Report from our March meeting

23 Mar

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyHelp turn the lights back on in Syria and bring its people out of darkness!

For the fourth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict Amnesty International, along with many other international NGOs, is pressing to prioritise a political solution with human rights at its heart. For our March Monthly Action, we’ve been asked to  plan a light-filled vigil to mark the occasion. Find out more about this campaign at www.withsyria.com.

This month Amnesty member Nicky Saunter, CEO of Transform, gave a thought-provoking talk about their work. Transform is a charitable think tank that campaigns for the legal regulation of drugs both in the UK and internationally; currently drugs are criminalised, but there is no system of regulation. The human rights implications are considerable. Prohibition cannot be judged a success on any front. Handing control of the drug trade to organised criminals has had disastrous consequences across the globe. Transform therefore works to get drugs under control by advocating for strict regulation of all aspects of the trade.

We also signed letters on behalf of our Mansoor University cases in Egypt; Death Penalty letters to Florida for a case where key testimony has been retracted; the long-running case of Hakamada Iwao in Japan, who could be put back on Death Row; and on behalf of Liu Ping in China, who was imprisoned for campaigning for senior officials to reveal the sources of their wealth.

Members of the Group recently met with Rachel Gilmour, prospective Taunton parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, to hear her views, especially on issues that concern Amnesty; we’ve already met Conservative and Labour candidates.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 14th April at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. We’re always delighted to welcome newcomers.

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