Minutes February Meeting 2017
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting. February 2017
Present: Georgie Wong; Chris Ramsey; Wailim Wong; Karen Cooper; Linnea Glynne-Rule; Chris Clarke; Hetty Tye; Shirley Sweeney; Joanell de Mailly
Apologies: Margaret George; Tony Walder Harding
1) MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
a) Hetty gave Georgie a translation of the letter from Russia
b) We are now on Cornwall Council’s mailing list regarding Syrian refugee families
a) We signed a letter addressed to The Home Office and Dep of Education urging families and refugee children to be reunited. This is part of Amnesty’s I Welcome campaign.
b) The monthly group action is an online petition to protection refugees in Greece from winter conditions.
c) Wailim needs details of our social media accounts from Karen for the Local Groups survey
d) We received details of “33 Reasons to be Positive about 2016”
e) The Local Groups Planning Pack needs to be completed in March
f) The National Conference is 8/9 April in Nottingham. Chris R and Wailim to attend
g) One Day Without Us, 20 Feb. This day of action highlights migrant’s concerns and the role they play in society. Amnesty International supports this action
h) Campaign updates:
· Human Rights Act – no plans to repeal this until after next general election
· Cluster bombs – UK government has admitted that British made bombs had been used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen
i) Amnesty International Make a Will Month will be held in March
j) There are changes to the Amnesty International website
k) £152 000 were raised by local groups. Of this £45 000 is for the Burkina Faso campaign against child brides, FGM etc. This will be equalled by the government. It was requested that we are updated on where this money is going to eg education, health etc
3) TREASURER'S REPORT
- Linnea presented a detailed report
- Opening balance for 2016 was £1395.71, and the closing balance was £1127. 57.
- Current balance is £1004.83
- We will pay a contribution of £15 to the AI Yemen campaign
· We participated in the social media campaign highlighting the case of the murdered Cambridge student, Guilo Regeni, as it is a year since his body was discovered
· We signed a letter to the Sudanese authorities expressing concern for Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, a human rights defender on hunger strike. He has been detained without charge, ill treated and is in poor health
· We wrote a letter to Zimbabwean authorities urging them to release Pastor Evan Mawarire, a human rights defender who was arrested in Harare recently.
b) Central America:
· 130 people have so far been detained in connection with the 43 missing student teachers. Georgie has received a letter from the Mexican Embassy. There is a template for a letter to local newspapers highlighting this case. It appears that the Mexican government is sensitive to this case
· We wrote an Urgent Action letter urging members of Mexican Congress to eliminate repressive Articles to their General Law on Torture bill which was drafted in 2016.
· We wrote letters expressing concern over recent smear campaigns against International organization Global Witness, and Honduran organizations MILPAH, COPINH and CEHPRODEC. These groups focus on defending land, territory and environmental rights.
c) Israel/Palestinian Territories
- We wrote letters calling on the immediate and unconditional release of Tamar Ze'evi and Tamar Alon, both conscientious objectors who have been given repeated prison offences for refusing military service.
- An Israeli soldier has recently be found guilty of manslaughter for the death of a Palestinian man who was shot dead as he lay wounded. The military court ruled that his actions violated the Israeli army’s rules of engagement
- There are further plans for 2500 new settler homes on the West Bank.
- A 19 year old Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces at Jenin refugee camp.
- There were more house demolitions in Qalansawa which highlighted the difficulties Palestinian citizens of Israel face in getting permission to build.
- Hand in Hand centres which provide education for both Jewish and Arab children are now present in 5 cities.
5) FUTURE EVENTS
a) Falmouth Street Collection + Missing Mexican Students
· There will be a street collection on Sat 11 March. We will put out shoes in the shape of 43 to highlight the case of the missing Mexican students. Chris R to contact Sarah Walker regarding a risk assessment for this. The meeting with Falmouth University group did not happen.
b) Regional conference
- Reminder about the regional conference in Exeter on Sat 25 Feb. Speakers include Getachew Simie Obse ( Ethiopian journalist based at York University), member from Children’s Human Rights Network and an AI UK Board member
- Country coordinators from Turkey; North Africa; South America and China will be present
- There will also be the shoe action for the missing Mexican students
- One Day One Choir event for World Peace Day will be held on 21 September
- There will be a talk on John Berger for Reprieve at Truro Library
Next meeting, Wednesday, March, 2017