Minutes of Group Meeting December 14th 2015

Attending: Carolyn, Paul, Leo, Pearse, Beatrice

Apologies: Grainne, Liz, Paddy.

Welcome: Carolyn welcomed the group.

Minutes: November 2015 meeting minutes were noted.

Feedback on recent events:

U2 concert – 6 volunteers attended & a large number of Syria petitions were signed.

Group meal – group advised this was a very pleasant evening.

Houses of Parliament Human Rights Day event – local group members were invited to attend this event & encourage their MP to attend. It was attended by Paul & Carolyn. Paul had emailed MPs Nigel Dodds & Alastair McDonnell but neither attended. Mark Durkin did attend. Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn. Paul & Carolyn advised this was a positive, interesting event to attend.

Write for Rights – everyone agreed this was a big success. Approx 150 solidarity cards & 90 letters were written. Carolyn thanked Beatrice for the preparatory work.

Good news:

Chinese IAR Ablikim Abdiriyim who campaigned for the rights of Uighur people in China has been released.

Indonesian IAR Filep Karma has been released. Paul, who did a lot of work on this case, was congratulated.

Stop Torture campaign – UK government has agreed to support controls on torture equipment.

Group flyer: - designed by Carolyn & Heiko – this was very positively received by the group – no amendments suggested. Thanks to Carolyn & Heiko.

Check list for planning events – this was compiled by Claudia & was approved. Thanks to Claudia.

Dealing with potentially difficult questions. Claudia advised she’d been asked about AI’s stance on Palestine/Israel, Carolyn advised she’d been asked about AI’s Human Rights passport. So this raised the subject of how group members deal with difficult questions. We discussed whether we should compile a list of potentially difficult questions – this will be discussed further.

Action of the Month:

Iranian IAR Atena Farghadani – letters signed. Beatrice to send the petition to the mailing list.

Saudi Arabian IAR Waleed al-Khair – cards signed

Defend the Human Rights Act – cards signed.

Upcoming events:

Regional Conference is 6th February. Grainne is organising the venue at Queens University Belfast. More details to follow.

AIUK Conference/AGM 9th & 10th April in Nottingham. Beatrice will send details to mailing list.

January meeting speaker - Claudia is organising a speaker from Marie Stopes centre.

AOB

Pearse advised the group has to decide the amount of it’s annual donation to AIUK. It was decided the group would forward £1000.

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