Minutes. September Meeting

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. TRURO AND FALMOUTH GROUP

MINUTES. 9 September 2015

Present:   Georgie Wong, Hetty Tye,  Karen Cooper,  Linnea Glynne-Rule,  Wailim Wong, Megan Bridgeland, Shirley Sweeney,  Rosy Bott, Chris Clarke

Apologies :  Margaret George, Chris Ramsey, Lucky Kaur, Carys Hill

 

  1. MATTERS ARISING FROM MEETING HELD 8 July
  • Margaret George received a reply to the letter concerning the Gaza crisis, signed by group members, sent to the UK Foreign office.  The Middle East & North Africa Directorate of Foreign & Commonwealth Office responded by stating that the British Government is a strong supporter of international justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and that they encourage Israeli authorities to cooperate with the preliminary examination into the situation on the occupied Palestinian territories.
  • My Body My Rights campaign – Lucky to run training at 11 Nov meeting
  • Mayor’s Coffee Morning. The Mayor has been thanked for hosting this.  We discussed ways to getting more people to participate eg. having music to draw people in.  Lack of public participation may be due to nature of venue and its location.
  • Cornwall Pride. Our stall was well situated and it was felt that selling books was a good idea. Hetty will contact Simon Canon from YAY! (Young and Yourself) as they have requested input from Amnesty

 

  1. MONTHLY ACTION.
  • My Body My Rights, El Salvador

The total ban on abortion in El Salvador means it is a crime even if a woman’s life is threatened, pregnancy is a result of rape, etc.  The case of Maria Teresa Rivera, who is serving 40 year sentence charged with homicide after miscarrying was highlighted. We made Keys of Freedom which will be sent to Amnesty El Salvador to be tied on tree sculpture at a concert to show international solidarity.

  • Stop Torture Campaign

Due to loophole in EU law certain categories of torture equipment continue to be traded. AI calls for regulations to be tightened. We signed a letter to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills requesting loopholes be closed

  • Human Rights Act Campaign

Gov has announced public consultation in autumn for scrapping of European Human Rights Act. AI is working on a campaign strategy to be announced in Oct.

  • Calais Migrant Situation

AI have a template letter that may be sent to local newspapers about the situation. To be discussed at a future meeting

 

  1. INDIVIDUALS AT RISK
  • CENTRAL AMERICA. We have received little information about the 2 cases we have been working on. Georgie to contact country coordinators for updates and request more active cases for us to work on. Following cases highlighted from

      AI Central American Newsletter:

Mexico:

  • Federal Attorney Gen­eral’s Office is standing by the charges against Adrián Vasquez. The judge will now decide about the legal chal­lenge filed by his lawyer, who hasn’t yet had access to the latest documents.
  • The National Supreme Court will rule on part of Yecenia’s Armenta’s case in 2016. In 2012 she was continuously tor­tured over the course of 15 hours. We signed a letter to the Sinaloa At­torney General, asking him to drop the charges. 

Guatemala

                   Guatemalan Court ruled in favour of ‘La Puya’ anti-mining activists,                                                                                                        protesting for 3 years for the right to be consulted about projects which                           affect them. Residents were fearful that the already scarce local water sources                      would be contaminated in an area where many people depend on the land for                             their food and livelihoods.

  • A new trial has been set for January for Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt’s persecution of the Maya Ixil during his rule.  The proceedings will be held behind closed doors and he is not obli­gated to attend because of his dementia.
  • Protests against President Otto Perez Molina accused of taking part in a kick-back scheme. Former vice president Roxana Baldetti has already been arrested. The investi­gations into corruption are lead by the UN-established International Commission Against Impunity. The presi­dent has immunity until his term ex­pires in January. 

Honduras

For the last 3 months people have been peacefully demonstrating against cor­ruption and impunity.  Protestors have called for resignation of President Juan Hernandez.  Hernandez has promised to get to the bottom of the scandal “no matter who falls,” but so far he has refused to initiate an independent committee.

El Salvador

 In 1981 an American woman adopted 4-year-old Isabel & 6-year-old Ana from a Salvadoran orphanage. At age 18 Isabel tried to find out about their adop­tion DNA testing confirmed Ester Monterola Lopez was their mother. Girls had been kidnapped by soldiers who had taken them to the orphanage.  In December Ester travelled to the US and, for the first time in 34 years, was reunited with her daughters.

 

EGYPT:

29 Aug 2015 - A Cairo court has sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to three years in jail after finding them guilty of "aiding a terrorist organisation".

 

Case of press photographer in poor health who has been in jail for approx 2 years. Egyptian law says people can’t be imprisoned without being charged for longer than 2 years. Appears there are charges but lawyers are unable to find out what they are.

 

  1. FUTURE EVENTS:
  • Tremough. Table at African-themed event, 25 Sept. 17.30 – 19.30.
  • Falmouth Street Collection, 10 Oct, 10.00 – 13.00.

Collectors needed

May get student recruits from Tremough  at 25 Sept. event

  • My Body My Rights. Lucky to run workshop at meeting on 11 Nov
  • Open Bethlehem, possibility of showing at Tremough, 1 Dec.

 To be confirmed

  • Christmas stalls, Sat. 28 Nov., 12 Dec. , 5 Dec. (Mayor’s Charity Day)
  • Walk.  Proposed Lostwithiel to Lanyhydrock route.

Karen to bring details to next meeting

  • Hate Crime conference. , 19 Sept, 09.30 – 16.00 at Truro College

 

 

 

 

  1. TREASURER’S REPORT
  • We currently have £1450.91 in the account but still need to pay rent for the year, annual affiliation fee, Christmas cards and to check if we have been invoiced for the feather flag by Amnesty International HQ. 
  • More fund raising needs to be done.  This will be discussed at future meetings.
  • We recently raised £101.57 at the booksale and were given donations amounting to  £13.40 at the Cornwall Pride event.

 

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