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Weekly Action and News 05/07/2024

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Action and News


Please do this action and make a difference


On Friday, 12th July, some of our members will be travelling to London to show Manchester Amnesty’s support for the young men and families involved in the “Manchester 10” case as they start the process of appealing against their convictions and imprisonment for conspiracy. These convictions resulted from a “joint enterprise” case in which young people who were not involved in any crime were prosecuted simply on the basis of who they knew and the music they listened to, with their text messages and music preferences put forward as evidence of gang membership.


For this week’s action we are asking you to watch a video, not specifically about the Manchester 10, but about the issues which arise from their case, and then sign an open letter. The video comes from the campaign group Art Not Evidence and can be viewed here. The video shows how rap and drill music are used as part of racist gang narratives in the prosecution of young people of colour, with rap lyrics treated as diary entries rather than an art form. Many of these prosecutions are “joint enterprise” cases. A recent report from researchers at the University of Manchester, “Compound Injustice”, outlines 68 cases between 2020-2023 that involved 252 defendants, the overwhelming majority of whom were Black or mixed race, in which rap music was used as evidence for serious charges - including murders.


Art Not Evidence have written an open letter calling for police and prosecutors to stop relying on irrelevant, unreliable, and highly prejudicial evidence in pursuit of convictions; for defence lawyers to challenge prosecutors; and for judges to exclude such evidence. Many human rights organisations have signed the letter and you can sign it by clicking the link below.





Please note that due to holidays, there will be no weekly action next week (12th July). Please send any notices for the weekly action/newsletter on 19th July to


Please note:

The July Group Meeting will take place at 6pm on 8th July ONLINE.

This is a change to previously advertised time and mode. We are pleased to be joined by Sima Watling, who works at the Amnesty International Secretariat and focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. She will talk to us about her work relating to the UAE. We will also have updates on our other activities and campaigns.  All are welcome including new members. A zoom link will be sent to all nearer the time. We hope to see you at the meeting!



Saturday, August 10th, 10:45 for 11:00am.

A welcome return of the Manchester Amnesty Human Rights walk, guided by our own Steve Roman, to raise funds for our group. The walk lasts for about 2 hours and was very popular last time we ran it. Tickets will be available soon. Watch this space!



Silent vigil calling for a permanent ceasefire

and the protection of all civilians in Palestine and Israel

St Peters Square, Manchester, Friday 5th July, 5pm to 6pm

Meet in front of Central Library

Please wear black/dark colours

and please do not bring placards, banners or flags.

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

We will continue with the weekly vigils until further notice.


Would you like to organise and run our appeal writing sessions?

Anne Walker has been running the appeal-writing sessions for many years and needs to hand this task over to another member, so that she can focus on her regional rep activities. The role has the advantage of being regular and predictable. The writing sessions take place on 6 Saturday afternoons per year. Some additional researching and organisation of materials is also required.

If you would like take on this role, please contact Anne


Non-Amnesty events



Outside Consulate General of the Republic of Türkiye, 14 Oxford Ct, Manchester M2 3WQ

Syrian refugees in Turkey are currently living in a constant state of panic amid an unprecedented escalation of violence and vandalism led by Turkish racist groups. The Turkish authorities are not only failing to keep them safe, but are carrying out a campaign of harassment and intimidation against them. Our friends at Rethink Rebuild Society are inviting us to join them for this demonstration, which will occur simultaneously in several cities across Europe, to demand an end to the violence, attacks, deportations, and racism against refugees in Türkiye. If you are unable to attend, please use social media to support this important cause. See attachment for graphics and messages to use.


Greater Manchester Friends of Palestine and other organisations


The Big Ride for Palestine

Every year since 2015, The Big Ride for Palestine has seen cyclists fly the flag for Palestine across Britain, spreading awareness about the Palestinian struggle for justice while raising vital funds for organisations in Palestine. This year’s Big Rides, in the context of the genocidal assaults taking place in Gaza, will provide a way to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians. The North West ride of 36 miles (60 km) takes place in Manchester on 3rd August. Time to don your lycra!

More details and registration here


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.


Good news

Philippines - On June 24, 2024, a court acquitted former Senator Leila de Lima of a third and final charge of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking. De Lima, a personal enemy of former President Duterte, was arrested in February 2017 on trumped-up drug charges and not released on bail until 13 November 2023.

Russia/Ukraine - On June 25, 2024, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants against Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine from October 10, 2022 to March 9, 2023. At the time, Shoigu was Minister of Defence, Gerasimov Deputy Minister of Defence, and Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

France/Syria - On June 26, 2024, the Paris Court of Appeal, stating that the personal immunity of a sitting head of state is not absolute, confirmed the arrest warrant issued against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The mandate also covers three senior military officials, including the president's brother, Maher Assad.

Mali - On June 26, 2024, the International Criminal Court found Abdul Aziz al-Hassan, a leader of an Islamist armed group, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 2012 and 2013, during the occupation of the city of Timbuktu. The penalty will be determined at a later date.

Italy - On 27 June 2024, the Civil Court of Rome found the Ministries of Defence and Transport, the Prime Minister's Office, and the captain and owner of the ship "Asso 29" guilty of the collective illegal pushback to Libya of two men and a couple with a two-year-old son who had been intercepted at sea by the Libyan “coastguards.”



Manchester Amnesty issue and campaign coordinators

Anti-racism –Hazel Errey

Craftivism – Lima Al-Iskalachi

Europe/ Turkey Fatih Segmen  -

Human Rights in the UK Iona Bruce –

Individuals at Risk (bi-monthly appeal writing drop ins and Write for Rights in Nov/Dec) – Anne Walker

Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians  - Mike Reed

LGBTQ+ and Pride  – Zoe Song

Press freedom and Julian Assange – Lima Al-iskalachi & Danny Jones

Refugees Whatsapp group – Alison Wearden

UAE – Kathryn Fletcher


Our website Manchester | Amnesty International UK [] (managed by Alison Wearden)

X/Twitter @amnestymanc []  (managed by Steve Lindsay –

Facebook Manchester Amnesty Group []

Instagram @amnestymanchester [] (managed by Sara Baptista -


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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