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Dear friends,

As we approach the end of 2022, I wanted to take a moment to briefly reflect on what we have achieved as a movement this year. I cannot hope to do justice to all the amazing work of local and student groups, thematic networks, country coordinators, staff, and activists. But there are some key highlights for me this year that help showcase our strategic goals to change attitudes to human rights, build a powerful movement, and win human rights victories:

We have also achieved important changes as an organisation. We concluded an independent inquiry into institutional racism at AIUK. This was a co-commissioned piece of work between lead activists, Board members, and staff. The findings and recommendations are currently being implemented, across a range of programmes and areas, to ensure we are a movement that reflects our values of equity, inclusion, and accountability internally as well as externally.

We also welcomed a permanent CEO, Sacha Deshmukh, earlier this year. Sacha was appointed as an Interim CEO in May 2021 and, following an extensive recruitment process, was appointed to the permanent post. Sacha has been a committed CEO in our culture change work as an organisation while leading on implementing our strategy.

Board members have also given so much of their time, experience, and insight to leading the work of our organisation. I want to thank Susan Kurr, Tom Harrison, Rebecca Warren, Emily Helsby, and Lucy Blake for their service as they stepped off the Board this year.

While we have many victories to celebrate, we also enter 2023 with a number of pressing human rights challenges.

We began the year with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the conflict continues with serious human rights violations against civilians in Ukraine. Closer to home, we have had to defend the right to protest as the British government continues to target activists with public order laws designed to curb freedom of speech and expression. We have witnessed more harmful migration legislation and policies that put the lives and wellbeing of people who seek asylum at serious risk.

We will continue our work on these, and many other, human rights with renewed vigour in 2023. From activists in Iran and USA defending their rights to bodily autonomy to activists in India and Hong Kong pushing for greater political freedom, communities around the world are organising for a better world. Thank you for being part of this work.  

In solidarity,

Sen Raj
Amnesty International UK Section