Many thanks to MDS for these updates. If you prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.
Welcome & Introductions
New Amnesty Activism Representative for Scotland
The group welcomed Amnesty's new Activism Representative for Scotland, Danielle McCall.
Danielle will be taking on this volunteering role, along aside existing Activism Representative, Malcolm Dingwall-Smith, to support Amnesty's local groups across Scotland.
Good news - Prisoners Of Conscience In Honduras Released
All the eight Guapinol defenders were unconditionally released in February 2022.
On 24 February 2022, the sentencing court of Trujillo ordered the release of the six Guapinol defenders (José Daniel Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Ewer Alexander Cedillo and Orbin Nahún Hernández) that remained in prison following a favourable resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice on 10 February 2022.
Arnol Javier Alemán and Jeremías Martínez Díaz had been acquitted and released immediately on 9 February 2022.
Topics AIUK will be campaigning on this year include:
- end Israeli apartheid
- Ukraine crisis response
- justice for Syria
- save the Human Rights Act
- freedom of expression – right to protest
- refugee & migrant rights
More details can be found at: http://email.amnestyuk.org.uk/files/amf_amnesty/project_58/2022_Planned_Campaigns.pdf
Nationality & Borders Bill
Thank you to everyone who has taken a stand against the most harmful aspects of this Bill. This piece of legislative vandalism, which will wreck the UK's asylum system, undermine international law and criminalise people for attempting to reach a place of safety, continues to progress through parliament.
On 22 March, MPs voted to remove all of the amendments added to the Bill by the Peers in the House of Lords - see here for a full list of these amendment and our parliamentary briefing.
One positive to come out of House of Commons debate, was a concession by the government to British nationality rights to Chagos Islanders. This is an issue AIUK has lobbied parliamentarians on throughout the Bill's passage.
The Bill will return to the House of Lords in April.
Melissa Lucio, a 52-year-old Mexican American woman, is scheduled to be executed in Texas on 27 April 2022.
French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri has been issued a four-month administrative detention order.
Hangings have resumed in Singapore for drug related offences, after Abdul Kahar bin Othman was executed on 30 March. The previous day, the appeal for Malaysian national Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was rejected, and he is believed to be at risk of having his execution reset imminently.
Ukraine response – Monthly mailing
Please take and share the action
Parliamentary briefing and MP letter: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/invasion-ukraine-resources
Link to Crisis Lab monitoring human rights violations: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/03/a-guide-to-how-amnesty-verifies-military-attacks-in-ukraine/
Belarussian – Monthly mailing
Marfa Rabkova, Belarussian human rights defender. Demand she is freed.
British nationals in Iran – Monthly mailing
While Nazanin and Anoosheh have been reunited with their families, Amnesty continue to campaign for Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof, who are still arbitrarily detained in Iran.
You can contact your local MP to:
- ask them to raise Morad's and Mehran's cases with the Foreign Secretary, asking for them to not be forgotten and calling for their release
- ask them to raise their cases publicly and mention Morad and Mehran in Parliament
IOPT – Monthly mailing
In a significant development, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the OPT published a landmark report concluding that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid. Due to his mandate, he was only able to look at the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories but his findings are similar to Amnesty's.
For International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Amnesty did a film shoot outside the Israeli Embassy where they renamed their street Apartheid Avenue and Palestinian dancers did a Dabke outside.
Here is a new guest blog post from an activist in Gaza.
There is a new activist toolkit with ways to get involved.
Report back from Iftar and discussions of next steps
Group members attended a successful human rights iftar hosted in partnership by Amnesty, the Muslim Council of Scotland and AMINA.
The next step for the group could be to host a meeting focussed on some of the human rights issues highlighted at the iftar including the Uyghurs, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Kashmir. This would allow those at the iftar who were interested in getting more involved to join the Glasgow West Amnesty group.
Post meeting note: While there was discussion of making this the focus of the May meeting, it will now be held at a later date.
- 19 March: UN Anti-Racism Day march, Glasgow
Group members joined this march.
- 16 April: No to Offshore Detention, Glasgow
Group members planned to join this demo.
- 24 May: AIUK Equality, Inclusion & Diversity training, Online
This will be an online session open to Amnesty activists. More details to follow.
- 4 June: Tiananmen Square vigil, Edinburgh
There are plans for Amnesty to hold a vigil outside the Chinese consulate on 4th June to mare the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Other updates & AOB
- State of the World report
The Amnesty International State of the World Review 2021/22 is available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/4870/2022/en/
- Women's Rights Education Resource
Access and share Amnesty's new Women's Rights resources with educators, including sessions on gender stereotyping for Primary and Secondary students, online gender-based violence and women and unpaid care work.
Find the pack here.
- Human Rights online courses
As part of Amnesty's ongoing work to improve access to all the training and education Amnesty UK produces, they have created a new space on the website to find it all in one place. They are still fleshing it out and will of course be adding more training and education as it is developed.
Next Meeting: Thursday 12th May 2022
Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/1HWPcWGNi