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Weekly Action and News 27/05/2022

Manchester Amnesty Weekly Action and News 

 

Please do these actions and make a difference  

 

Action 1. Morad Tahbaz – unjustly detained in Iran.

Morad Tahbaz was part of a group of conservationists who were tracking endangered wildlife in Iran. Four years ago, he was arrested, unjustly charged with "cooperating with a hostile state against the Islamic republic” and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is currently detained in the notorious Evin prison in Iran. You may have heard the recent BBC interview with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in which she spoke of her anguish on realising that Morad was not going to be on the plane with her and Anoosheh Ashoori when they released from detention in March this year. Morad has cancer and his family are increasingly worried for his welfare. He has lost weight and is denied adequate medical care and treatment. Amnesty are calling on the UK government to fulfil its promise to secure the release of Morad and all British nationals detained in Iran.

TAKE ACTION

 

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/FreeMorad

 

Action 2. Defend the right to protest.

You will recall that the government got its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts act through parliament at the end of the last session a few weeks ago, but that, thanks to amendments introduced in the Lords, they had to drop some of their most repressive anti-protest measures. They have immediately proposed a new anti-protest bill containing some even more draconian measures.  These include orders to prevent people from attending certain places (potentially involving electronic tags), a new offence of “locking-on” (attaching yourself to anyone or anything during the course of a protest), a ban against demonstrating at sites of power, and a further expansion of stop and search powers. This bill will be published in September, at which point Amnesty will almost certainly launch a major campaign. In the meantime, we can make our voices heard by supporting this campaign by Liberty.

 

TAKE ACTION

https://action.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/page/106448/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=member-email-1&ea.url.id=5911232&forwarded=true

 

Letter writing at Central Manchester library tomorrow 28th May 2-4pm.

 

Manchester Amnesty’s second post-lockdown letter writing drop-in 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 pull-up banner. We will be writing appeals to UAE, Turkey, Russia, Sri Lanka, The Gambia and El Salvador. Materials and information will be provided. If you would prefer to type your letters or to write emails, please bring a device. Please do drop in, and feel free to bring a friend!

 

 

Save the date!

Volunteers still 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.. 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 (and possibly at other places too). A longer article on the background to this will appear in the June quarterly bulletin. If you can come along for half an hour to support any of these events, it will be great to see you. Email alison.wearden@gmail.com.

 

 

Events 

******Tomorrow 28th May, 1pm, St Peter’s Square******, demonstration organised by Kids of Colour and JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association). On 17th May 2022 at Manchester crown court, 4 young Manchester men were convicted of conspiracy to murder and 6 others of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. The prosecution alleged a gang-related conspiracy, but defenders of the young men are calling this a case of “guilt by association” under the Joint Enterprise law, which is used disproportionately against people of colour. You can read more here.

 

5th June, 11am-4pm, Bud Garden Centre, Omer Drive, Levenshulme, M19 2JN. In conjunction with Levenshulme Open Gardens, Bud Garden centre are hosting an event in aid of Freedom from Torture. All welcome. https://www.freedomfromtorture.org/UK-centres/our-north-west-centre-in-manchester

 

June 8th-12th, The Manchester Histories Festival programme on the History of Climate Change has many events which will be of interest, ranging from talks, panel discussions,  music, poetry and even a cookery session. See the full programme here https://manchesterhistories.co.uk/our-festival/manchester-histories-festival-2022/

 

18th June, 1-5pm, Manchester Central Library.  Trailblazers! Women of Greater Manchester is the group promoting commemoration of other women in Greater Manchester who were on the list for the Womanchester statue. The link is now live to the free event on 18 June, including the first Margaret Ashton Memorial Lecture to be given by Kate Green MP

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/trailblazers-women-of-greater-manchester-tickets-334673215597

 

 Calling all service managers/ frontline staff working (council and voluntary sector) working in Salford!

Following a recent decision to designate Salford a City of Sanctuary, we have received information about an event on 20th June (World Refugee Day) to enable networking and discussion about how sanctuary seekers can best be supported in Salford. If you are eligible, you can register via this link.

 

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 Monday 30th May, 6.30pm, Zoom

Anti-racism – Hazel Errey, hazelerrey@gmail.com, next meeting Monday 27th June, 6.30pm, Zoom 

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

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

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 

Egypt. Human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Ibrahim Ezz el-Din was released on 26 April 2022 after 34 months of arbitrary detention, stemming solely from his peaceful human rights work. His release follows sustained global interventions and public campaigning, including by Amnesty International members and supporters who called for his release. Speaking after his release, Ezz el-Din said “In the darkest moments of despair that I lived inside prison, the news of the campaigns calling for my release was my only motivation to keep going and have hope. I would like to thank everyone…” You can read the full statement here.

 

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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