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Weekly Action and News 02/02/2024

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Action and News


Please do this action and make a difference


Rita Karasartova loves spending time with her children, practising yoga, and sewing chapans, the traditional quilted jackets worn by people in Kyrgyzstan. She is also a human rights defender and an expert in civic governance. Since October 2022 Rita’s life has been turned upside down, when, along with 26 others, Rita was arrested for opposing a new border agreement that risked Uzbekistan taking control of a freshwater reservoir. The group called for peaceful demonstrations against the agreement, and for transparency from the government. Like others, Rita feared that Uzbekistan would restrict or ban access to water, a scarce resource in the region, with devastating consequences.


She was held in a cramped cell for months, had no access to medical care and couldn’t see or speak to her family. Now she is under house arrest and has a strict curfew. She is charged with attempting to “violently overthrow the government” and faces up to 15 years in prison, when in reality all she has done is peacefully raise her voice.


For over a decade Rita has dedicated her life to providing independent legal advice, helping those whose rights had been violated by a corrupt and unreliable legal system. Now others can help her. Please write to the General Prosecutor at the address below, calling for the charges against her to be dropped.


General Prosecutor, Zulushev Kurmankul Toktoralievich
A Toktonalieva Street,139
Bishkek, 720040
Kyrgyz Republic.


Or you can simply click the “take action” link and sign an online petition.





Subscriptions to the group due now, please!


Voluntary subscriptions to the group are now due. We suggest £20 per year for those who receive a wage or a pension, and £5 (or whatever you can afford) for others. We do not want to discourage people from taking part in our meetings or activities because they cannot afford to pay subs.

In order to make a payment to the group, either do so directly by bank transfer to our account:


Manchester Amnesty Group, 68177527, 05-05-73, preferably with the reference “subs”,


or contact our treasurer Sean Dunne ( for other ways to pay. You might consider setting up a standing order, so that you don’t need to think about subs each year.




Acoustic Amnesty fundraiser


Friday Feb 2 at Sacred Trinity church on Chapel Street, Salford. Door 7pm, start 7.30pm.

Raising ££ for Amnesty and Medical Aid for Palestinians.


Bill Holmes (vocal) and Tim Mottershead (piano) will give their take on the entirety of Marvin Gaye's classic album What's Goin' On (1971), followed by an eclectic mix of material straddling multiple genres and including songs by Bill Withers, David Bowie, and the Beatles.


Tickets (all proceeds to charity) available for £10 in advance here - []



Silent vigil calling for a permanent ceasefire

and the protection of all civilians in Palestine and Israel

St Peters Square, Manchester, Friday 2nd February, 5pm to 6pm

Meet in front of Central Library

Please dress warmly, wear black/dark colours

and please do not bring placards, banners or flags.

We will provide placards with Amnesty’s messages and tealights. Feel free to bring your friends.

We will continue with the weekly vigils until further notice.


Our next monthly group meeting will be on Monday, 12th February at 7pm, online.


We are delighted to welcome barrister Peter Weatherby KC, from Garden Court Chambers North, who will talk to us about international law in relation to Gaza, the South African genocide petition to the ICJ, and in a change of topic, about the “duty of candour” campaign, or “Hillsborough Law.”


There will be a brief update on our various campaigns, and we will do a quick screenshot of us holding up orange hearts in support the Together with Refugees “Fair Begins Here” campaign. If you are able to source some orange paper or cardboard, please do so.


The full agenda and more details of the orange hearts action will be sent with the zoom link.

All are very welcome, including new members.



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Julian Assange has been in Belmarsh Prison under threat of extradition to the USA for 5yrs.

His final appeal against extradition has now been scheduled to be heard on 20/21 February.


 Tuesday 20th February, from 12.00-3.00pm,

Manchester Amnesty will hold an event in St Peter’s Square in support of Assange,

with artwork, banners, speakers, poets, music.


If you want to help making the artwork etc., you can do so on Saturday 10th February 1-5pm Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, M1 1JQ




There is still time to volunteer to help on our stall highlighting human rights abuses in the UAE,

at the People’s History Museum, on Wednesday 21st February, 2024

Contact Kathryn Fletcher on to volunteer for one of these slots:

10:20-12:30;    12:30 – 2.00;   2.00- 3.30pm. Thank you!


Two FREE events relating to International Women’s Day/Week celebrations.


Saturday 2nd March 12-4pm at the Mechanics Institute on Princess Street, M1 6DD

to mark 100 years since Mancunian Ellen Wilkinson was elected to the Commons

Ellen24: Parliament’s Fiery Particle.

Featuring the Margaret Ashton lecture by Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP.

Tickets here


Saturday 9th March, 10am-12 noon, Manchester Central Library

Prior to the Walk for Women through Manchester City Centre

Trailblazers Celebration: Women of Greater Manchester

Tickets here


We will have Manchester Amnesty stalls in the foyer at the Mechanics Institute from 12-4pm on 2nd March, and in the Library from 10am-12noon on 9th March.

Please let know if you can help out at either of these stalls (even if only for a short time)


Non-Amnesty events

Greater Manchester Friends of Palestine and other organisations,

Stop the Gaza Genocide

Saturday, 3rd February, 12 noon, Piccadilly Gardens


Whalley Range Peace and Justice Stand with Palestine

Each Wednesday 4.30-5.30 at Brooks Bar (junction Upper Chorlton Rd/Moss Lane East/Withington Rd)


Please support these events, but please do not take Amnesty banners.


Rethink Rebuild Society is pleased to invite you to:


An interactive workshop Mental Health Support for Refugees & Asylum Seekers

In partnership with Yaran North West. Wednesday, 07 February 7-9pm,
Mental Health Support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers with Yaran North West Tickets, Wed 7 Feb 2024 at 19:00 | Eventbrite


Rethink Rebuild Society, First Floor, Discovery House, Manchester, SK4 5BH



Good news


Zimbabwe - On January 25, 2024, the Attorney General's Office dropped charges against Douglas Coltart and Tapiwa Muchineripi, two well-known human rights lawyers, who in September 2023 had been indicted for "obstruction of justice" for opposing the hospital interrogations of two of their clients, members of the political opposition, who were hospitalized after being kidnapped and beaten by police officers.


Israel - Occupied Palestinian Territory - On 26 January 2024, in response to South Africa's request to rule on the violation of the Convention against Genocide, the International Court of Justice issued six precautionary measures ordering Israel, inter alia, to refrain from committing acts covered by the Convention, to ensure that its army does not commit such acts, and to prevent and punish direct incitement to genocide.



Manchester Amnesty issue and campaign coordinators

Anti-racism –Hazel Errey

Craftivism Lima Al-Iskalachi

Europe/ Turkey Fatih Segmen  -

Human Rights in the UK Lancine Sacko  -

Individuals at Risk (bi-monthly appeal writing drop ins) - Anne Walker

Manchester Central Library café, 2-4pm 4th Saturdays January, March, May, July, September, November

Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians  - Mike Reed

LGBTQ+ and Pride coordinator – Zoe Song

Press freedom and Julian Assange – Lima Al-Iskalachi

Refugees – Alison Wearden

UAE – Kathryn Fletcher


Our website Manchester | Amnesty International UK


Alison Wearden 

Communications Secretary 

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.

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