Afghanistan - 5 June 2023 Meeting Highlights - Sultan Mahmoodi

Afghanistan

We had a very good turnout to support Sutton Amnesty member Sultan Mahmoodi talking to us about Afghanistan. Sultan spoke movingly about his own departure with his family from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over in August 2021, giving us a sense of how difficult it is to leave your country, the risks involved and the situation now in Afghanistan. The group had a number of questions which Sultan addressed thoroughly.

We were also pleased that Thea Ioannou, Community Organiser with responsibility for Local Activism at the Amnesty UK Office, had taken the trouble to attend our meeting in person.

UAE

Lyndon gave extensive feedback on efforts on behalf of Dr Al-Roken and others imprisoned in the UAE. This included interactions with our local MPs, exploration of appropriate UK departments to lobby around COP 28 and reference to the UN's recent pronouncement on arbitrary detention (see https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/un-document-uae-keeping-rights-activists-jail-past-end-sentences-2023-06-02/ )

Lobbying of local MPs

Building on the experience gained from visits to MP Paul Scully (Sutton) and Elliot Colburn (Carshalton), and the benefit of our session with ex-MP Tom Brake on how to successfully lobby MPs, our expanding membership has opened up the opportunity to reach out further to four more MPs, in Merton, Tooting, Reigate & Banstead and Kingston. We intend to meet each of these MPs over the next few months, in order to raise our concerns about our two prisoner cases. While a constituent would need to attend in each case, they would be accompanied by one or two experienced Sutton Amnesty members.

Urgent Actions

Our Urgent Actions for the month included two on Columbia relating to different aspects of intimidation and violence from the authorities. Hard copies of these letters and another requesting investigation into the apparent poisoning of schoolgirls in Iran were signed (39 letters in total) by those present at the meeting for delivery to the countries' respective London ambassadors.

 

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