Minutes of Group Meeting April 11th 2016

Attending: Carolyn, Paul, Claudia, Liz, Leo, Paddy, Heiko, Rebecca, Uel, Rowan, Stephen, Beatrice, Carmel, Mick

Apologies: Pearse, Grainne

Welcome & minutes: Carolyn welcomed everyone. The minutes from March were accepted & there were no comments on them.

Mick Beyers update: NI Amnesty campaigner Mick Beyers: Mick updated the group, in an interesting & informative talk, on the My Body, My Rights campaign. Mick advised campaigning on reforming N Ireland & Republic of  Ireland’s abortion laws  will continue.  Mick advised there are two online campaigns. Beatrice advised one had already been sent to the mailing list & the other would be sent asap.

 

Good News:

Burma:  Almost 7000 POCs have been released. They included AI IAR Phyoe Phyoe Aung & other student activists.

Tunisia:  Six Tunisian students freed from prison sentences after a court found them “guilty” of homosexual relations.

India: Protection has been given to two sisters who were due to be raped as punishment for their brother’s relationship with a married woman of a different caste.

Egypt: Al Jazeera English staff members, unjustly imprisoned, have been released

 

Feedback on recent events:

AIUK AGM/Conference. 5 members of the group attended. Everyone found the event enjoyable, informative, busy &  inspiring. The Belfast group won a prize of writing paper & a book which will be donated as prizes for the quiz.

QUB Seminars on Abortion Reform:  These are currently  happening on Tuesdays 1-2pm at 18 College Green.

 

Upcoming events:

Belfast/QUB quiz 19th April: Claudia advised the Sunflower bar is booked for 19th April. Leo volunteered to be quiz master with Rowan marking the answers.

MAC film event 21st April:  2 films, followed by panel discussions, on abortion will be shown at the MAC. These are “The Vessel” about doctors who assist with non surgical abortions in international waters.  And “A Quiet Inquisition” on the effects of Nicaragua’s total ban on abortion. The group will have a stall at this event. More details to follow.

Mayday march 30th April:  AI will be taking part in the May Day march on 30th April. Further  details to follow.

Book festival 9-19th June:  the Belfast & QUB group to look at organising an event.

Conference on Abortion Reproductive Justice 2nd & 3rd June: “The Unfinished Revolution” 2nd & 3rd June at University of Ulster.  AINI are organising a stall & a workshop.

Pride Lecture: During the Pride festival, running from 29th July to 7th August,  AINI will have it’s annual talk. The speaker will be Scottish Conservative SMP, Ruth Davidson. More details to follow.

 

News on IAR cases:

North America: Claudia has contacted Sue, the North America country coordinator, who advised there is no update on Jackie Montanez.  Sue will advise further on Chelsea Manning & Edward Snowden cases so the group can decide what work it wants to do on these.

Indonesia:  The group will work on Indonesian IAR Johan Teterissa with Paul coordinating the groups work. Beatrice to contact the Indonesian country coordinator & the IAR team  in AIUK to request  a copy of the casefile.

 

Actions:

DRC: Group signed letters to Apple & Samsung urging them to investigate human rights abuses in their mining  of cobalt.

Iran: Group wrote letters for Himan Uraminejad a young man arrested as a teenager & at risk of execution.

 

AOB:  Volunteers needed

Carolyn advised NI doesn’t have a media officer unlike other parts of the UK. This is a volunteer  who would contact local media to highlight Amnesty events etc. Rowan expressed an interest & will contact Farshid at AIUK for further information.

Beatrice asked if anyone would like to be the contact for the West Africa country coordinator who sends the group actions every 3 months. No one volunteered so Beatrice will continue for now.

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