Group Newsletter January 2017

Happy New Year and welcome our the latest newsletter.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 12th January 2017, 7.30 at Moordown Community Centre.
On the agenda – Write for Rights feedback; planning 2017; case file & campaign updates and letter writing.

Write for Rights 2016

We held 3 different W4R events:-  at Direct Theatre Improv’s “Improvisation for the people!” at the Shelley Theatre; at our Moordown Meeting and at Castlepoint Shopping Centre. All were successful in their different ways and well over 100 cards and letters were sent. It was nice at Castlepoint to have dry weather after 2015’s washout – and show off our new banner and boards.
Its never that clear when Write for Rights actually finishes – but materials are still up on the AIUK site. You can download a PDF or follow up individual pages on the different cases.

castlepoint w4r

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe​​​​​​​

One of the main W4R cases we featured on our stalls was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. She is the British-Iranian dual citizen who has been detained in Iran since 3 April 2016. On September 10th, 2016 it was revealed that she was sentenced to five years imprisonment, although not clear on what basis. Her daughter is being looked after by her parents – but has had her passport taken away. Richard, her British husband, remains in Britain unable to communicate with his wife and frustrated by a lack of action from the Foreign Office.
Nazanin’s appeal was held last week, with no indication when to expect the written verdict. If its bad news we intend to keep campaigning on her behalf.

South America Newsletter

The January 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 the two case files below. The 3 volunteers who run the network for AIUK – and produce the newsletter – do a huge amount of work on our behalf. The newsletter, as ever, has links to more information and some actions.

Leopoldo Lopez

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.
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 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.
Leopoldo was also featured as part of the W4R campaign. We have sample letters for both of our Case Files on our blog.

Jorge Lázaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

We have been writing to authorities in Bahia State, Brazil on behalf of Jorge Lázaro, our second case file,  for about 18 months now.
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.

Christchurch Street Collection

Thanks to everyone who supported the Christchurch Street Collection – hopefully you have all thawed out by now. We raised £127, beating Bournemouth for the first time!