March 2015 Report - Bath Amnesty

Letterwriting:  We signed 24 letters (there was a typo in the last report) last month and will be signing 26 letters at our AGM on March 10th.  While I was away on the Thai/Burma border, a packet addressed to Amnesty Bath could not be delivered (even though I have a large letterflap) and was eventually sent back and the PO tells me that it was to Russia so the mind boggles wondering what they were sending us!

Burma:  There is little I can add following my report and timelines from the Border.  Further to my mentioning the drug problem please see the full article and also further to my mentioning the draft laws on religion and marriage there has been a joint statement by Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists calling upon the Burmese Government to reject or revise these draft laws.

North Korea:  A 60-year-old Reverend of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Hyeon Soo Lim, was on a regular humanitarian mission to NK at the end of January when he disappeared, and CNN has now confirmed that he is being held there.

NK has praised the man who slashed the face of the US Ambassador to Seoul. NK has said that the attack “is just punishment” for the US military exercises with S. Korea. The attacker is a pro-NK activist who calls for unification and who has been convicted of attacking another ambassador previously.

It was reported in The Times on 27th Feb that a NK shipping company that was once caught trying to smuggle two MIG 21 jets under a mountain of Cuban sugar has renamed 13 of its 14 vessels to try to hide its illicit activities. A UN security council report claims that the Ocean Maritime Management Co, blacklisted by the UN last year, also transferred some ships to new owners to deepen the disguise and continue breaking sanctions.  It accuses the nation of defying security council resolutions “by persisting with its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes”.

Wendy Hughes
Burma & N. Korea Co-Ordinator
9th March, 2015

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