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Weekly Action and News 13/03/22

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Actions

 

This week, we have two different actions about refugees.

Please do these actions and make a difference.

 

Ukraine crisis has exposed the deep inadequacies of the UK’s approach to refugees

According to the UN refugee agency, more than 2.8 million people have fled from Ukraine since Russia’s criminal invasion on 24 February. Amnesty believes the UK’s deeply inadequate response to the Ukraine refugee crisis is evidence of a “corrosively anti-refugee attitude” within the Home Office.

 

The Government is currently taking its Nationality and Borders Bill through Parliament. If passed, it will fundamentally undermine the UK’s asylum system and damage refugee rights globally. The bill is in now in its final stages, passing back and forth between the Commons and the Lords to arrive at the final wording, so time is short to act on behalf of Ukranian and all the other refugees who need our help.

 

We are asking you to contact your local MP urgently to encourage them to raise our concerns with the Prime Minister. On this link, you will find a template letter raising issues specifically relating to Ukranian refugees and to refugees more generally. You can personalise this letter or use it as it is. There is also a briefing about the Ukraine crisis, which you can email to your MP. You can find your MPs contact details here.

 

 

Email your MP now

 

Work for Asylum seekers in the UK

This action focuses on just one of the significant amendments to the Nationalities and Borders bill which recently passed in the Lords but which could be reversed in the Commons. The amendment in question would allow asylum seekers to work if their case had not been settled within 6 months. If this amendment is retained in the final bill, it would make a huge difference to the lives of many asylum seekers in the UK.

 

You can take this action sponsored by Refugee Action with just a few clicks. Call on your MP to vote to retain the Lords amendment which would lift the ban on asylum seekers working:

 

Allow asylum seekers to work

 

If you take either or both of these actions, please could you let our MP co-ordinator, Rebecca Shaw, know on r.h.shaw.7@gmail.com  - and don’t forget to include your address or post-code in your email.

 

Good news!

We are sure that you will all have heard the wonderful news about the release from detention in Iran of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori. They are now back home with their families at last.

 

 

Amnesty will continue to campaign for two British nationals - Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof - who are still being held in Iran. Let us not forget them.

 

Recent activities

Football Welcomes. Two of our members, Liz Hibberd and Pascal Checkley, helped out at Stockport County’s ground on 15th March, where Stockport Amnesty collected donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee in aid of Ukrainian refugees.

 

 

Notices and Events

Subscriptions or voluntary donations to support the running of the group please!

We ask members of the Manchester Amnesty Group to make a yearly donation to support the running of group, and to enable us to pay for our affiliation to Amnesty International UK. Suggested amounts are £20 if waged, £5 if unwaged, or indeed whatever you are able to afford. A portion of your donation may go towards paying external speakers who we invite to address the group from time to time. Now is the time to make your donation, please, and you might consider setting up a standing order. Please email our treasurer Sean Dunne sean.a.dunne@btinternet.com for bank account details.

 

UAE sub group meeting, Monday 21st March 6:30pm on Zoom. Please email Kathryn Fletcher bussk@btinternet.com if you need to be sent the zoom link.

 

One Strong Voice is organising a day of action in Manchester on Monday 21st March, to campaign against the Nationalities and Borders Bill. One Strong Voice is a coalition of people with lived experience of the UK asylum system and organisations in Manchester which work for justice for refugees and migrants. They will meet in St Peter’s Square at 1-2pm, with placards and posters, and plan to read out some poetry written by people who have been through the asylum system. You can read One Strong Voice’s guest blog on the Together with Refugees website here.

 

Letter writing drop-in session to support and campaign for individuals at risk. Saturday March 26th, 2-4pm, Manchester Central Library, table area adjacent to the café. Come for as long as you like. Materials will be provided.

 

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival London opens on Thursday 17th March, and will be online for audiences in the UK and Ireland, and in person at the Barbican, London from 17 - 25th March. Featuring an array of moving documentaries from all over the world including Julia Bacha’s film BOYCOTT (#Boycott), tickets to attend the festival online or in person, plus the full schedule of events, are available now at https://ff.hrw.org/ .  Use the discount code RIGHTS2022 and obtain tickets for £5!

 

Rethink and Rebuild “Celebrating Syria” Festival, showcasing the talent and creativity of Syrian Artists in the UK is ongoing now until 26th March. Events include live music, workshops, book discussions and theatre. For full details, please see https://www.celebratingsyria.org/

 

Alison Wearden

Communications Secretary

Manchester Group of Amnesty International

alison.wearden@gmail.com

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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