Minutes. May Meeting
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting held on 13 May 2015
Present: Hetty Tye, Robin Sellwood, Margaret George, Linnea Glynne-Rule, Karen Cooper, Wailim Wong, Chris Ramsey, Megan Bridgeland, Carys Hill, Georgie Wong, Lucky Kaur, Chris Clarke, Rosy Bott.
Apologies : None.
Matters arising from the minutes of 8 April 2015:
None that were not on the agenda
Tim and June had resigned. Tim felt that AI should concentrate more on the position of women in India. It was agreed that our work on women's rights ('Our bodies ourselves' campaign') raises the problem of women in many parts of the world.
The May monthly action concerned Mahdi Abu Dheep (Bahrain) and Dr Mohammed Al Roken (UAE). There were postcards to send to Mahdi Abu Dheep and a petition for Dr Al Roken. It was agreed to take the petition to the street collection on 6 June to try to get more signatures before it has to be in.
Groups News had arrived and was distributed.
5. Individuals at Risk:
Georgie had brought the Central America newsletter and highlighted cases in Mexico - Adrian Velasquez who was falsely accused, tortured and is imprisoned. There was a letter to sign on his behalf. Also Honduras where Gladys Lariza was imprisoned for defending a woman who accused an official of abuse. There was a card to sign for the families of children who disappeared in El Salvador 30 years ago. Georgie announced that Georgia Booth the area coordinator had resigned.
On N Africa, Walim and Linnea reported. Walim had a letter on behalf of 6 men sentenced to death in Egypt, who were accused of killings which were actually committed by soldiers. At the time of the killings 3 of those sentence to death were actually in military detention. Linnea raised the case of Mohammed Zoltan, a US/Egyptian national who was arrested because his father was not there when police came to arrest him. He is accused of mounting an operation room in support of Mubarak. He is on hunger strike and a letter was signed asking that he be transferred to the US and receive medical treatment. There was also the case of 17 people accused after they gave testimony on the killing of a peaceful activist.
6. Stop Torture campaign: our vigil will be outside the cathedral on 4 July at 2.30. Robin will contact the mid-Cornwall United Nations to see if they will support. It was agreed that we will invite Sarah Newton. Chris will contact the college students.
7. AIUK AGM: Chris reported.
The Board had initially proposed bringing a new constitution to the next AGM to be subject to a single vote. This was not agreed and the decision now is that a number of potentially contentious individual issues will be voted on individually before the constitution as a whole is placed before members for approval.
There was debate on reopening the question of the AI policy on abortion. The AGM had agreed that there will be a consultation with members as to whether this issue should be reopened.
There was a proposal the AIUK should have a campaign against anti-semitism. This went to a card vote and was lost by 7 out of a vote of approximately 900.
Chris chaired a question and answer session on the Human Right Act, with a panel consisting of a Human Rights lawyer, and reps from Age UK and the Children's Society and the British Institute for Human Rights. All agreed on the importance of keeping this legislation.
Chris had picked up some interesting campaigning ideas eg for Dr Al Roken a map of UAE with peel-off postcards revealing a large photograph of him to send messages for him. He also reported that the singer formerly from Truro College who won the youth music/song competition 2 years ago performed. Unfortunately he no longer lives locally.
Chris also reported that the Regional Reps Forum will be carrying out a 'health check' on local groups and looking at how local groups can work with student/school groups. It is intended to appoint a media officer (unpaid) for the region.
8. Israel and Occupied Palestinian territories: Chris reported the case of Kahlida Jara an MP in the Palestinian parliament who is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rep on the Council of Europe who proposed that Palestine be in the International Criminal Court. She was arrested on 20 April and placed in Administrative Detention for 6 months. She appealed and now has been charged with 12 security offences. There was a letter to sign on her behalf.
9. Future events:
6 June street collection in Truro. Margaret has the permit. We will set up the stall from 9am and be there till about 1pm. We will have the petition for Dr Al Roken, our feather flag, the cage, leaflets, stickers and balloons. The theme will be Human Rights. Hetty will order materials.
4 July we have our Mayor's Coffee Morning from 10-12, followed by our vigil on 'Stop Torture' at 2.30. For the coffee morning we need to have things to sell - cakes, books, plants. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided by the Mayor.
It was agreed to hold another bookstall in Lemon street Market if we can get permission. 8 August was the best date. Margaret will try to book it.
Chris reported that Truro School will be having 2 days off-curriculum at the end of June on the theme of Human Rights. He has been involved in planning and we may be able to have a presence there.
10. Treasurer's report: Linnea reported that we have £1174.49. She urged anyone with expenses to make a claim.
Karen agreed to look into organising a sponsored walk, possibly in Sept/Oct. It was thought that Shirley may be able to be of help with this as she is involved with the Ramblers.
12. Next meeting: this will be on 10 June.