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Weekly Action and News 13/05/2022

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Action and News 

Please do this action and make a difference  

 ACTION 1  Saudi Arabia: Uyghur teenage girl and mother detained

***Urgent action, by 1st June please***

Uyghur woman Buheliqiemu Abula and her 13-year-old daughter were detained near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on 31 March and told by police they faced deportation to China along with two Uyghur men already held.
Buheliqiemu Abula is the former wife of Nuermaimaiti Ruze, who with Aimidoula Waili has been detained without charge in Saudi Arabia since November 2020. All four of them are now at risk of deportation to China, where they will highly likely be subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and persecution. Pursuant to international law, the Saudi authorities must immediately stop their deportation. Read more
here.

 

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2022-4/FI02722_1.pdf?VersionId=0Rc0kS7j10miobQPepPpCmT0yQZk4UMf

 

TAKE ACTION

Human Rights in the UK

Writing after the Queen’s speech, Amnesty International UK’ CEO, Sacha Deshmukh, condemned  the “systematic gutting” of key legal protections which would take place if bills contained in the government’s legislative plans were to pass into law. Firstly, “scrapping the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a narrower, meaner Bill of Rights will make it even harder for ordinary people to challenge mistreatment at the hands of the state.” Commenting on the Public Order Bill, he wrote of the “Home Secretary demonising people who are simply exercising their right to peaceful protest,” adding that “these authoritarian provisions, recently removed by the Lords from the Policing Bill, are similar to repressive policies in countries the UK regularly criticises - including Russia, Hong Kong and Belarus.” Thirdly, the “Northern Ireland Troubles Bill would ride roughshod over the rights of victims, shamefully seeking to permanently deny families truth, justice and accountability they have desperately waited decades for.” Finally, Amnesty raised concerns about the Counter State Threats Bill which could pose a serious threat to journalists and their ability to protect their sources.

 

Save the date!

Our next Manchester Amnesty letter writing session will take place at Manchester Central Library 2-4pm on 28th May. We meet in the area near to the café, where there are tables and booths. Look out for the Amnesty sign. Materials and information will be provided. If you would prefer to type your letters or to write emails, please bring your laptop. We will be focusing on Mohammed Al-Roken and Osman Kavala, but there will be information about many other cases. If you would like us to focus on any other particular case or cases, please let Anne Walker (anne.walker9@ntlworld.com) know at least a few days in advance. Otherwise, just drop in, and do feel free to bring a friend!

 

Volunteers needed to help run a Manchester Amnesty stall focusing on defenders of environmental rights at a sustainability conference at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday 17th June. The conference will run from 10am to 6pm, so we will need several people to help on our stall. Please contact anne.walker9@ntlworld.com

 

The UAE subgroup are planning to hold an event in Manchester on 17th July, the date on which Dr Mohammed Al-Roken is due for release from his ten year sentence in the UAE. This event may be held jointly with the Liverpool Amnesty group, in parallel with an event in London. More details to follow in due course.

 

The Refugee rights subgroup are planning three events which aim to reach members of the public with some myth-busting information about asylum and refugee rights. These events will take place in Didsbury on Sunday 19th June 2pm, in Chorlton on Saturday 2nd July, 2pm, and in town on Sunday 14th August, starting in St Peter’s square at 2pm (place and time TBC). In conjunction with the Craftivism group, we are currently making 100 orange hearts with a QR code linking to information about refugees an Amnesty. These will be displayed and distributed at our events. If you can come along for half an hour to support any of these events, it will be great to see you.

 

Events 

Manchester Climate Justice Summit, 15th May, 12-5pm, Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Road. Organised by Manchester Cop26 and the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union group. More details and sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/manchester-climate-justice-summit-tickets-298689035947 

 

Wednesday 18th May, 7pm, Unit 7, Longsight Business Park. Rethink, Rebuild Society are showing Blerta Basholli’s award-winning film “Hive,” a true story of resilience and hope about a woman whose husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. The film is in Albanian with English subtitles, and will be followed by a discussion of the issues raised by the film. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hive-2022-film-screening-and-discussion-tickets-335122689987

 

Subscriptions please!

We ask our members to pay a small voluntary contribution towards the running of the group. Among other things, our funds go towards supporting our campaigning activities, buying the zoom licence for our meetings, and making a donation to organisations which kindly provide speakers for our meetings. We do not have a large reserve, so are appealing to members to make a donation towards supporting our 2022 activities. We suggest £20 for people who receive a wage or a pension and £5 (or whatever you can afford) for others. Please contact our Treasurer Sean.a.dunne@btinternet.com or make a donation directly into our bank account: Manchester Amnesty Group, 68177527, 05-05-73.

 

Manchester Amnesty Subgroups and other work

If you would like to join any of our subgroups, please contact the current convenors for joining details. 

UAE – Kathryn Fletcher, bussk@btinternet.com. next meeting 30th May, 6.30pm, Zoom

Anti-racism – Hazel Errey, hazelerrey@gmail.com, next meeting 16th May, 6.30pm, Zoom 

Refugees – Alison Wearden, alison.wearden@gmail.com, next meeting 6th June, 7pm, Zoom 

HR in UK – Matthew Sherwood, m.j.sherwood@outlook.com, next meeting TBA

Craftivism - Kathryn Fletcher bussk@btinternet.com.  next meeting TBA

 

Other areas of work are led by:

Crisis and Tactical Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen Rebecca Shaw, r.h.shaw.7@gmail.com

Europe/ Turkey, Fatih Segmen, fsegmen@yahoo.com

Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians Mike Reed mikewreed101@gmail.com

 

Good news 

This week we report on a case that is very relevant to our crisis and tactical work on Syria. You may recall that in February 2021 a former Syrian government official, Eyad al-Gharib, was convicted in a German court of facilitating 30 cases of torture and serious deprivation of liberty against Syrian prisoners. On May 4, 2022, the Federal Court of Justice in Germany rejected his appeal against conviction and confirmed the sentence of four and a half years in prison for his role in these crimes against humanity. This case is important as it invoked the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute a Syrian government official in Germany and is seen as a precedent for future prosecutions outside of Syria.

 

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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