fail to document the psychological signs of torture.

The fact that timely and impartial examinations rarely happen is a big contributor to the on-going culture of torturers getting away with it. Change this, and we will be on the road to justice. There’s increasing pressure on Mexico to sort this out and with a new Federal Attorney General in post we have a real chance of making a difference.

Please sign the petition here.

Thank you.

Next Taunton Amnesty Group Meeting Tues 10th February

3 Feb
178228-My Body My Rights briefingOur next monthly meeting is on Tuesday 10th February 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. Our monthly action is for the My Body My Rights campaign and we’ll also
be discussing our casefile on the Mansoura women in Egypt.
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.
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.’

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