Minehead members attend AI regional and national conferences

Amnesty members at a 'flash mob' action in Exeter
Our chair, Alison Dietz, on the left, in the 'flash mob' action in Exeter city centre

At the end of March, five of our group members attended the AI South West Regional Conference in Exeter. We heard a moving speech by a Human Rights Defender who was forced to leave her country after the situation became too dangerous for her to stay there. We also heard about the two new global campaigns 'Stop Torture' and 'My body, my rights', and attended a range of workshops on topics including human rights in Iran, India and the former Soviet Union.

On 12 and 13 April, our group was represented by Susan Mew at the AIUK AGM and annual conference in Edinburgh. The opening ceremony and lighting of the candle was performed by Reem al-Assil, who spoke about the personal tragedies that she had been through, and the brave people who continue to work for human rights in Syria. Kate Allen, Director of AIUK, gave her usual up-beat and encouraging annual report  and the AGM business included debate and voting on 20 resolutions, demonstrating what a great democratic organisation Amnesty International is. The key note speaker was Mark Thomson, Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, who set the scene for us in relation to the forthcoming global campaign 'Stop Torture'. There were plenty of opportunities to network and meet up with old friends from Amnesty, as well as browse round the various campaigning and information stalls, and contribute to the making of a huge banner.

Amnesty International is a truly global movement and participation in conferences like these help keep us informed of developments at the regional, national and international level. It's also fun to meet up with other Amnesty members from across the country!

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