September 2018. Minutes

Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group

Minutes of Meeting held on 12 September 2018

  1. Present: Margaret George, Georgie Wong, Shirley Sweeney, Linnea Glynne-Rule, Chris Ramsey, Meike Koops, Hetty Tye, Karen Cooper, Carole Liesse.
  2. Apologies:. Wailim Wong.
  3. Matters arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2018: the bookstall on 4th August at High Cross made £122.15. We were helped by good weather and good musicians nearby. At Pride we made £43.18 on books and donations. A large number of cards were signed and for next year we need to order more than 250. It was suggested that for another year we need to be more organised, with clipboards. For the Xmas stalls it was agreed to use the cage at High Cross, and Chris will contact Farshid to try to get advance info on the cases in Write for Rights. Georgie will order the cards.
  4. Secretary’s report: the monthly email had been circulated. Margaret had printed out the Protect Children’s Rights petition which people signed and Carole took with her to get more signatures. Two copies of Groups News were handed out.
  5. Treasurer’s report: Karen sent a report that we have £1126.96. The rent has been paid up to the end of the year. We had last sent £400 to HQ in January, and it was agreed now to send £250.
  6. Campaigns:

North AfricaEgypt: Shawkan has been released after being sentenced to 5 years but has to report to the police every evening. In the same mass trial some 70 people have been sentenced to death. At a recent meeting between AI staff and Egyptian embassy staff, the embassy official said that it would be helpful if appeal letters are typed so they can read them more easily. This is heartening news as it implies that letters we send are read. Egypt has no internal Amnesty organisation as it is not allowed, but 60,000 people are international members. Hetty had brought letters to sign on behalf of Hanan Badr el-Din, and Amal Fathy. We continue to send regular letters to Azza Soliman whose assets are frozen and who is not allowed to travel. In Morocco Ali Arrass has been transferred and we are asked to send him humorous cards to Numéro d’écrou 930, Prison Locale de Tifelt 11, Tifelt, Morocco.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Chris reported about the Occupation 5o campaign to stop settlement goods coming to the UK. A letter was signed to Netanyahu about Bedouin settlements being destroyed. Mordechai Vanunu continues to be under virtual house arrest after 14 years. 19 Palestinians were killed in August, 520 arrested in July and 36 given administrative detention orders. In Washington, the Palestinian mission is to be closed. Chris had had a communication from the Plymouth group about Amnesty’s definition of anti-semitism and will seek advice on this from HQ.

Former Soviet Union – Margaret had again received a letter from Kazakhstan about one of the cases we wrote about. The letter has been sent on to Barrie Hay, the region coordinator.

Central America – Georgie reported. Mexico: The new president ‘AMLO’ has promised to take half the salary of his predecessors and to cut down on perks for officials. He faces a difficult problem in dealing with the drugs trade and associated killings. The court has dropped the charges against those accused of the disappearance of the 43 students and a new investigation into the affair is to take place.  Georgie had had a letter from the Embassy about the disappearances. She had brought a birthday card to sign to a Mayan boy in Yukatan who was beaten up by police. In Guatemala the situation for environmental activists is becoming worse In Honduras. The trial of those accused over the death of Bertha Caceras is due to begin. Georgie had brought a letter to sign about this.

 

  1. Forthcoming events
  1. 29th Sept Street collection in Falmouth. It was agreed to have a base with a table for the tins, stickers and permits on the Moor, and collecting to be from 10.00 to 1.00pm. Margaret agreed to order more stickers.
  2. 29th Sept (evening) there is a play on at Truro Museum called ‘There’s no country’, about immigrants to Cornwall from Eastern Europe. Tickets from the Museum. It starts at 7.00pm.
  3. 6th October (evening) there is a play about Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe ‘Nazanin’s story’. This is a touring production which has been very well received and is constantly updated. The play is on at the Redannick Theatre. Wailim had already agreed to get in touch with the company and Meike will follow it up too. It starts at 7.30pm.
  4. Xmas stalls are booked for 24 Nov and 1st Dec at High Cross and 8th Dec at the Mayor’s charity event (a marquee on the Piazza.) It was agreed we should order extra catalogues of the Write for Rights cases, which we can give away on the stalls.
  1. NEXT MEETING: Wed 10th October at 7pm, Sambells café, Truro Methodist Church.
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