Welcome to the latest newsletter from your local Amnesty International group.
We next meet at Moordown Community Centre on January 6th; but a week today you can join us at Bournemouth Library for….

Write for Rights 2021

We are delighted to announce that Bournemouth library have welcomed us back to hold Write for Rights (W4R) in their foyer.. We are booked on

Saturday 11th December 2021 11am – 1.00pm

W4R is Amnesty International’s annual campaign, sending greetings cards to prisoners of conscience and other human rights defenders around the world.  In 2019, more than 6.5 million messages of support and appeal letters were sent during the W4R campaign. They made a big difference to the people and communities confronting injustice and facing human rights violations.

We have tried numerous venues around Bournemouth over past 20 years, most outside and invariably cold or wet, sometimes both. Our W4R in Bournemouth library in 2019 was by far our most successful. So after last years enforced break it will be great to be back. Please let us know if you would like to help, or just come and say hello and sign a card yourself.
Bournemouth Library Entrance Foyer, The Triangle, Bournemouth  BH2 5RQ

Imoleayo Michael – “I’m not a criminal. I only protested for the betterment of my fatherland.”
Imoleayo Michael, featured in the  the W4R Campaign
In October 2020, Imoleayo was among scores of young people who took to the streets in Nigeria to protest against violence, extortion and killings by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).As a professional computer programmer, Imoleayo used his skills to promote the protests on Twitter and Facebook, using the viral hashtag #EndSARS.Two weeks later, in the middle of the night, 20 armed men raided his home. They smashed his bedroom window and pointed a gun at him. After seizing his mobile phones and computer, they then locked his wife, elderly mother and seven-month-old son in a room and cut off the power supply to the streetlights around his house.

They took Imoleayo to state security service headquarters where they held him in an underground cell for 41 days without access to a lawyer or his family. While there, he was cuffed, blindfolded and chained to a steel cabinet. He was also forced to sleep on the floor and security officers interrogated him a total of five times.
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This month, we update you on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Venezuela.

Amnesty International has released its latest report on the excessive use of force by Colombian authorities during the national Strike, where over 100 people suffered from eye trauma or got seriously injured. During November, military police and criminal gangs threatened and attacked indigenous people in various communities in the Amazon region in Brazil, organizations such as Amazon Watch and The Indigenous Missionary Council are monitoring the situation closely. Amnesty International has launched a new Urgent Action calling on the Peruvian authorities to allow humanitarian immigration status to asylum seekers. In Bolivia, where abortion is banned by law, an 11-year-old raped by a family member was allowed to discontinue her pregnancy. Guarani families have been evicted by the police in Paraguay. Amnesty International has expressed its concern on human rights violations suffered by Venezuelans seeking refuge. Chile is heading to the second run-off of presidential elections next month.

COLOMBIA

Orlando Manuel Chimá, indigenous leader, killed 14 February 2021 by the Armed Forces in crossfire with ex-paramilitaries

Amnesty International has released its latest report on the excessive use of force by Colombian police during the National Strike. Shoots on sight: eye trauma in the context of the National Strike documents the use of less-than-lethal weapons by the Anti-Riot Police (ESMAD). Over 100 people suffered from eye trauma, many losing an eye, while others were seriously hurt by teargas canisters aimed at their face and body. An action for Local Groups will follow.

Amnesty notes that ‘thousands of people in Colombia are risking everything for a better future. They go out to march in fear of losing their lives, being injured, detained, or even tortured, all to demand that the government guarantees their right to health and education.’ Take action and demand that the Colombian Attorney General’s Office investigates the human rights violations and crimes under international law committed in the midst of the National Strike.

In an update to the report on killings of human rights defenders (Why do they want to kill us?)

Amnesty asks why the state has not provided collective security for three communities under threat, a year after it was requested. “All three branches of the state have human rights obligations, so it is imperative that Congress makes the issue of defenders a permanent part of its agenda, including through the creation of a Commission for the Verification of Guarantees for Human Rights Defenders that can hold to account those officials in the Executive who do not fulfil their duty of protection”.

An Amnesty International delegation led by its Americas director has arrived in Colombia to engage in dialogue with the authorities about the grave human rights situation in the country. In a press release Amnesty affirms, ‘From impunity for police violence in the context of repression of protests, and the devastating consequences of the armed conflict on historically marginalized communities, to the grave situation faced by human rights defenders and community leaders these are issues that require a firm response from the government.’

On the fifth anniversary of the Peace Accord with the FARC, the Washington Office on Latin America has looked back to see what has and has not been achieved, according to the timing and content of the Accord. A Long Way to Go; Implementing Colombia’s peace accord after five years is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the success and failures and the reasons why, in general, the state is not meeting its commitments according to the agreed timetable to date. [click to continue…]

Europe Newsletter November 2021

November 14, 2021

Here is our November Newsletter with actions and updates. Please continue campaigning and organising. Refugees continue to drown in the Mediterranean sea, freezing to death in the forest at the border of Poland and are pushed back to countries where they suffer abuse. In the UK the Nationalities and borders bill will severely undermine the […]

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South America Newsletter November 2021

November 8, 2021

This month we bring you news from Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile. Amnesty has issued two new Urgent Actions: the director of a Venezuelan NGO remains in detention and we ask for his release, while in Brazil we are asking the Attorney General to investigate the government’s mishandling of the pandemic. Included are […]

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Group Newsletter October 2021

October 28, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter from your local Amnesty International group. This is relatively brief as we’ve yet to receive new updates from the Europe and South America teams (one consequence of changing to the first Thursday of the month!). But we meet a week today on Thursday 4th November 2021 7.30pm at Moordown Community […]

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Stop the Rights Raid

October 27, 2021

Below is a briefing from AIUK on current legislation going through Parliament that will impact on our rights. Currently there is an online petition relating to the  Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Do write to your MP if you have time. There is a proform letter to MP – relating to all legislation – […]

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South America Newsletter October 2021

October 6, 2021

This month we bring you updates on human rights issues in Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina. Actions in relation to the second anniversary of the “Estallido Social” in Chile. The prison situation in Ecuador and the violent riot that occurred. The pressure of the IACHR over Bolivia to know the […]

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Group Newsletter October 2021

October 2, 2021

First a reminder that our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th October 2021, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre (MCC). This will be our first face to face meeting for 18 months. The agenda will be updates on campaigns, letter writing and planning. We are guests of MCC, who have only just reopened. Both MCC and the […]

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Europe Newsletter September 2021

October 1, 2021

We have 2 very urgent Actions on Poland : one about the suffering of refugees trapped at the border of Poland and Belarus. Please sign and circulate the online petition https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/protect-afghans-stranded-polish-border?fbclid=IwAR0K6hedXLdi1EKceHBYFBrW32yCpuiDQjD_f1EQheny-5Q-ZGjjC-EDTVs and write personal emails and letters as well. The Urgent Action can be downloaded here. (includes model letter) The other Urgent Action is about […]

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Group Newsletter September 2021

September 10, 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter. We are delighted to announce that our next meeting will be Thursday 7th October 2021, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. We last met there in March 2020, little knowing we would have such a long break. We have had a mix of Zoom meetings and a speaker since. But as we’ve unable […]

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