Thanks to FL for these. They can be read in PDF form if you prefer.
March 2020 Minutes
Apologies: CA, Jge, JG
Attendees: FL, CCa, RT, MDS, MR, R, CC, C, M, AS
Speaker: Rebecca, Crisis and Tactical Campaigner, AIUK
Unfortunately, Rebecca had to cancel her talk because of travel
restrictions due to COVID 19. However, we plan to rearrange this talk
ASAP. She suggested some links to relevant short films to watch instead
Treasurer's Report (JG)
£430.89 in bank.
Secretary's Report (FL)
Double donations for next two months!
Thanks to a group of major donors, donations from Amnesty groups will be
doubled for a limited time. These matched funds will be supporting
Amnesty's work exposing human rights abuses in Syria with our donations
going towards the Amnesty International UK Section.
Marielle Franco action
Marielle Franco was murdered in a drive-by shooting in March 2018. Her
killers and those behind the plot to assassinate her have still not been
brought to justice, nearly two years later. Marielle dedicated her life
to speaking out for LGBTI, black and women's rights in Brazil. She paid
the ultimate price for defending human rights. As a group, we have
campaigned for justice for Marielle before, including at our Pride
Email authorities in Rio de Janeiro demanding that her killers are found
and brought to justice.
Yulia Tsvetkova action
Yulia Tsvetkova is a Russian LGBTI and women's rights activist currently
facing charges of creating and sharing "pornographic materials", for
sharing body positive drawings of women's bodies on social media.
Yulia was also fined approximately 600 GBP in 2019, for acting as the
administrator of two 18+ LGBTI communities on the Russian social media
site, Vkontakte. During her most recent arrest, she said officers called
her a "lesbian, sex trainer and propagandist leader". She is facing up
to six years in prison if convicted.
Yulia Tsvetkova is a prisoner of conscience, ask for her to be immediately
Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territory: campaign win!
Good news: on the 13th of February, the UN finally released the
long-awaited database of businesses involved in illegal Israeli
The list includes 3 UK based companies, such as construction firm JCB,
as well as all the major tourism companies Amnesty has campaigned on,
such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb. This is a major step towards
accountability in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Free e-learning course: The impact of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
In partnership with FutureLearn Amnesty have developed this online
course "Defending Dignity: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
(perfect for self-isolation!)
On the course you will learn:
- Dignity and Human Rights
- Promoting Equality and Non-Discrimination in your community
- Shaping a Society based on Human Rights principles
The course starts on 13 April 2020 and is completely free. You can
access it here.
National Conference & AGM 20-21 June
Update: The National Conference and AGM has now been cancelled.
Amnesty's next Annual General Meeting takes place 20-21 June 2020 at the
East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. You can find more information on Amnesty's website.
Entry is free for all Amnesty members!
New individual at risk case allocation
I have applied for a new case for the group. I will let the group know
once we have one allocated.
Turkey photo exhibition
Planned for end of April. Hoping to have mini exhibitions at the City
Chambers and Milk Cafe and the full exhibition in a larger community
Update: this has now been postponed for later in the year (possibly end
of Summer/ start of Autumn)
Several members of the group attended a really successful ceilidh
organised by the Edinburgh Amnesty groups on the 7th March. We would
like to organise a similar Amnesty fundraiser here in Glasgow. We're in
the process of looking for suitable venues and ceilidh bands. If you are
interested in helping with the organisation, please let us know. We are
currently thinking of holding this at some point in July.
Walk from Strathaven to Dungavel
A member of the group has suggested a sponsored walk from Strathaven to
Dungavel (the immigration detention centre) to tie in with one of the
next vigils organised by the organisation Scottish Detainee Visitors. We
will keep the group updated on when this will be.
We are planning another pub quiz and raffle fundraiser at the Dram in
May. Keep an eye on social media for updates.
Update: Although it will not be possible to have a physical pub quiz in
May, we are looking at the possibilities of a virtual one.
Future speakers at our Amnesty meetings
- Anna from the Amnesty Children's Rights Network (April?)
- Lynnda from The Weekend Club (June)
- Rebecca from Amnesty UK (an upcoming Spring/Summer meeting)
Update: We will not be having face to face meetings until the government
guidance changes. However, we intend to have virtual meetings and will
be circulating information regarding these via our mailing list and
Letters to MPs (FL)
Amnesty UK is encouraging local groups to engage with MPs on a variety
of issues this year, including:
- the position of human rights defenders in UK Government foreign
- reforms to refugee policy to enable families to be together
- UK arms trade, especially sales of arms to Saudi Arabia
- proposed new Domestic Abuse Bill
- possible constitutional review of the Human Rights Act
FL brought a template letter for attendees to use to write to their own
MPs inviting them to attend an upcoming Amnesty meeting.
