Thanks to CC and FL for these minutes. As ever, they can be read as a PDF.

Apologies: AL, DM, JGe

Attendees: CCa, MR, JGi, CA, KE, LD, MDS, FL, CCr

Treasurer’s report (JG): £593.80 in the bank

Secretary’s report (FL + CC)

AGM Feedback (CC, JG, MDS)

  • Kumi Naidooa, the new secretary general of Amnesty International
    gave an encouraging talk with a focus on more member led activism
  • The voting outcomes for the AGM resolution can be found here; https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/Governance/RESOLUTIONS%20BOOKLET%20-%20DECISIONS%202019.pdf
  • Postcards and letters collected from the stalls:
    • Campaign to abolish the death penalty in Singapore
    • Atena Daemi — jailed for speaking out against the death penalty
      in Iran
    • Free the Saudi women who won the right to drive
  • Next year’s AGM planned for June

Events on the horizon (events committee)

  • Pub quiz — early summer, details to follow
  • Photo exhibition — another Amnesty group has produced a large photo
    exhibition about political prisoners in Turkey. We would like to
    bring the exhibition to Glasgow. Currently looking into possible
    venues.
  • Great Get Together — runs from 21st – 23rd June, people encouraged
    to organise events in the memory of Jo Cox MP, more information
    here: https://www.greatgettogether.org/ Events committee exploring
    the idea of organising an informal social (picnic/BBQ?) with other
    human rights /refugee organisations in Glasgow if there is enough
    interest. More details at June meeting if going ahead.

Glasgow Pride — MardiGla 20th- 21st July (FL)

Pride this year will be run by a different organisation called MardiGla.
We are hoping to take part in the march and have a stall like the
previous two years. More details to follow.

Secret Policeman’s Ball, Edinburgh, 24^th^ August (MDS)

In cahoots with the sizzling Deborah Frances-White of Guilty Feminist
Podcast fame, Amnesty’s revered Secret Policeman\’s Tour is landing
in three different locations across UK this year. Bringing with it a
feast of super-talent and unique line-ups for three electrifying nights
of comedy, music and discussion. 

It will be at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Saturday 24 August. Hosted
by Deborah Frances-White with special guests, including:

Rachel Parris
Nish Kumar
Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens)  
Sindhu Vee      
Desiree Burch  
Rosie Jones  
Grace Petrie
Steve Ali    
Music from Jess Robinson\
Siobhan McSweeney, Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland from DERRY
GIRLS

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/secret-policemans-tour

Tickets are £28. We are planning to make this an Amnesty social with
members of the Glasgow West and other Amnesty groups going together. If
you would like to come, Malcolm has offered to bulk buy the tickets.
Please email him to request tickets by the 27th June. His email
address is: malcolm.ds@gmail.com

Scotland Office Update (MDS)

Here is the update from Naomi at the Scotland Office:

  • REFUGEES: Glasgow Girls – The Musical!

We kicked off the year with supporting the Glasgow Girls tour around
Scotland. Local Groups in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth raised more than
£800 from bucket collections outside the shows, there were panel
discussions after some of them and we worked with the production team on
4 workshops around the theme of refugees and asylum seekers. We are now
finalising a free, downloadable educational resource linked to the show
which will be useful for teachers and pupils in Scottish secondary
schools to learn more about the themes. We aim to roll out the resource
UK wide in time for their next UK tour.

  • REFUGEES: Football Welcomes Refugees

We have already got a number of Scottish clubs involved in
the Football Welcomes Refugees campaign and committed to activities
in April including Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibs with many more
amateur and refugee lead teams participating. We will also be working
with clubs, the SPFL, Scottish Refugee Council and other refugee groups
on more ways to ensure refugee integration through football in Scotland.
If you’re interested in getting more involved in this campaign, please
email: Pauline.kelly@amnesty.org.uk

