Group Newsletter June 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter.
Below are some updates and links to what you can find on our website.
For a variety of reasons we’ve shelved plans to hold a vigil in Bournemouth Gardens on Thursday 10th. This was planned to be a relaunch of “in person” meetings, which we have been without since March 2020. But realistically, with the summer ahead, it seems more logical to have a relaunch at Moordown in Autumn, so (hopefully) we can then build some momentum.

Europe Newsletter

The May edition has several actions, most of which are still relevant. However, some good news is that Frederic Vuillaume, on trial for participation in a peaceful protest, has now been acquitted. But his case is illustrative of the harassment that thousands of peaceful protesters face and continue to experience systematically in France. This is due to provisions in the French law that criminalize conduct protected under the international human rights law and standards.

Turkey had announced that it was pulling out of the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe’s  convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This provides an important framework for addressing gender based violence and providing vital safeguards for girls and women. There are various actions suggested to support the campaign in Turkey to reverse this, before the decision becomes effective on July 1st.

There is also an Urgent Action relating to the decision by Danish authorities to deport back to Syria refugees whose residency permits have been revoked. More in the newsletter:-

Poland: Drop the appeal against Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna’s acquittal

We have previously raised the case, and linked to actions, of Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna – outspoken activists and human rights defenders from Poland. In March 2021, they were acquitted after spending months on trial accused of ‘offending religious beliefs’, simply for distributing posters of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo, the colours of the LGBTI pride flag.
The ‘not guilty’ verdict was a moment of huge celebrations, but their relief was short-lived. The Polish authorities are now appealing against their acquittal, so the three women’s fight for justice continues.
Tell the Polish Prosecutor General to drop the appeal and ensure that Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna are able to carry out their peaceful actions without harassment or reprisals. (link to email action)

Online Talks

One of the positive affects of the lockdown has been how many talks and other events have been accessible via video. Victoria Brignell, Chair of the Amnesty International Hammersmith and Fulham Group, has led the way. Here is her latest announcement
“Debora Singer, Amnesty International UK’s Country Coordinator for Egypt, will be giving an online talk this Wednesday June 9th at 8pm.
This is an appropriate moment to examine human rights in Egypt as this year marks the 10th anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power.
Debora will cover the latest developments and international activity in relation to human rights in Egypt as much has happened in the last few months.  We will also undertake an action for one of Amnesty’s Individuals at Risk, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din.
This event is free and anyone is welcome to attend. You do not need to be an Amnesty member. You’re very welcome to tell other people about this event. It’s organised by Hammersmith and Fulham Amnesty International Group.
To attend, please email and I will send you the zoom link.”

South America Newsletter June 2021

We’ve just received this latest newsletter.  There are reports on developments in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.  Amnesty has issued a report, several statements and an Urgent Action in response to the human rights violations committed during the current National Strike and protests in Colombia.  Sadly they report on further indiscriminate shootings by police in Brazil and continuing attacks on indigenous communities. In spite of a court order not to enter favelas, the police killed 28 people in the Jacarezinho favela on 7 May in an operation directed at drug gangs.