Update: We will postpone inviting our MPs to our meetings until
face-to-face meetings resume.
Saudi Arabia Campaign Update (CC)
CC shared the latest newsletter on Saudi Arabia.
This consisted of details of a new campaign focusing on the Specialized
Criminal Court plus some other updates.
Anti-Death Penalty Campaign: #RunForMagai (CC)
Magai Matiop Ngong was just fifteen when he was sentenced to death in
South Sudan. Before his life changed forever, Magai loved running.
That\'s why, to draw attention to his case, Amnesty UK\'s Anti-Death
Penalty Project is asking people to #RunForMagai. According to his
testimony in court, Magai fired his father's gun at the ground to warn
off his cousin who was trying to stop him fighting with another boy in
his neighbourhood. The bullet ricocheted and hit his cousin, who later
died in hospital. Magai faced trial for murder without a lawyer. He was
convicted and sentenced to death. Our research shows that the death
penalty is disproportionately used against poor and disadvantaged
people. According to international law, and South Sudanese law,
sentencing a child to death is illegal. Last year Magai was finally
given access to a lawyer who has helped him file an appeal. He finally
has a chance to turn things around.
If you enjoy running, print a #RunForMagai running number from the
website and take a photo of yourself on your next run. Then tweet pictures of
your #RunForMagai - including \@AmnestyUK and \@RepSouthSudan - urging
Sudan not to execute a child.
Urgent Actions (MR)
Three men at risk of execution
Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi have been
sentenced to death in connection with acts of arson that took place
during protests in November 2019. Their trial was grossly unfair. They
were denied access to lawyers during the investigation phase and say
they were tortured. Amirhossein Moradi says he was coerced into giving a
"confession" that was broadcast on state television and used as evidence
to convict them.
Prisoner of conscience in critical condition
The physical and psychological condition of human rights defender and
prisoner of conscience, Ahmed Mansoor, has significantly deteriorated,
following three months of him being on continuous hunger strike to
protest his detention conditions. He is no longer able to walk
unattended. He has been detained in dire conditions and and in solitary
confinement since his arrest on 20 March 2017.
Human rights defender detained and tortured
On 7 February 2019, airport immigration officers arbitrarily arrested
and tortured human rights defender Patrick Zaki George at 4:30 am upon
his arrival at Cairo Airport on charges including "disseminating false
news", "inciting to protest" and \"incitement to violence and terrorist
crimes\". In detention, National Security Agency officers questioned and
tortured him before he appeared in front of the prosecutor the following
Uyghur academic jailed for \"inciting extremism\"
Prominent Uyghur historian and publisher, Iminjan Seydin, was convicted
of "inciting extremism" after a secret and grossly unfair trial in
February 2019. His daughter only learned about his conviction in recent
months through word of mouth. Missing since May 2017, he has been
sentenced to 15 years in prison. No evidence against him has been made
Film Showing: Bedouin Women
Unfortunately, due to technical issues we were unable to show the short
films at the meeting. However, you can watch them from home here:
This short movie is a good intro about Bedouin women (it also mentions
an exhibition in NY which is now outdated but gives some context for the
This 20 minute film was made by Sabach, a Palestinian woman from the
Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which is located in the Naqab in Israel:
She recorded her daily life and interactions with Israeli police and
soldiers. Al-Araqib has been destroyed 174 times. The last times was
just two days before Amnesty visited in February 2020. They spent the
day with these women, listening to their stories. Although Amnesty have
so far mainly focused our work on illegal settlements, Amnesty are
planning on doing more work on Palestinian who are citizens of Israel
(and represent about 20% of the Israeli population). They face a wide
range of discriminatory practices and are treated as second class
citizens. This is true of the Bedouin population in Israel, who are
particularly vulnerable, but also of Palestinian parliamentarians who
sit in the Israeli parliament. Amnesty published a report on their
situation back in September:
Human rights related events at Aye Write festival:
Update: Unfortunately Aye Write was cancelled, although some of their
events are being held online. See the Aye Write website for details.
Thursday 9th April -- we are hoping to organise an online meeting.
Details will be circulated via this mailing list and our social media.