Chair: AL

Attending: AL, AE, CA, JGi, JG, MDS, RH

Apologies: AP, CC, FL, MR

  1. Welcome
  • AE was welcomed to her first meeting.
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  • At the end of 2018 we had £253.82 in the bank. We have since received a donation of £50.
  • JGi highlighted that we had only raised £30 in 2018. The group needs approximately £400-500 a year to cover costs. It was agreed that a greater focus on fundraising is required in 2019, starting with the comedy night. AL and MDS agreed that the events group would take this on board.
  1. Secretary’s Report/ Correspondence

Various updates had been received from Amnesty Scotland. Highlights from these were shared with the group including many examples of good news from 2018.

  1. Group News
  2. Amnesty Scotland
    • E-mail highlighting the work undertaken by the Amnesty Scotland office since the end of October. This covered: Human Rights Takeover of the Scottish Parliament, Human Rights Education, Ministerial Briefings, First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, First Minister’s Council on Women and Girls, Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Using the Law for Human Rights, Scottish Bar Association Human Rights Defenders Award, Online Misogyny and Abuse, Scottish Human Rights Defenders Fellowship, new staff in the Office, Human Rights Consortium Scotland, member recruitment, and what’s coming up in 2019. If you’d like to read the full email, please contact Malcolm.dingwall-smith@amnesty.org.uk who will happily forward it on to you.
  3. Amnesty International UK
  4. Alex Jackson – Board Nomination
    • Alex Jackson, member of the Glasgow Daytime Amnesty Group has asked if the Glasgow West group will nominate him to stand in the Amnesty International UK Board elections. The group agreed to do so. MDS will arrange with CC or FL to sign the paperwork.
  5. Alison Thewliss MP
    • Following previous correspondence to Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss, Alsion had written to a member of the group to provide an update on her efforts to support the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. “I’m writing to you following our previous correspondence about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. It’s very disappointing that after 1,000 days, she remains detained in Iran. Indeed, the situation has escalated and she is being denied access to medicine. Her case has been raised by SNP MPs in the House of Commons on multiple occasions over the past two years. On the 7th of January, I had the opportunity to contribute to a debate on this issue on the floor of the House of Commons, where I was able to raise the messages of solidarity I have received in Glasgow Central constituency on behalf of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe. You can view my contribution here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOR4Wme-Vic or read the whole debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-01-07/debates/FB800F1C-B706-4202-832A-2FABBAE71D2E/NazaninZaghari-Ratcliffe?highlight=nazanin#contribution-59544655-6B5F-43C1-8625-03553F1BDC80  The SNP has long supported Amnesty’s campaign for the release of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her return to the UK of as soon as possible. In the meantime, and as a bare minimum, we demand that she be given unrestricted access to proper medical attention, legal representation and consular access.”
  1. Events
    1. Comedy Night @ The Stand (28 January)
    2. Amnesty UK Conference & AGM, Nottingham (13-14 April)
  1. Actions
    1. Yemen Conflict: The group signed a petition calling on the UK to stop arming Saudi Arabia due to the use of these weapons by Saudi Arabia in the conflict in Yemen which continues to have a huge human rights toll.
    2. Urgent Actions
  1. AOB
    1. Planning meeting – The group agreed that the February meeting would be used for planning for the year ahead.
    2. Ali Aarrass – Ali Aarrass is the group’s long-term individual at risk case. (For details see www.amnesty.org.uk/morocco-justice-ali-tortured-security-forces) Ali’s sister is fundraising to pay Ali’s legal bills. If any group members want to make personal donations they should contact the Amnesty International UK Country Coordinator for Morrocco, Beverley Foulkes-Jones beverley.foulkes-jones@amnesty.org.uk who can provide details.
    3. Rahaf al-Qunun – John highlighted the case which had been prominent in the media of Saudi women Rahaf al-Qunun, who was at Bangkok Airport trying to reach Australia and claim asylum having fled her family in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty had campaigned on this case and released a statement when she was provided with refugee status www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/01/thailand-amnesty-welcomes-saudi-woman-refugee-protection/ [Update: Since the meeting Rahaf has been granted asylum by Canada and has arrived safely in the country.]

Letter Writing / Tea & Coffee

  • Members wrote letters on the cases outlined above.
January 2019 Minutes
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