Minutes. January 2014 Meeting

MINUTES. 8 January 2014
Present: Rosy Bott; Georgie Wong; Linnea Glynne-Rule; Hetty Tye; Karen Cooper; Chris Ramsey; Shirl Sweeney; Robin Sellwood; Lucky  Kaur
Apologies: Wailim Wong; Margaret George

  1. Matters arising from meeting held 11 December
  • Write for Rights Campaign and Christmas card sales have raised:
  • 16 Nov            22 cards sent                        £107,20
  • 7 Dec              23 cards sent                        £158.65 (includes totals from Tremough Campus Free Belarus Theatre event)
  • 14 Dec                        7 cards sent               £58.55
  • Donations     £53.06
  • Barry Hay (coordinator for Soviet region) has shown an interest in presenting overview of region at South West conference in March
  • Hetty and Linnea attended the Penzance social evening and enjoyed it


  1. Monthly Action
  • As there is no January group action on the Amnesty Website we signed letters calling for the release of Filep Karma who is serving a long prison sentence in West Papua after taking part in a peaceful protest. AI have campaigned against Karma’s sentence for many years. An Indonesian diplomat attended a recent AI event in Reading.
  • Some members are having difficulties locating information on the new AI website and there is a feeling that it does not contain as much information as the previous one did. Chris will mention this during the Governance Task Force meeting next weekend


  1. Individuals at Risk

Central America

  • Georgie has emailed the latest Central America Region newsletter to members.
  • Guatemala:
  •  AI have closed Claudina Velasquez’s case file after a long campaign. Claudina was murdered and there has been little progress with the investigation. Claudina’s father will now try to seek justice through other channels.
  • Norma Cruz (runs an organisation working to stop violence against women) and Rosa Franco (mother of Maria Isobel Franco who was murdered in 2001) have recorded thank you videos to show appreciation for AI’s support.
  • On December 10 (Human Rights Day)—Britain’s ambassador to Honduras and Guatemala, Sarah Dickson, recommitted her country’s support for human rights defenders. 

Urgent Action Letters
We signed urgent action letters:

  • Cases in Egypt; Ukraine; Iran; UAE
  • President of Guatemala – highlighting women’s rights
  • President Elect, Honduras – showing support for COFADEH


  1. SW Regional Meeting
  • This will be held at the Mint Methodist Church in Exeter on 22 March 2014.
  • Agenda will be finalised by end January and will include a report back from Biennial AI meeting. Other possible items:
  • Chris has contacted Ian Cobain (author of book on history of UK’s involvement with torture) who has previously spoken at AI events.  This will tie in with AI’s new global campaigns on torture. It was suggested that we liaise with Freedom from Torture who have a local group.
  • There are a number of AI Prisoners of Conscience in the UK at present – it may be possible from one of these to give a talk


  1. Panorama Programme
  • A copy of the letter written by Chris and Hetty was circulated to members – as yet we have had no acknowledgment of this from AIUK. Chris to speak to Kate Allen at meeting this weekend.


  1. Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Omar Sa’ad – a CO, who is also a member of the Druze community, was sentenced to 20 days in prison. There appear to be more Druze CO’s.
  • Ahmed Qatamesh has been released from prison after 2 ½ years
  • Israel has recently released 26 prisoners.
  • Plans to displace some Bedouin communities from the Negev Desert have been stopped
  • Mordechai Vanunu’s (an Israeli nuclear technician) restrictions have been upheld after a recent review.
  • A recent War on Want report has highlighted UK’s involvement with Israeli armed forces in developing drones. Israel is the largest developer of this technology worldwide and advertises that the drone being developed for the UK military has been “field tested”


  1. Penair School
  • Penair School have invited us to present AI’s work to year 10’s at an extra curriculum day on 21 January. Members have done similar workshops in previous years and have given a presentation, coordinated a question and answer session and involved pupils in Write for Rights action.
  • Lucky, Chris and Linnea will coordinate this event using 2013 Write for Rights packs. Tremough Campus will be contacted to see if they can assist
  • More members need to be trained to work on school events


  1. Future Events

27 February, 5.30 – 7.30. Tremough Campus

  • Emely Neu will do talk about Pussy Riot

Guatemala Film

  • Georgie has been liaising with Georgia Booth (country coordinator for Guatemala) over  showing  “Echo of the Pain of Many” and talk.
  • Georgia is available at the end of June and we will fund her travel expenses and provide her with accommodation. Georgie will liaise over the best dates and the feasibility of the director of this film attending too.
  • This event is not aimed at the general public.
  •  We will need to hire equipment and book the venue

AGM, 12 – 13 April, Edinburgh

  • Hetty cannot attend.
  •  Linnea may be able to go, Lucky may be in Edinburgh during these dates
  • Place needs to be confirmed by 3 March


  1. Treasurer’s Report
  • The balance on our account is £933,45 + £111,61 from last year’s stalls.
  • We agreed to send £500 to AI during 2014. Linnea to send cheque for £300


  1. AOB
  • We will have street collections in May in Truro and October in Falmouth. These work best if linked to a campaign – possibly AI’s 2014 global campaigns – “Stop Torture”, “My Body, My Rights”.
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