Minutes of Group Meeting February 8th 2016

Attending: Carolyn, Paul, Paddy, Joel, Grainne, Conor, Rowan, Heiko, Claudia, Rory, Beatrice, Leo

Welcome & minutes:

Carolyn welcomed the group & asked if any comments on January minutes.  No comments.

NI Regional Conference:

Carolyn asked for feedback on the NI Regional Conference. Everyone who commented spoke very positively. Comments included: there was a good balance of talks & workshops. Speakers were very informative & relevant to AIUK’s current campaigns.  Best regional conference in last few years. The group thanked Grainne for all her hard work in making the conference such a well attended, informative & thought provoking event.

Linking with other Amnesty groups:

The group advised it wants to have better links with the QUB group & possibly organise a social event. Claudia advised she will attend one of the QUB Wednesday evening group meetings & now Rowan from QUB group is also attending Belfast group meetings the first steps in closer working have been taken.

Screening Human Rights Films:

Rory advised he organises film screenings at a social club in East Belfast & that there’s potential to work with the group. Heiko offered to liaise with Rory.

Group Planning Pack:

The group decided to keep working on our IAR Jacqueline Montanez. Claudia advised there may not be a lot of actions the group can take on this case this year but the group will send an action every few months.

The group also decided to continue working on West Africa cases, doing an action every quarter.

Some of the group were also keen to work on children’s cases. Claudia will advise of cases from the Children’s Network & Beatrice will advise of UAs involving children.

Paul asked the group to consider working on a new IAR – Indonesian Johan Teterissa. Paul advised that AI have asked for action on this case as there is hope that he may be released early from his prison sentence. Paul advised he will co-ordinate the case & link with other UK groups working on this case. The group agreed to work on this case.

Grainne suggested linking with Rory to show a film on human rights in Indonesia to raise awareness of Johan Teterissa.

Networking:

Claudia suggested having a stall at sympathetic bookshops or cafes. Grainne suggested leaving a petition in such shops/cafes. Claudia advised she will liaise with cafes.

Fundraising:

12th March the Mid-Down group have organised a fund raising walk in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.

A pub quiz was suggested & will be discussed further.

Actions:

Group signed a petition to be sent to David Cameron calling on UK to stop selling arms to Saudia Arabia.

The group wrote letters for Maxima Acuna & her family in Peru who are being harassed by a mining company.

The group wrote letters for Mohammad al-Hashlamoun a 17 year old Palestinian boy  facing indefinite detention.

Upcoming events:

8th March QFT film showing of “Take the Boat” about women from north & south of Ireland  having to travel to England for terminations. This is being organised by Michelle from the Belfast office & Claudia offered to liaise with Michelle to organise a stall at the film showing.

AIUK AGM April 9th & 10th in Nottingham.  It is free to attend,  just travel & accommodation has to be paid. Paul advised he contacted  the AIUK office who will fund 2 people. The Belfast group will help with costs of anyone else who wants to attend.

AIUK AGM Special Resolutions: Carolyn advised she will read through the special resolutions & advise the group .

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