Minutes: November 2016 Meeting
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting held on 9 Nov 2016
- Present: Wailim Wong, Margaret George, Chris Ramsey, Karen Cooper, Georgie Wong, Chris Clarke, Tony Walder-Harding.
- Apologies: Linnea Glynne-Rule, Hetty Tye, Shirley Sweeney, Rosy Bott.
- Matters arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 October: 3. Chris had arranged with the Methodist Church that we can hold a ‘Write for Rights’ card-signing at Sambells on 8th Dec. It was agreed that Chris R, Georgie and Chris C will do 10-12 and Karen and Tony 12-2. 4. We had heard that in the case of Zeinab Lokhran she has so far not been executed and a new lawyer has been appointed. 8. Links with Quakers in St Austell. Chris agreed to liaise with them re going to speak to the group on a Sunday.
- Secretary’s report: i. a reply had come from Sarah Newton which talked about British aid to refugees in general but did not address the issues we raised, and also did not respond to the invitation to come to one of our stalls. (subsequent to the meeting Sarah did get in touch and agreed to come to our stall on 26th Nov.) ii. The October action included a petition to the Prime Minister on behalf of the children of Aleppo. iii. other items are the Write for Rights campaign, and update on Refugees Welcome, update on the Human Rights Act campaign, news that the European parliament voted to close loopholes in the laws prohibiting the advertising and brokering of torture equipment, the new Gifts catalogue, and advance notice of elections to the AIUK board in 2017.
- Treasurer’s report: Linnea had sent a report that we have £747.84 in the bank, but money will be coming in from the sale of cards which we have paid for.
- Death penalty in US: at the time of the presidential election, Nebraska voters overturned the local decision to remove the death penalty from the statute book; Oklahoma voted to the death penalty to be given constitutional protection, so it can’t be deemed unusual or cruel.
- North Africa – no report
Central America – Georgie had the newsletter and spoke about the campaign for justice for the 43 students who ‘disappeared’ in Mexico – 43 empty chairs were placed in front of the embassy. An inter-American investigation into the case is taking place. Also in Mexico, 3 priests have been murdered (15 over the past 4 years), and a Human Rights defender whose son was abducted in 2011 by people in police uniform had to pay a ransom and since then nothing has been done by the army or police to investigate the case. In Guatemala, a HR defender has been threatened because she is suing a minerals company over the murder of her husband; The HR lawyer Ramon Ramilla is speaking in London on 12 Dec. In Honduras, 2 land-rights campaigners have been killed despite the authorities having been asked to protect them; there was letter to sign. Amnesty has said that Honduras is a no-go area for environmental campaigns. In El Salvador, there is a refugee crisis with internal displacement a problem since 2015. A judge has ruled that there should be a new investigation into the 1980s atrocities.
Former Soviet Union there was a letter to sign on behalf of Ukrainian prisoners held in Russia. It was reported that the AI office in Moscow had been closed down (however, the problem seems to have been solved)
Israel and the Occupied Territories – Chris reported that Gary Ettle had met M Vanunu. In Jayyuz village land is being taken away by settlers – there is a campaign on this and a case file. In the West Bank there is a water shortage which means some areas have rationing and get 1 hour’s water twice a week.
- Feedback from the walk: a small number of people were able to go but it was enjoyable. We hope to do another in the spring and it was suggested we might contact Clare Balding (Radio 4 ‘Ramblings’ series).
- Future events:
- Wailim would be attending the Citizenship for Life event on Friday.
- Xmas stalls are scheduled for 26th Nov (High Cross), 3rd Dec (High Cross) and 10th Dec (Mayor’s Charity event in a marquee on the Piazza) This last date is on Human Rights Day so it was agreed to have a cake and ask if the Mayor would cut it. A rota was created and Karen agreed to laminate a number of cases for the stalls. Margaret will contact the Mayor and make a cake for 10 Dec.
- Next meeting
This will be on Wed 14 Dec, 7pm at Sambell’s Café, Truro Methodist Church.