Oct 2017 Minutes
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting. 10th October 2017
Present: Georgie Wong; Chris Ramsey; Karen Cooper; Hetty Tye; Meike Koops; Rob Hall
Apologies: Wailim Wong; Linnea Glynne-Rule; Margaret George; Shirley Sweeney;
- MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
- Peace Day Events: although events were quiet it was agreed that our participation had been very worthwhile.
- Give a Home for Human Rights Event: event was organised by Sofar and AI and there were approx 200 small events held across the world.Members attended an event in St Ewe with artists Lily Lyon and The Roustabouts. Chris gave a short talk.
- Street collection on 23 Sep raised £185. Meike had collected over 50% of this and agreed to give tips on how improve our takings at a future meeting.
- AI social walk raised £55.
- 2 national campaigns: iwelcome (welcoming refugees) and Brave – focussing on Human Rights defenders.
- campaign: we wrote to Cambodia authorities calling for Tep Vanny (a housing rights activist) to be released.
We will campaign on behalf of Azza Soliman, an Egyptian lawyer and Human Rights Defender, who is facing charges, has an asset freeze and travel ban. Hetty has ordered campaigning postcards for Azza and 2 other Brave cases.
- Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam (a Sudanese human rights activist) has been released from jail
- We did a Happy Birthday photo action for Idil Eser, director of AI Turkey who has been imprisoned along with the Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair, Taner Kiliç and other activists.
- Hetty to order 100 Write for Rights leaflets and associated posters etc
- The next annual conference will be in Swansea on 7 and 8th April 2018
- North Africa:
- Azza Soliman: Meike to research possible UK women’s organisations who may take action eg WI, Mothers’ Union etc
We will write to following: President of Egypt – Karen; Minister of Interior – Hetty;
Egypt’s Ambassador to UK – Chris; Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights – Georgie
Hetty to bring a card for Azza to next meeting
Chris to contact Mike Venerables (Egypt Country Coordinator) and suggest he attends our meeting on 8th November. Meike to research which local women’s groups and legal groups who might be interested in this campaign.
- AI Exeter will stage an exhibition at The Phoenix Centre, Exeter, of Mohmoud Abu Zeid’s (Shawkan) work. The Price of Photography: 1500 Days Behind Bars. Friday 24 Nov 2017 - Thu 21 Dec 2017
- We signed letters on behalf of:
57 people detained because of their perceived sexual orientation, after a concert in Cairo
Ibrahim Metwaly, co- founder of the Disappeared in Egypt group who was arrested on Sep 10thAlgeria
- We wrote on behalf of Mohamed Fali, a human rights defender, calling for his release and all charges against him to be dropped
- Israel/Palestinian Territories
- AI call to UK foreign office to ban import of settlement goods. (http://50yearstoomany.uk/#50-years-too-many-1). Media reports suggest government intends to strip tax benefit from Amnesty as punishment for its settlement goods campaign
- Mohammad Abu Sakha, a 24-year-old circus performer from Palestine’s West Bank has been freed after 2 years of being held in administrative detention, without charge, by Israeli authorities in a prison in southern Israel.
- On Aug. 23, Israeli forces detained Salah Hamouri, a field researcher for prisoners rights group Addameer.Hamouri, who has was previously imprisoned by Israel but released in a prisoners' exchange deal in 2011, was then issued a six-month administrative detention order.He has now been re-released.
- New expulsions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem could be the start of another wave.
- Israel has quietly revoked the citizenship of thousands of members of its large Palestinian minority in recent years. The policy, which only recently came to light, is being implemented by Israel’s population registry. According to government data, some 2,600 Palestinian Bedouins are likely to have had their Israeli citizenship voided. Officials, however, have conceded that the figure may be much higher.
- Mordechai Vanunu, imprisoned, then released, is still under house arrest
- Saudi Arabia.
- We wrote on behalf of Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, a human rights defender who has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.
- Georgina received a letter in Cyrillic : Hetty agreed to facilitate translation
- Brave Campaign Training. Megan attended this. Karen to email document to members.
- Christmas Stalls
- 25th November and 2nd December at High Cross
- 9th December – Mayor’s Charity Event
- Georgie has ordered Christmas cards costing approx £350
- UN Evensong. Truro Cathedral: 22 Oct 16.00 with Bishop Richard Llewellin preaching about Syria and the Middle East.
- One World Week, Truro Cathedral:
- Sun 22 – 29 Oct
- Theme is Good Neighbours. Chris to put up display with world map and some of AI cases
- Falmouth UniversityAI event
- Chris to speak at event. University group wants to focus on mental health. Chris to confirm date, possibly 26 Oct. (now confirmed as 6 November 9pm )
- Truro College Academic Academy
- Chris to take the session on 29 November
- AI UK’s Chair Update: Ruth Breddal, Chair of AIUK Section, attended the AI council meeting to discuss strategy and policy.
- UK resolutions taken to the council were:Review of AI policy on abortion (pro-choice) & Draft strategy on climate change and human rights. Both policies will be reviewed, decision taken “on awaited basis” pending votes.
- Change to the council voting system was reviewed.Previously countries with higher membership had more votes, leading to inequality.Now each country/section has one vote, with the exception of financial decisions, which require a 2/3 (67%) majority.
- Myanmar Refugees update: Donations are sought for investigation into causes of the crisis.A donation from the group’s fund of £50 was suggested, Chris to email Margaret to agree.
- Meike to summarise main points of data protection policy for next meeting
- Focus for the next meeting:
Next Meeting: 8 November 2017, Sambells Café, Truro Methodist Church, 19.00