Group Newsletter 9th July 2017

Welcome our the latest newsletter.
The next meeting  is on Thursday 13th July 2017, 7.30 at Moordown Community Centre. We will have an update/letter on Cuba, photo action on Japan, letter to USA re Guantanamo prisoner, working on our Case Files and have continued planning and review of events.

We don’t have any events planned over the next few months, having had a busy few weeks. A reminder we don’t have a meeting in August.

Bournemouth Pride Festival July 1st

For the third year running we were involved in the local Pride festival – both taking part in the parade and having a stall in the gardens. We got around 150 postcards signed campaigning against the abduction and killing of gay men in Chechnya.
As you can see from the photograph below we used some of our Marsh award money to have two selfie frames created.  These proved quite successful as most people were quite happy to be photographed in the frame – either by us or with their own cameras.  We have put about 50 photographs on our facebook page, if you’d like to check them out. But we’ve put a few on the video above.

Amnesty International Stall at BourneFree 2017

Stall at BourneFree 2017

Turkey: Free Amnesty Director Idil Eser

Idil Eser

Idil Eser

Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, together with 10 others, was detained on 5 July in a grotesque abuse of power. Some are now being questioned on the baseless suspicion of ‘membership of an armed terrorist organisation’. They were attending a routine digital security and information management workshop in a hotel in Büyükada, Istanbul when the authorities burst in and detained them without giving a reason. The owner of the hotel was also detained. For over 24 hours Amnesty didn’t know where they were. They weren’t allowed to contact their families or see a lawyer.  There are many unanswered questions, but the accusations are completely baseless.
Send an email to the Turkish Justice Minister:-

Feeding the Darkness

The Journeyman Theatre performed their critically acclaimed play “Feeding the Darkness” at the Friends Meeting House,  Boscombe, on June 25th.  The day was chosen as the following day was the United Nations, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.  It was a powerful 65 minute performance by the duo. It was the result of extensive research into the dark world of state-sanctioned torture and its stark impact on victims, perpetrators, families and those who collude in the ‘process’.
Our Group had been invited to have a stall and will featured some case and campaigns that revolve around torture.  Most of the 40 plus audience took time out to look at the displays and ask us questions. See the cases featured here.

South America Newsletter

The July edition of the South America Regional Newsletter is now on the blog. Our group has focused on South America since its inception, which is also reflected in our two case files – see below. The 2 volunteers who run the network for AIUK – and produce the newsletter – do a huge amount of work on our behalf. There is ongoing concern about the deteriorating situating situation in Venezuela and the plight of our case file Leopoldo Lopez (see below).

Leopoldo Lopez

update 7.5.17
Leopoldo is currently the subject of an AI Urgent Action Campaign, due to increased concerns about him.  He has been kept incommunicado since 8 April. He has been placed in solitary confinement for reasons that have not been disclosed by the authorities. During this time, he has been illegally denied visits from his lawyer and family. 

Leopoldo López

Leopoldo López

Leopoldo Lopez – a 45 year old, a charismatic former mayor, he was labelled a “maverick” opposition leader in a BBC article. A long time thorn in the side of the Venezuelan Government, they referred to him as a coup leader and he was jailed for nearly 14 years for inciting violence during mass protests in 2014.  He claims he was simply calling on his followers to protest against government policies.
Amnesty International was able to review all evidence presented by the Public Prosecutor’s office and there was no evidence to substantiate the charges that the Public Prosecutor’s office had filed against Leopoldo and on which he was subsequently sentenced. He has been declared a prisoner of conscience.

We have sample letters for both of our Case Files on our take action page

Jorge Lázaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

The group are working on two case files at present; these are AI actions that focus on one individual or situation. This long term narrow focus ensures a constant pressure on authorities to take action.
We have been writing to authorities in Bahia State, Brazil on behalf of Jorge Lázaro, our second case file,  for about 18 months now.

Jorge Lazaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

Jorge Lazaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

Two of his seven children have been murdered. Jorge Lázaro has been under huge pressure since the first murder in 2008 : he is seeking justice for the killings of his sons, trying to keep himself and his family safe, and providing necessary minimum living conditions such as a home and food.
To add to the tragedy of two murdered sons, on July 10th 2016 Jorge’s youngest son, Denilson was shot whilst walking home.  Luckily Denilson survived and is currently recovering.
There are downloadable letters you can adapt on our take action page.There is also a link so you can send him a message of support via AIUK.