Weekly Action and News 01/04/2022
Manchester Amnesty Weekly Actions and News
Please do these actions and make a difference.
This week we have two actions – thanks to Mary and Anne for suggesting these.
Urgent action to defend Justyna Wydrznska, Polish abortion rights activist.
Polish abortion law is amongst the most restrictive in Europe. Since January 2021, abortion on the grounds of severe or fatal fetal abnormality has been outlawed. Access to abortion is permitted where the mother’s life is in severe danger, or where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, but many barriers are put in place. It is illegal merely to help or advise a woman about abortion outside of these restrictive conditions, and this is what Justyna has been accused of. If convicted she faces up to three years in prison. Amnesty are demanding that the charges against Justyna are dropped and that the repressive abortion laws are repealed.
Decriminalise LGBTQ+ people in the Commonwealth
Homosexuality remains a criminal offence in 35 of the 54 nations of the Commonwealth, punishable by imprisonment, flogging and in some cases death. This petition demands that the nations of the Commonwealth repeal all homophobic laws and release LGBTQ+ political prisoners and will be delivered to Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Rwanda in June 2022.
Memorial service for Marion Hunt
Sean, Marion’s husband, has informed us that there will be a memorial service for Marion in Eccles at 11 am on May 25th at which Marion’s colleagues and friends from the Manchester Amnesty group will be welcome. If you would like to attend and need details of the service, please contact Hazel Errey firstname.lastname@example.org .
Advanced notice that we will be having a speaker from Freedom from Torture at the online group meeting on 11th April. More details of the meeting and the joining link will be provided in next week’s Weekly Action and Newsletter.
AIUK 2021-22 report: The State of the World’s Human Rights
This annual report on the human rights situation in 154 countries around the world was published on 29th March. It is a great resource, and can be accessed here.
Update on Human Rights in the UK
Of the 19 rights-sparing amendments which the House of Lords had made to the Nationalities and Borders Bill, 18 were defeated when the Bill went back to the Commons on 22nd March. The Commons did however agree to restore British nationality rights for Chagos Islanders, an issue on which Amnesty has campaigned. The Bill will now go back to the Lords on April 4th and will enter the process called “parliamentary ping-pong.” This is where the two chambers consider each other’s amendments until they come to an agreement on the final content and wording of the bill - or until the parliamentary session ends, in which case the bill would have to come back to the next session.
As noted previously, some of us responded to the Government’s consultation on their review Human Rights Act, using guidelines provided by Amnesty. Just before the consultation closed, the fact that the documents were very technical and not accessible to many people was recognised, and the deadline for those requiring an “Easy Read” version of the documents, or organisations representing those people, was extended to April 19th. So there is still time for some people to respond to the consultation, please see here. Additionally, you may be interested in reading the British Institute of Human Rights response to the consultation, which can be accessed here.
The next meeting is on Monday 4th April at 6:30pm by zoom. Please email Hazel for the email@example.com
Recent group activities
Letter writing drop-in
Six of us turned up last Saturday at Central Library to write appeals for current Amnesty cases. In total 27 letters and a few tweets were done. We wrote appeals for cases in the Spring Real Lives leaflet covering Palestine, Russia, Angola, Morocco, Mexico, Eritrea Saudi Arabia, Canada and the Gambia . We also wrote on behalf of the Palestine Urgent action featured in last week’s Weekly Action email and for UAE prisoner of conscience, Mohamed al-Roken. Well done and thanks to all, especially to Anne for organising it.
The library space next to the café is pleasant and only a few steps away from St. Peters Square tram stop. We will be holding these drop-ins on the fourth Saturday every two months, so our next one will be on Saturday May 28th, 2-4pm. Get it in your diary now!
Wherever the road takes me.
This exhibition and short film about Gypsies, Roma and Travellers of Irish Heritage, at the People’s History Museum in Manchester until 5th June, may be of interest to members. Information here.
Manchester Group of Amnesty International
Please contact me with items for our Weekly Action and News email, or with ideas for longer articles for the quarterly Manchester Amnesty Group Bulletin.