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February 2022

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

In case I haven't already thanked you all then please accept my heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated money last Autumn to Woking Amnesty which has allowed us to continue as a group and pass on some funds to Amnesty.

The December meeting was very convivial and we got plenty of cards written. Thanks to everyone who posted/delivered their cards to me. They all went out to their destinations.

Our first meeting of the year will be on Zoom on Monday 7th February starting at 7.30pm.

We shall be welcoming Tilly Lavenas Amnesty Country Coordinator for Mexico who will speak to us about a broad range of Human Rights issues . As a useful preparation can I suggest a 15 minute read of an article by Human Rights Watch. Here is the link.....  https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2021/country-chapters/mexico#  .

Tilly will be with us for around 45 minutes from 7.30pm . Our own local agenda follows.

Agenda...

1 / Amnesty report on Israel and pushback from Israeli authorities. Keith will summarise the report and we'll schedule a full meeting in which to discuss its implications and possible action.

2/ March and April meetings. Our own local members have offered to arrange or give talks on several countries. I'll be hoping to firm up on these at the meeting. 

3 / Police and Security Bills and Human Rights Act. We'll touch upon these with Keith once again providing information and suggestions for actions.

4 / Accounts. Lynda and/or Jim will update us on the financial accounts.

The environment is becoming a hot subject of Human Rights. Is anyone interested in taking this on and perhaps arranging a speaker during the first half of 2022?

We are pleased to convey the wonderful news that Aser Mohamed was acquitted on 2 January.   He is yet to be released. The IS are trying to reach out to his sister and lawyer to get more details.

Background : On 12 January 2016 Aser Mohamed was taken from his home by armed police and National Security Agency Officers. He was just 14 years old. For 34 days nobody knew where he had been taken. Aser reported of torture and abuse  whilst in detention to force him to ‘confess’ and he was held in pre-trial detention, despite this being banned in Egypt for children under 15. Aser faced charges including being a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and attacking a hotel, on the basis of the confessions he had made under torture. Comments by the prosecutor indicated that he knew Aser Mohamed had been subjected to electric shock torture in detention. The prosecutor took no action to investigate or hold those responsible for Aser’s torture to account. Aser was convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in October 2019. 

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