Group Newsletter March 2021

Welcome to the latest newsletter.
Whilst its not clear when we can return to Moordown Community Centre, lets just say its looking more possible that we could be back in a few months. Meanwhile, we’ve decided to host a couple of online events over the next two months. We are arranging a speaker for April/May, but this month we are planning to have an online letter writing event:-.
This will be Thursday 11th March at 7.30pm on ZoomThis will be similar to the December Write 4 Rights, but we will decide on a few cases nearer the time. Please let us know if interested and we will send you the link and further details.

Europe Newsletter

The latest Europe newsletter from Ulrika Schmidt and her colleagues is now online. This goes into some depth on a variety of campaigns, with links to reports, petitions and email actions. There is an update on the plight of Elżbieta Podleśna and colleagues, with a verdict expected any day. They were ludicrously charged with “offending religious beliefs”.

Outrageously Eren Keskin (above) a prominent human rights defender and lawyer in Turkey was sentenced to six years in jail for supposed “membership of an armed terrorist organisation”. Three colleagues got similar sentences. Eren’s case has been featured before in newsletters and you may have sent a card to her during Write 4 Rights back in 2016. She remains at liberty pending an appeal.

There is also details (and registration link) of a International Women’s day event, introduced by Kate Allen, focusing on Women Human Rights Defenders in Poland  on 8th March at 6pm

Loujain al-Hathloul

Saudi women’s rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison in December 2020.  She was one of several women who fought for the right to drive in Saudi Arabia.

On 10 February, Loujain was released from prison on probation for two years and 10 months and faces a five-year travel ban. She has appealed her sentence. Loujain continues to be denied access to justice and accountability for her allegations of torture. .

Email the Saudi embassy and call on them to help ensure that Loujain’s sentence is quashed, that her travel ban is lifted and her allegations of torture and other ill-treatment whilst in prison are investigated.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Amnesty International has been calling for the release of Nazanin for the past five years. We’re sure many of you have taken some form of action in this time.

We are now approaching her official end of sentence according to Iranian law – Sunday 7th March. Hopefully she will be released and can fly home to her family in the UK. But the fear is that this date will come and go and Nazanin will remain held in Iran and unable to come home to Richard and their young daughter, Gabriella.

AIUK are posting the countdown to Sunday on Twitter and Facebook. If you use either platform do “retweet” and post messages of support. Obviously if she is not released the campaign will continue and further actions will be posted.