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Weekly Action and News 24/02/2023

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Action and News


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The Government’s latest attack on protesters – the Public Order Bill – faces crucial votes in Parliament before becoming law. Recently, the House of Lords amended some of the Government’s worst proposals, for example by removing suspicionless stop and search powers, by removing electronic tagging from protest banning orders and preventing the imposition of these orders on people with no previous convictions, and by protecting the right of journalists to report on protests. The Bill is now going back to the Commons where our elected MPs will vote on whether to keep or reverse these changes. Please email your MP to demand that the Lords amendments are retained when the Bill is voted on. Liberty have prepared an email which you can access and sign in minutes, using the link below, or you can use it as template to make your own points.




Date for your diary!


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The next Manchester Amnesty Group meeting on 13th March at 6pm is joint with


Freedom from Torture,


and we have an external speaker,


Sergei Nikitin, former head of Amnesty International in Russia.


Venue: Manchester Central Library.


All are welcome!


 We look forward to seeing you there.








Volunteer needed urgently, ideally someone with links with the Muslim Community.

We have been approached by the AIUK country coordinator for China and Taiwan with a request for help in organizing a human rights Iftar event in Manchester on or around 1st April. If we are to take this on, we need to identify a lead person to work with AIUK within the next week or so.

The main aim of the event would be to raise awareness of human rights abuses of the Uyghur ethnic group in China, with a secondary aim of building closer links between Manchester Amnesty and the Pakistani and Muslim communities in Manchester.


Potential press freedom/Assange subgroup

If you would like to join our member Lima Al-Iskalachi in setting up a Manchester Amnesty subgroup to work on issues around press freedom and the case of Julian Assange, please contact her


Forthcoming events

Friday 3rd March is Global Climate Strike day.

There is a Youth Strike for Climate run by students at the University of Manchester at

St Peter's Square, Manchester - 11am Friday 3rd March.

More details of the event can be found here and here.


The Amnesty Northern Regional Conference, 11th March 2023, 10.00-15.30, ONLINE

is now open for registration at the link below:

Amnesty UK's North Conference Live: Saturday March 11th 2023 Tickets | TryBooking United Kingdom

Talks, discussions and workshops on topics such as Amnesty UK's Anti-Racism Campaigns including the Government's Anti-Terrorism Programme, Protecting Freedom of Speech and Amnesty UK's work to End Israel's Apartheid.


All individual and group members from the North of England are welcome to attend.




Omega Research Foundation is looking for keen and capable individuals to become trustees.

Omega monitors the trade, manufacture and use of military, security and police equipment to help protect human rights and prevent torture.


Previous trustee experience is not required. The role requires only a small time commitment but makes a big contribution. Applications by 7th March please.


Further information from Fiona:

See our website; and our trustee information pack here:

Or contact MAI member, Mike Reed, who is Chair of Omega Trustees: 07766 083765


Many thanks to Steve Lindsay for all his work on the hugely enjoyable and very successful

Acoustic Amnesty/Women Asylum Seekers Together event on 17th February.

The next Acoustic Amnesty is on 15th April.

Watch this space!


Good news


Algeria - On February 1, 2023, Said Djabelkheir, a well-known expert on Islamic religion, was released from prison ahead of his three-year sentence, imposed on April 22, 2021 for "insulting Islam" in three posts published on Facebook.

Sri Lanka - On 31 January 2023, student Wasantha Mudalige was released following an appeal by Amnesty International. He was arrested in August 2022 under the Terrorism Prevention Law, for taking part in peaceful protests against the economic crisis.


Italy - On February 13, 2023, the court of Catania ruled that the issuance of the interministerial decree that had imposed the ban on the rescue ship "Humanity 1" to stop in territorial waters on November 4, 2022 was an illegal conduct as it would have prevented "in a discriminatory way" the right to rescue and access to the asylum procedure to a part of the people on board.


Australia - On February 13, 2023, keeping the promise made in the election campaign, the government announced the end of the "temporary protection" system that, since 2014, had required asylum seekers arriving by sea to apply for a residence visa renewal every six months. More than 19,000 refugees will benefit, including Amnesty International Australia's refugee campaign coordinator.


Netherlands - On 14 February 2023, the Court of Appeal upheld an appeal also filed by Amnesty International, ruling that ethnic profiling by the police in the course of carrying out checks is a serious form of discrimination and therefore is considered illegal.


Spain - On February 16, 2023, the Spanish Parliament definitively approved the law guaranteeing free and safe abortion in public facilities from the age of 16.

We have received news of the release of the following prisoners of conscience in Iran, all of whom were being denied their rights to freedom of expression:


Mohammad Rasoulof             film director     arrested July 2022                  released Feb 12 2023

Bahareh Soleimani                 nurse               detained since Aug 2021        released Feb 14 2023

Moigan Ilanlou                        TV producer    detained Sept 2022                released Feb 15 2023

Monireh Arabshai                    HR activist       detained Sept 2022                released Feb 15 2023

Yasaman Aryani                     HR activist       detained Sept 2022                released Feb 15 2023

Ahmad Raeisi                         University        arrested Jan 11 2023              released Feb 16 2023

Shahab Nazari                        University        arrested Jan 11 2023              released Feb 18 2023

Astiaj Haghighi                        blogger            arrested Jan 29 2023              released Feb 17 2023

Amir Mohammad Ahamadi     blogger            arrested Jan 29 2023              released Feb 17 2023


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 Next meeting tbc, contact Kathryn Fletcher for joining link,

Refugees – Next meeting, Monday 6th March, 6pm, on zoom please contact Alison Wearden, if you would like to join

Anti-racism – Next meeting, Tuesday 28th February, 6pm, online,  please contact Hazel Errey if you would like to join

Craftivism Next meeting Sunday 12th March, 6pm, online, please contact Kathryn Fletcher if you would like to join . Kathryn will be stepping down as craftivism coordinator so if you would like to take on this role, please let her know.

Individuals at Risk (bi-monthly letter writing drop ins) Next session, Saturday, 25th March 2-4pm, then 4th Saturday in May, July, September, November. Manchester Central Library, café area. Contact Anne Walker for more information


Other areas of work are led by:

Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians Mike Reed

LGBTQ+ and Pride coordinator – Zoe Song

Europe/ Turkey, Fatih Segmen,


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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