Group Newsletter February 2019

Welcome to the latest news from your local Amnesty Group.
Our next meeting is Thursday, 14th February 2019 at 7.30pm at Moordown Community Centre, Bournemouth. At out meeting we will focus on planning on the year ahead, reviewing campaigns and finish with some letter writing.

Advance notice that the March meeting, also on the 14th, is our AGM.

Marielle Franco 
On the night of 14 March 2018, Marielle Franco, human rights defender and councillor of Rio de Janeiro was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Rio de Janeiro’s Estacio neighbourhood, after having participated in a debate with a group of young black women, entitled “Young Black Women Moving Structures”. Her driver, Anderson Gomes was also killed.

For 10 years Marielle worked tirelessly to promote the rights of black women, LGBTI and young people in Rio. As a member of Rio de Janeiro’s State Human Rights Commission, for more than 10 years she publicly denounced extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations committed by state officials.  In Brazil dozens of human rights defenders are killed every year. In 2017 at least 70 HRDs were killed in this country.

Marielle was featured in Write 4 Rights and we sent several cards to her family. We have decided to adopt Marielle Franco as one of our new case files and campaign for a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation of her killing. We also hope to draw attention to the problems of extrajudicial executions, unlawful killings and impunity for  these crimes in Brazil.

More about the case here:-

Israa al-Ghomgham and others
In 2011, Israa al-Ghomgham was hopeful. She wanted change for her country. Inspired by the Arab Spring and wider protests at the time, she took to social media and the streets calling for human rights and equality for all. Yet in December 2015, Israa and her husband were arrested by the Saudi State Intelligence Service.

Since then, they’ve been detained at Dammam prison with four other activists.After massive public outcry, the Saudi Arabia’s authorities have dropped their outrageous calls for Israa to be executed. Yet her four fellow activists are still facing execution.  Act now and call for 29-year-old Israa and her colleagues to be released immediately.

As a human rights defender the charges against Israa and her colleagues are absurd and clearly politically motivated. Their peaceful and non-violent activism speak out against discrimination faced by Shia Muslims in the east of the country. In the majority-Sunni nation, Shia citizens often face barriers to work, education and religious practice.

Israa and her husband Moussa al-Hashem peacefully participated in protests in the eastern Qatif province in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. They have also been accused of posting photos and sharing videos of the protests on social media. A wider pattern of outrage over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has kept Saudi Arabia – and its disregard for human rights – in the headlines over recent months.

The Saudi Kingdom has one of the highest death penalty rates in the world. Amnesty has documented the cases of at least 34 other Shia men currently sentenced to death. Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.

Wareham Street Collection
Street collections are a very strange experience – you can get to feel totally invisible without taking anything illicit!  We’ve had some difficulties with our street collections over the years, as the folk of Bournemouth and Christchurch haven’t quite grasped their role in proceedings!

After quite a low turnout and return from the Bournemouth and Christchurch collections in 2016/2017 (and a diminishing band of collectors) we decided to focus on Wareham last year. True to form, the residents of Wareham performed well and we raised nearly a £100 from a morning in the town:-

So in 2019 we are planning a twin assault on Wareham. Can you join us?  You only need turn out for an hour or two and its very much a case of the more the merrier. Please reply to this newsletter if you would like to help.
Wareham Street Collection (High Street)  Saturday (am only) 27th April 2019South America Newsletter

The group has long been associated with South America. You are very aware of the implosion in Venezuela and the election of a President in Brazil with little regard to human rights.We have posted the latest newsletter from the South American Team, with updates on their work in the region. There are links to current actions you can take.