  • LGBTI+ campaigning

We’ve already kicked off our Pride season with a presence at the first
ever Trans Pride in Dundee! If you are wanting to represent Amnesty at
your local Prides with materials and briefings, get in touch and we’ll
make sure you have everything you need! If you have any questions or
would like any more info on any of the above, please get in touch with
Malcolm Dingwall-Smith in the first
instance: Malcolm.Dingwall-Smith@amnesty.org.uk or Elizabeth.Thomson@amnesty.org.uk

 And here’s a blog on Dundee’s Trans Pride from local activist
Gabriel: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/scottish-human-rights-blog/pride-party-it-also-protest

  • BRAVE: Scottish Human Rights Defenders Fellowship

We are working with the Scottish Government and University of Dundee on
the next HRD Fellowship for 2019/20. There will be some changes this
year including extending the Fellowship from 3 to 6 months for two HRDs.
We are currently working with Amnesty researchers across the globe to
identify and nominate HRDs to this programme and will be recruiting them
towards the summer. Unfortunately, we cannot 100% confirm that this will
be going ahead this year because, like most things, it is potentially
going to be effected by Brexit. The Scottish Government cannot confirm
budgets until everyone knows whether we are facing a No Deal Brexit —
in which case all resources will be diverted to deal with that.

  • Human Rights Education

As well as the Glasgow Girls project, we’ve also sent our termly mailing
to schools with our resources catalogue. We delivered workshops as part
of Wee Write at the Aye Write! Book Festival in Glasgow to 300 children
and young people. And we are planning to offer an Amnesty School Speaker
training in June or August 2019, depending on participant availability.
If you’re interested in finding out more about that, please
contact:pauline.kelly@amnesty.org.uk

  • Incorporation of treaties into Scots Law

Since the publication of the report and recommendations of the First
Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, we have been
analysing the recommendations and developing our policy positions on key
points. Amnesty has been working with the Human Rights Consortium
Scotland to talk to Scottish civil society about what they want to see
in new legislation and will be developing a campaign over the coming
year.

  • Advocacy at the Scottish Parliament

With Liz Thomson starting with us as a Campaigner in January, we’ve
taken the opportunity to have a number of intro meetings with MSPs
including all the members of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee,
the Justice Spokespeople of all the parties and those with particular
interests in some of our work or cases. We have been talking to them
about Football Welcomes, human rights defenders, legislation affecting
trans rights in Scotland, FGM, Equal Protection for children from
assault, Brexit and much more! Here is our most recent briefing and a
blog on the Climate Change
Bill:  https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/scottish-human-rights-blog/climate-emergency

  • Consultation response on hate crime in Scotland

Drawing on our research into hate crime in the UK and the Toxic Twitter
campaign, we submitted a response to the Scottish Government
consultation on changes to hate crime legislation. Once the responses
are made public, we will share a link to our submission. As this
legislation passed through Holyrood, we will be giving evidence and
producing briefings for parliamentarians which we will share with
activists and encourage everyone to write to their MSPs!

  • Briefing on Equal Protection

John Finnie MSP has introduced a Bill to Holyrood on equal protection
for children from assault. This is now been through the committee stage
and will be coming to the Chamber for debate. We will be producing a
briefing on this for MSPs and will be sharing this with activists.
Again, activists are encouraged to email or meet with their MSPs about
this Bill and we will ensure you have all the information you need for
this. If you’d like any info on this or any of our Scottish
Parliamentary work, please contact: Elizabeth.thomson@amnesty.org.uk

  • Climate strike!

As you may have seen, Amnesty has been supporting the climate strikers
globally. These are amazing young human rights defenders and we have had
plenty of them in Scotland. Here’s a blog from Méabh Mackenzie in South
Uist: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/scottish-human-rights-blog/striking-save-our-islands

  • BRAVE: Young HRDs Project

Amnesty UK is piloting a new project which will train and build the
capacity of young HRDs in the UK. As you may know, there is already a
young HRD campaign in Scotland run by the Children’s Commissioner, the
Children’s and Youth Parliaments and a number of children’s rights
organisations. We are talking to them about bringing these campaigns
together and learning from what children and young people in Scotland
have already been doing.

