marielle francoMarielle Franco was born and raised in a favela in Rio, Brazil. An elected councillor, she worked tirelessly to promote the rights of black women, LGBTI and young people.

Marielle inspired many people. She refused to stay silent about police killings and continued to speak out against injustice right up until hours before her brutal killing in March 2018. A car pulled up beside hers, and Marielle was shot four times in the head. Her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes was also killed.

People who defend human rights in Brazil, like Marielle, are often attacked or threatened. The authorities do not respond adequately – and most of these crimes go completely unpunished. Two ex military policemen are currently under arrest; unfortunately that can often lead to no further action. We need to maintain the spotlight on her case.

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.

Demand a full, independent investigation into her murder by signing the AIUK petition to the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro. Click on the link below…

Dear Friends,

This month we bring you updates on human rights issues in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina, what the change in President for Peru could mean for human rights and which countries have not ratified the Escazú Agreement. Human rights abuses continue to mount in Venezuela and Colombia. Please sign the three Urgent Actions on Colombia and another on Venezuela. We have good news from a past Urgent Action on Colombia, a new ruling by Ecuador’s Constitutional Court on abortion and a UN deal with Venezuela which will provide it with much needed aid. We invite you to join us on 19 May at 8 pm for a panel discussion on the ‘Eyes on Chile report – details in the Chile section below.


The first-ever regional treaty to protect the rights of environmental defenders entered into force on 22 April (World Earth Day), having finally reached the required number of ratifications.  The Escazú Agreement was adopted by countries from Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 but needed 11 ratifications to enter into force.  Of the South American countries, the Agreement has been ratified by Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay. Chile initially promoted the deal, but the current government has declined to ratify it, describing the obligations as “ambiguous” and “imprecise”.  Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela have also not yet ratified the agreement.


As of 1 May 2021, all Venezuelan civil society organisations must comply with abusive registration measures or face criminal prosecution. Such measures violate the rights to association, privacy, presumption of innocence, and puts civil society organisations and their beneficiaries at grave risk of criminalisation and reprisals. Amnesty International has issued a new Urgent Action to demand immediate repeal of this regulation.

Human rights defender Orlando Moreno was assaulted and detained by agents of Venezuela’s Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigation Service Corps (CICPC). Several organizations condemn the assault and arrest of Orlando on April 25 Venezuelan security forces, the latest in a series of escalating attacks against human rights defenders and organizations of the Venezuelan State.

According to Human Rights Watch, Venezuelan security forces have committed gross abuses against local communities in the conflict with armed groups on the Colombia border. Extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary arrests and prosecutions in military courts are the main concerns of the population. Those systematic abuses are similar with systematic violations that had led international investigations on human rights.

The United Nations food aid reached an agreement with the Nicolas Maduro government to develop the World Food Program (WFP) in Venezuela. The goal of this program is to support the supply of food for young people and children. This program will attempt to fight the humanitarian and health crisis. [click to continue…]

Group Newsletter April 2021

April 28, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Our usual newsletter schedule, like our meetings, has been somewhat disrupted of late. This issue flags up some pending dates and links to campaigns, talks and other events. The newsletter is being sent out as we hear the awful news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to another year in prison […]

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South America Newsletter April 2021

April 10, 2021

This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Amnesty International has delivered a petition signed by over 1 million people to mark the third anniversary of the murder of Marielle Franco in Brazil and has urged the Venezuela government to address the widespread human rights violations […]

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Europe Newsletter March 2021

March 30, 2021

Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter. There is an Urgent Action on Turkey, a public Statement in support of the Saturday mothers in Turkey , an update on the “El Hiblu 3” campaign and a toolkit devised by the Roma support group to help those who are supporting Roma children and families to […]

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Latest Actions

March 13, 2021

At our meeting on Thursday 11th, we worked our way though a few actions – mainly online. Amnesty has improved this process considerably over recent months.  These have been taken from several different sources  – from local groups newsletters, AIUK emails and the action pages from Amnesty International “take action” sites around the world. Do […]

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Europe Update

March 6, 2021

We have some great news to celebrate! On 2 March the court declared the verdict in the trial against our 3 brave Women Human Rights defenders who were absurdly charged with”insulting religion” which in Poland can carry a prison sentence of 2 years. Despite the political pressures on judges by the Minister of Justice and […]

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South America Newsletter March 2021

March 6, 2021

This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.  There are three live Urgent Actions – two for Colombia and one for Venezuela – and we shall shortly add the case of Gustavo Gatica (Chile) to our portfolio of long-term cases.  Amnesty has published the results of […]

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Group Newsletter March 2021

March 3, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Whilst its not clear when we can return to Moordown Community Centre, lets just say its looking more possible that we could be back in a few months. Meanwhile, we’ve decided to host a couple of online events over the next two months. We are arranging a speaker for April/May, […]

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Europe Newsletter February 2021

February 28, 2021

This Newsletter contains a very urgent action   and the shocking news that Eren Keskin has been sentenced to 6 years in prison. Please find more information and suggested actions below. The trial against Elzbieta, Joanna and Anna should come to a verdict on 2 March. Please continue highlighting the case on social media […]

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Group Newsletter February 2021

February 28, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. We have not planned a meeting for February. Unfortunately the option of meeting at Moordown Community Centre, as we did last February, isn’t available. Whilst we have had some success with Zoom, it seems to work best when we have a specific purpose – such as letter writing  or a […]

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