Group Newsletter June 5th 2017

Welcome our the latest newsletter.

The next meeting  is on Thursday 8th June 2017, 7.30 at Moordown Community Centre. We will be working on our Case Files and have continued planning, particularly about the forthcoming events listed below.
feeding the darkness
The Journeyman Theatre are performing their critically acclaimed play “Feeding the Darkness” at the Friends Meeting House, 16 Warncliffe Road, Boscombe, BH5 1AH.
This 65 minute performance is a 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 have been invited to have a stall and will feature some case and campaign that revolve around torture (sadly there are far to many of them).

It’s on Sunday 25th June, at 1.15pm. The day was chosen as the following day is the United Nations, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
We will be launching one of our new “selfie frames” at this event – see last month’s newsletter or the blog to hear about our winning the Marsh Award…

Bournemouth Pride Festival July 1st

For the third year running we are getting involved in the local Pride festival – both taking part in the parade and having a stall in the gardens.  As Taiwan celebrates being the first Asian Country to legalise same sex marriage, you can hear what is happening locally – find out more from this link. This year’s theme is ‘Superheroes’ so get your capes, masks and costumes ready…
Sadly we should have several cases to display that revolve around the ongoing persecution of the LGBT community in many countries (see Chechnya below). But, if other years are to go by, this years Festival should be a blast… Come and find us on July 1st….

Chechnya: stop abducting & killing gay men

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay have been abducted, tortured and some even killed in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya.

The Chechen government won’t admit that gay men even exist in Chechnya, let alone that they ordered what the police call ‘preventive mopping up’ of people they deem undesirable. We urgently need your help to call out the Chechen government on the persecution of people who are, as they put it, of ‘non-traditional orientation’, and urge immediate action to ensure their safety. Please sign the petition

South America Newsletter

The June 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 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 blog.

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.
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 2017

Thanks to everyone who turned out. Despite being few in number, it was quite a productive morning and we raised £103.