  • Human Rights Consortium Scotland

The Human Rights Consortium is continuing to work with Scottish civil
society on a number of key human rights issues including; shadow reports
for UN treaties, Brexit, communicating human rights, strategic
litigation and the incorporation of international human rights law into
Scots Law. We are in the process of setting the Consortium up as a SCIO
and look forward to celebrating another spin-off human rights
organisation from Amnesty! We are sure they will be as successful as
other organisations who used to be part of Amnesty such as Freedom from
Torture!

  • Brexit?

Who knows what will happen next?? But we are keeping a close eye on all
the various processes and scenario planning for all possible outcomes!
Please do keep an eye out in case we need to spring into action to
ensure that whatever happens, human rights laws and protections stay in
place.

  • LAW AND POLICY: Using the Law for Human Rights

After our joint report launch and events with the HRCS and Clan
Childlaw, on ‘Overcoming Barriers to Public Litigation in Scotland’ we
have been working on next steps. This includes engaging with the
consultation on legal aid in Scotland, meeting with the Minister with
responsibilities for human rights, and taking our recommendations
forward. Amnesty will be leading on work with law firms in Scotland and
university law schools to see how they can lend their legal skills to
civil society organisations and encourage more joint work on public
litigation. If you are interested in our developing law programme, then
please contact;naomi.mcauliffe@amnesty.org.uk

  • What to watch out for from us
    • Briefing and encouragement to email your MSPs on the Equal
      Protection Bill. This is currently at committee stage and we’ll
      be encouraging activists to contact their MSPs when it goes back
      to the chamber for
      debate: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/109156.aspx
    • We will be encouraging activists to contact their MSPs on the
      following issues as and when they are timetabled in Parliament:
      Amnesty’s Death Penalty report motion (report out 10 April),
      changes to the Gender Recognition Act (draft legislation
      expected in the autumn), and support for incorporation of the UN
      Convention on the Rights of the Child (consultation expected
      over the summer).
    • New Amnesty Scotland materials! This will include an ‘About
      Amnesty Scotland’ leaflet and an Imprisoned Writers Activist
      Pack. These are just being piloted at the moment, so we’d love
      your feedback on them before we make them widely available to
      activists.

Urgent actions (MR)

Bangladesh Urgent Action: Fears of activist’s enforced disappearance

Indigenous rights activist Michael Chakma has been missing since 9 April
2019, when he was on his way to Dhaka from Kanchpur in Naryanganj. An
organiser of a Chittagong Hill Tracts based political party, his family
and fellow activists fear that he has been forcibly disappeared.
Bangladesh government must urgently determine the whereabouts of Michael
Chakma and, if he is under the government’s custody, release him
immediately unless he is promptly charged with a recognisable criminal
offence.\
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/urgent-action-fears-activists-enforced-disappearance

Mozambique Urgent Action update: Journalist granted provisional release

Journalist Amade Abubacar was granted provisional release from Mieze
Prison in Pemba City on 23 April. He is back home with his family
awaiting trial for charges of “public incitement of a crime through
electronic media”, “incitement” and “injury against public forces
officials”. A date for his trial is yet to be set.\
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/urgent-action-update-journalist-granted-provisional-release

AOB

Talk: First Aid Support for Refugees in Northern France (FL)

Support Amnesty campaigns on refugees — Families Together Campaign:

  • Current immigration rules only allow adult refugees to apply for
    their married or civil partners and dependent children under 18 to
    join them. They are unable to submit applications for their parents,
    grandparents, siblings or children over 18.
    Children who are in
    the UK alone and have refugee status do not have the right to be
    reunited with even their closest family members.
  • The Refugees (Family Reunion) received overwhelming backing at its
    second reading in the Commons over a year ago, but the passing of
    the bill has since stalled and under parliamentary rules that govern
    private members’ bills, time is running out to pass it into law.
  • If you missed the meeting and didn’t get a chance to sign the letter
    urging Home Secretary Savid Javid to pass bill into law, you can
    sign the petition here:
    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/home-secretary-reunite-refugee-families

Next meeting — Thursday 13th June

Richard Williams — country coordinator for Turkey will be speaking.
Bring your friends!

May 2019 Minutes
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