Report from our May meeting

5 Jun

Nazanin

The General Election on 8th June  – a subject that cannot be ignored! We were asked to write to all our prospective parliamentary candidates on the subject of human rights.

We want to ensure the next UK government and parliament are supportive of human rights and work to protect them in the UK and internationally.

We heard reports from our members on the campaigns they work on. The Asylum Justice Campaign has launched a petition urging the Government to stop the indefinite detention of asylum seekers. Unlike other EU countries the UK has no limit for detention; it’s reported that 208 people have been detained for over a year, including one who has been in detention for three and a half years.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 13th June from 7.30-9.30pm at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton (nearby parking behind Boots). The monthly action will be focusing on the plight of two British-Iranian citizens, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Kamal Foroughi, who are imprisoned in Iran.

Visitors and new members always welcome!

Report from our April meeting

2 May

548x331_nazanin_daughter_4Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: her story goes straight to the heart. Arrested a year ago as she and her small daughter were about to leave Iran for England after visiting her parents, this UK-Iranian charity worker was then jailed for 5 years for ‘membership of an illegal group’, and accused of being married to a British spy. Her daughter’s British passport has been confiscated and impossible conditions imposed upon her seeing her mother. Her appeal has been dismissed and her sentence confirmed. Her health is deteriorating. We wrote to the Iranian authorities on Nazanin’s behalf. Meanwhile her husband Richard is working unsparingly for her. His campaign is accessible on social media.

Our second Monthly Action was for Noori, a 21 year old Syrian refugee kept unlawfully for over 5 months in Greek police detention awaiting a decision on whether he’ll be returned to the unsafe location of Turkey. In Syria he was studying to be a nurse, but had to halt his education because of the war; he would like to continue his studies in Europe. Meantime he is ill and stressed. We wrote to the Greek authorities on his behalf.

We heard reports from members; our collection at Tesco’s in March raised over £200; this will go to Amnesty UK. A letter was written for Ali Aarrass of Morocco, asking that his detention in solitary confinement should end.

Advance publicity: Disco for Amnesty on Saturday 27th May at the Lawns Social Club, St Mary’s Street from 8pm-1am, entry £4.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 9th May from 7.30pm at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton. Hope to see you there!

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Save the date!

14 Apr

discoForAmnesty2

Next Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 11th April

7 Apr

imageJoin us for our next monthly meeting at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4EP (there is nearby parking behind Boots). The meeting will include updates on Amnesty campaigns we work on. New members always welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Report from our March meeting

24 Mar

End the horror in Syrian prisons: we emailed the Russian and US governments asking them to do everything in their power to stop the mass deaths and torture. AI have a recent report out documenting the thousands who, since 2011, have been executed at Saydnaya Military Prison. Mass hangings are carried out there at night and in the utmost secrecy. Many other detainees at Saydnaya have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care. These and many other atrocities carried out in furtherance of state policy amount to crimes against humanity.

In Turkey lawyer Eren Kesken, an outspoken defender of human rights for over 30 years (during which time she has been subjected to death threats, physical attacks and sustained judicial harassment) is now facing charges including ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’ which could bring her a life sentence. We wrote on her behalf to the Turkish Minister of Justice, and sent her a solidarity card.

Our Death Penalty co-ordinator told us of her cases: we signed a birthday card to Chiou Ho-Shun, Taiwan’s longest serving death penalty prisoner, and signed letters pleading for Syrians Mah’moud Tale’ Nayef and Taleb Tale’ Nayef , both sentenced to death.

We discussed wayCollecting for Amnestys in which the Group could reach out to other sections of the community in Taunton, and heard reports from our members. On 19th March Tesco Taunton were kind enough to allow us to collect for Amnesty outside their store, and we raised £214.

We meet at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton. Come and hear about our work – visitors are always welcome.

Next Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 14th March

7 Mar

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyJoin us for our next monthly meeting at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4EP (there is nearby parking behind Boots). The meeting will include updates on Amnesty campaigns we work on. New members always welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Report from our February meeting

20 Feb

Resettled Syrian family in NorwayChild refugees in the UK are alone in being denied the right to family reunion, something which provides a safe and legal route allowing those fleeing persecution to avoid dangerous journeys and people smugglers. How can it be that this is denied to unaccompanied refugee children who have already legally been through the asylum process and have suffered so much?

We wrote to ask the Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families and the Minister of State for Immigration to continue to work together on this, and to look again at this crucial issue.

235792_refugees_freezing_in_moria-468_0We wrote too to President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission asking for his intervention in the desperate plight of refugees stuck in freezing conditions on the Greek islands. You can also take action here.

We held our AGM this month, reviewing what has been achieved in the past year: Ben Grant organised a schools debate, held at Taunton School, on the Human Rights Act, and in December organised a donation of books on human rights to Taunton Public Library. Lorna Brown and Pat Jefferson organised a stall on Castle Green on the issue of FGM and early forced marriage; this provoked much interest. Our last event was our Write for Rights morning, hosted at the Coffee Morning at St Mary’s Church, Hammet Street.

Our next event will be a collection in aid of Amnesty International UK at the Tesco Superstore, Castle Street, Taunton on Sunday 19th March between 10am and 4pm. See you there!

We also heard reports on our various country campaigns and on the death penalty and other issues. Worrying reports are still reaching us about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (Burma).  A group of Nobel Prize winners have written in protest about this to their fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the leaders in the Myanmar Government.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton. Do join us!

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