Group Newsletter November 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter.
The next meeting  is on Thursday 8th October 8.00pm – on ZOOM.  Obviously our plans to return to Moordown Community Centre are even further away. . Do join us if you can. There will be campaign updates and a discussion on future plans. In particular is there is anything we can do re Write 4 Rights this year.
Please reply to this newsletter if you would like the Zoom invite.

Defending the rule of law in Hungary

Defending the rule of law in Hungary

Defending the Rule of Law

If human rights are not respected, there is no rule of law. Where there is no rule of law, human rights are not respected.  The rule of law and human rights are two sides of the same principle, the freedom to live in dignity. The rule of law and human rights have an indivisible and intrinsic relationship.
Amnesty International has long been advocating for the protection and promotion of human rights within the European Union.
The Hungarian government continues to face domestic resistance and international scrutiny for its ongoing rollback on human rights and violations of international and EU law.
The six people pictured above have their stories told here. They shed light on the importance and interconnectedness of rule of law in our everyday lives when it comes to judicial independence, freedom of expression, equality, human dignity, media freedom and the right to education.

Bernarda Pesoa

Bernarda Pesoa

Indigenous Land Defender Attacked

Qom indigenous leader Bernarda Pesoa (above) was physically assaulted on her community lands in Benjamín Aceval municipality, Paraguay, on 27 October by a group of approximately 9 women and men. She opposed works for a eucalyptus plantation in the community´s territory. The communities have not been properly consulted by the project developers to ensure their free, prior and informed consent. Their lands have been affected in recent years by the encroachment of cattle ranchers and private companies who seek to carry out projects that would affect local ecosystems.

The Qom people were originally forest dwellers and hunter and gatherers for their subsistence, and since the 1970s they have been living on the community land where they now live. They make a living through making artisan products from local plants as well as through small scale subsistence activities breeding animals such as goats, sheep and chickens. Amnesty calls on state authorities to urgently investigate the attack against Bernarda and provide her with protection. There is a link here for an email action. If you have time, you can use the downloadable pdf or word versions rather than simply click on “take action”.  This will enable you to copy your messages to the Embassies in the UK, details of which are provided, and to include an email or other address for responses.

Europe Newsletter November 2020

Its nice to have another Central and Eastern Europe newsletter from Ulrika Schmidt and her colleagues. But they also include a new Amnesty International report on France – “Arrested for Protest” – and a new linked campaign “Eyes on France”. The report is worth reading as we reflect on the new restrictions on protests during the current English lockdown.
For the last 2 years there has been campaigning for the absurd charges of “insulting religion” to be dropped against Elizbeth Podlesna, a brave defender of Women’s’ and LGBT rights and a principled activist against intolerance and hate. We have featured this case in our newsletter earlier this year.  Elizbeths trial started last week.

South America Newsletter

The November edition of the South America Regional Newsletter is now on the blog. We are glad to see they have recruited a new volunteer and are back up to 3 – they do a do a huge amount of work on our behalf.
This month, they update us on developments in Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. There is a report on the pressures on indigenous communities in Colombia, Peru, Paraguay (featured above), Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina – threatened by mining companies, paramilitaries, farmers, loggers, security forces and drug traffickers.
Covid-19 infection rates surge to new highs across the region and Amnesty has written to the  Organization of American States asking members to prioritise human rights, particularly in El Salvador, Paraguay and Venezuela where lockdown measures are extreme.