Group Newsletter March 2019

Welcome to the latest newsletter.
The next meeting  is on Thursday 14th March 2019, 7.30pm  at Moordown Community Centre. On the agenda  –  AGM (usually brief, don’t let that put you off!), planning and case file letter writing (see below).
This newsletter belatedly marks International Women’s Day in all its articles. Keep reading 😀
marielle franco
Marielle Franco
You may recall we featured Marielle Franco in our January newsletter as the group have adopted the campaign for a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation of her killing as a case file. This Thursday, 14th March, marks the first anniversary of her murder.

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.

The plight of Marielle Franco and other female HRDs was featured in in some reporting of International Women’s Day. She was also remembered, and justice demanded, at the Rio carnival.

We will be writing letters to Brazilian officials at our meeting on Thursday. If you cannot make the meeting, there is an online action you can take

South America Newsletter
The 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 case file – see 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, in its report on Brazil, brings attention to a press release from The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. They are concerned about the alarming prevalence of gender-based murders of women in Brazil, taking into consideration that at least 126 women have been murdered (and 67 survived attempts) in the country since the beginning of the year – and that was at the beginning of February…  We’re afraid the article contains other appalling statistics, do check it out
saudi arabie
Saudi Arabia: Release Women’s Human Rights Defenders
On 1 March 2019, the Saudi Arabia Public Prosecution announced that it had concluded its investigations into the cases of a group of human rights defenders, including women activists, who had been detained without charge since May 2018, announcing they will soon face charges and be referred to court.On 6 March, Amnesty issued a press release calling on United Nations (UN) member states to demand the release of the women activists (, 

To mark International Women’s Day, you are encouraged to “tweet” or write to Saudi Authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders who are being detained solely for their peaceful human rights work. The link below has more guidance and details of the 5 women in the picture above…
Why we need International Women’s Day
It’s been more than 40 years since the UN chose 8 March as the day to celebrate the power and efforts of women worldwide. This blog post shows us why we still need it…
May Stevens
Reflecting on inspirational women, its with great sadness we report the death of May Stevens in January. May and her husband Ted were among the founder members of the group in 1986 and were for many years the mainstay of the group and its’ activities. She will particularly be remembered for her tireless fundraising, but we will all miss her good nature, enthusiasm and dedication to making the world a better place.  There is an obituary to May on our blog.