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6 September 2021 Meeting Highlights

A video was shown to the group featuring the presentation from Clare Moseley, Founder of Care4Calais. The video described the work Clare and her organisation do to care for the humanitarian needs of refugees in France and the UK. Sutton group members all agreed the video was very powerful, and it was suggested that Clare should be invited to present at a future meeting.

Initial efforts to contact the AIUK UAE country coordinator have been unsuccessful. It was discovered that there were some discrepancies between the UAE postal addresses supplied by AI and those on the web, with one AI Urgent Action also suggesting postal addresses for the UAE were unreliable. There had therefore been no immediate progress in respect of our prisoner of conscience, Dr Mohammed al-Roken. Simone Theiss, Secretary to the Westminster and Bayswater AI Group has been invited to our next meeting on 4 October. Their group also has a UAE prisoner of conscience, Ahmed Mansoor.

Our group Secretary went through the various actions/notifications forwarded over the last two months. These came from a number of sources reflecting the countries/networks selected by the group at the July meeting (in practice AI communications are from regional groups rather than country coordinators), groups monthly briefing, Individuals at risk and special requests made to members of the Sutton group (for example contacts at other AI groups or other charities).

It was noted that AI were ‘streamlining’ their communications to enable groups/members to respond more efficiently (for example via e-mail rather than letter). Our Secretary saw his role as, where appropriate, trying to minimise the time other Sutton group members spent on these appeals in order to maximise the number of cases we could address consistent with the regions/networks chosen. The group supported this.   

The Sutton group featured in an article from SW Londoner which referenced the group’s work in the context of AI’s 60th anniversary.

It was reported that the Group now had its own e-mail address ( which could be used as the springboard for social media communications, Facebook and the AIUK Sutton webpage.   
Our Treasurer presented two projected budgets for 2022, each with different assumptions, taking into account the covid pandemic. It was concluded that more members or more fund-raising events were needed to improve finances. It was also concluded that the October and November meetings should be held by Zoom for cost reasons. While there was some prospect of meeting at members’ homes it was concluded this was impractical with covid numbers at current levels.

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