Many thanks to MDS for the minutes this month. As ever, they can be read as a PDF if you prefer: PDF of April minutes.
Glasgow West Amnesty -- Online Meeting -- 9 April 2021
Attending: MR, JG, KMcL, B, ML
Guests: CB, NIZ, AM, JA, SM
Women's Rights in South Asia
Cherry Bird, Nigina Istanakzai-zarifi and Ayesha Mehta are country coordinators in the Amnesty International UK South Asia team. They joined the call to provide a talk on women's rights in South Asia, covering Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal. Issues covered included the role of women within politics and peace talks, violence against women human rights defenders, the baad system of giving women to settle debts or disputes, virginity testing, the impact of colonialism on strengthening damaging gender stereotypes, sexual violence as a weapon in conflicts, honour killings, rape, and access to healthcare and education.
The group thanks Cherry, Nigina and Ayesha for the really informative talk they delivered.
MR highlighted four urgent actions that group members are encouraged to take action on.
Aleksei Navalny's health and life in danger
Prominent Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny was arbitrarily arrested on 17 January 2021 after recovering from being poisoned. He was subsequently sentenced to two and a half years in prison for "violating the terms of a suspended sentence". In prison, he is being ill-treated and denied adequate medical assistance despite serious deterioration of his health. In protest, he continues a hunger strike that began on 31 March. Aleksei Navalny's detention is unlawful and politically motivated. He must be immediately released.
Please write as soon as possible and copy in the ambassador to the UK (address included in the PDF on the Take action page).
Family members detained on fabricated charges
On 17 March, the NGO Russian LGBT Network reported that lawyers were finally allowed to visit Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev in a remand facility in Chechnya's capital Grozny. They complained about ill-treatment and multiple violations of fair trial guarantees. They are being prosecuted on spurious charges solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, including in connection with their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, and must be immediately released. All charges against them must be dropped.
Four Ahwazi Arab men secretly executed
Ali Khasraji, Hossein Silawi, Jasem Heidary and Naser Khafajian, from Iran's Ahwazi Arab minority, were executed in secret in Sepidar prison on 28 February 2021. The Iranian authorities are concealing the full truth about their fate as well as the location of their graves and are refusing to return their bodies to their families, thereby committing the ongoing crime of enforced disappearance. Ahwazi Arab prisoners of conscience Mohammad Ali Amouri, Jaber Alboshokeh and Mokhtar Alboshokeh continue to be denied adequate health care.
Journalists must be released immediately
On 16 February, the 2nd Erbil Criminal Court, in the Kurdish Region of Iraq's capital, sentenced activists and journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa, Ayaz Karan and Shvan Saeed to six years in prison following an unfair trial, based on trumped-up charges of "destabilizing the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I)". The five journalists are now on hunger strike as they await the appeal verdict expected to take place by 16 March. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Finance & Fundraising
JG has paid this year's affiliation fee to AIUK.
The group currently has £358.89 in the bank.
Group members were reminded about the two current fundraising proposals. The litter pick which is now live and the auction of promises.
Sponsored litter pick
We have decided to do a sponsored litter pick to fundraise for Amnesty
and do our bit for our local environment! All you need to do is:
choose your litter pick date and location (remember to stay local)
ask your friends and neighbours to sponsor you. FL has made a free
flyer on the website Canva to share with your neighbours as per
You can edit and download the flyer to print yourself via this link:
If you need a hand with this let FL know (email@example.com).
We've also set up a GoFundMe page for people's donations:
- take a photo of yourself out on your litter pick and send them to
Freya or share them directly to our social media pages
(@AmnestyGlasWest for Twitter and @glasgowwestamnesty for
Facebook and Instagram)
CA has some litter pickers you can borrow so get in touch with her if you'd like to use these. If you'd like a buddy from the Amnesty group to do your litter pick with, get in touch with Freya and she can link you up. Remember current rules are four people together from two households. Let's all aim to do our litter pick before the May meeting and raise some much-needed funds for Amnesty!
Auction of Promises
Our second fundraiser is an Auction of Promises. We're asking everyone to think of something we could contribute to the auction by the May meeting.
You can either offer your own services in a promise, e.g. a guided walk, baking a cake, an hour's gardening, a language lesson, cat/dog sitting, house/garden plants, a painting, etc. What special talents do you have?
Alternatively, contact your local businesses and see if they'll donate something to the auction. Their business will be promoted on our publicity for the auction.
Or you could do both.
Here is some inspiration from the Glasgow Uni Amnesty who organised a similar fundraiser with donations from local businesses for Christmas:
We look forward to hearing what you all come up with next month. We can aim to hold the online auction in May or June.