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February Newsletter

February Newsletter is attached



Amnesty International

Blackheath and Greenwich




February 2017

Group Meeting 14.02.2017


1. Introductions and welcome to Steph Boulter and our guest Matthew Pennycock MP.


2. Brigitte had sent details of Lewisham’s response to refugees. Resettlement organised by non-profit organisation HSP. They need support for several months.

Matthew Pennycock gave us details of the global crisis. 65 million people displaced often in their own countries. 20 million estimated to have crossed borders. EU failed to provide a concerted response.

2 routes to resettlement. The Dublin 3 agreement whereby 10,000 people will be admitted directly from Syria and surrounding countries and the Dubs amendment supposedly admitting 3,500 unaccompanied minors. Now only 350 to come. Dubs has been lied to. Likely to be raised in Parliament week beginning 20 Feb.

All done by ministerial decision, no real debate in Parliament. Home Office blames Local Authorities but their problem is lack of cash.

Bureaucracy holding back minors being reunited with family in UK but govt. have not gone back on this.

Matthew considers this to be a dangerous time for the world. What happened in Aleppo could well be repeated in Idlib.

Likely to take 10 years to extract UK from EU. Future trade deals with eg Turkey will make an ethical foreign policy more difficult.

AIBG members should continue to show they are behind AIUK and Save the Chidren re child refugees. They can also lobby Home Office re more money for Local Authorities for costs of temporary accommodation and support services.


3.         Campaign updates.

Nothing new on China.

Death Penalty, appalling reports on mass executions every week in Syrian jails.

Nazanin, Iran wishing to show its significance as a regional power.

Central America, Juan Ontiveros Ramos, who was found dead in Chihuahua.  He had been kidnapped from his home and his relatives were brutally beaten during the attack. Juan, a leader of the Raramuri (Tarahumara) Indigenous People, was in charge of security.  He had informed the Mexican government about crime in the region and had met with state and federal authorities on 20 January; his body was found on 1 February.  

In Honduras major problem re harassment of Human Rights organisations.

Roger will prepare letters on these 2 cases for Feb. 28th.

Tilly and Roger requested the group to adopt the case of the missing Ayotzinapa students. Response from Mexican government still inadequate. 9 groups in UK working on this. It was agreed we should join them.


4.         AGM 8/9 April.

Our resolution re Choggas islanders has been accepted for debate with minor amendments. Sunari will propose at AGM. Simon is attending but still can send a delegate. David W-W has circulated email.

At next meeting we will consider group response to other resolutions.


5.         Letter writing 28 February Simon will book Greenwich Tavern.

Letters to David W-W by Monday 27th. Graham preparing one re Loghman Sawari, Iranian refugee detained in Papua New Guinea. Elisabeth one re Dr Mudawi Adan on hunger strike in Sudan. 2 re Central America from Roger see above. One from Geoff circulated by email. Please do the same if you are preparing letters in order to avoid duplication.


6.         Future meetings. March Guatemala Coordinator, Courtenay Howe,  and AGM resolutions. April Burma coordinator or substitute and feedback from AGM and preliminaries re booksale.


7.         AOB. Elisabeth and Simon had attended the London Region meeting. There is to be a networking meeting on Saturday 4th March at HRAC focussing on Nazanin and other UK/Iranian detainee.

Textile for Nazanin. Roger to liaise with Dee and Claude. Elisabeth happy to embroider.

Tilly circulated cards and we signed re Giulio Regeni, Italian researcher tortured and killed in Egypt.

No charity lunch date yet from Kate Allen.



                   EVENTS 2017

Tuesday 28 February

Letter Writing, Greenwich Tavern, SE10

Saturday 4th March

London Region at HRAC

Tuesday 14 March

Group Meeting, St Margaret’s crypt

Tuesday 28th March

Letter Writing, Greenwich Tavern, SE10

8 & 9 April

AGM Nottingham

Tuesday 11th April

Group Meeting, St Margaret’s crypt



Group Meetings: Second Tuesday every month (apart from June) at 7.30pm in the crypt of St. Margaret’s Church, Lee Terrace, SE13 5DL

Letter writing evenings:  Fourth Tuesday every month (apart from December)

Book Sale: A Saturday mid-to-late June; a Saturday after Remembrance Sunday in November; both at Church of the Ascension (COA), Dartmouth Row, SE10 8BF

Human Rights Action Centre (HRAC): 17–25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA; for any official events please register via the website at or tel: 020 7033 1675




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