Group Newsletter November 2023

Welcome to the latest newsletter.
Our next meeting  is on Thursday 2nd November 2023, 7.30pm – 9.00pm at Moordown Community Centre. This is a reminder our quiz night is next week on…
Friday 10th November 8pm  at the
The Brunswick Hotel, 199 Malmesbury Park Road, BOURNEMOUTH,  BH8 8PX
Our quizzes are informal but competitive! We are returning to one of our favourite venues, The Brunswick Hotel. Sally Hawksworth will again be reading the questions and keeping order!
Please help planning by reserving your tickets via Eventbrite. As ever you pay on the night, but we need to ensure we don’t exceed the room limit (50). Do be quick as we usually sell out some time before the event. At the time of sending this newsletter over two-thirds have gone.
Teams of up to 6, entrance £5 a person. If you aren’t in a team they can be adjusted/formed on the night to ensure no one’s on their own. As ever we will have a raffle (prize donations very welcome).

Europe Newsletter

The latest newsletter has updates on Cyprus, Greece, Türkiye and Poland. This includes a sample letter to the Cypriot Ambassador relating to attacks on refugees; the upholding of sentences against the “Gezi 7” defendants in Türkiye; planned demonstrations in December outside the embassies of Greece (deaths at sea of refugees) and Poland (rights of women to have access to safe and legal abortions)
There is also a link to a petition for a treaty to regulate the trade in policing equipment. Whilst tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and batons are promoted as safer alternatives to firearms, all too often these weapons are used unlawfully (see also Gustavo Gatica below) to harass, intimidate, punish, or drive away protesters, undermining their right to peaceful assembly.

We have campaigned on behalf of Gustavo Gatica (above) several time over the past four years. In October 2019 he was many taking part in peaceful protests in Chile.  These were heavily repressed.  Carabineros, Chile’s police force, made constant and inappropriate use of less lethal weapons, firing on several occasions potentially lethal ammunition in an unjustified, widespread and indiscriminate manner and in many cases aiming at people’s heads. There were fatalities and thousands of injuries. Gustavo was left permanently blinded by a “rubber” bullet.
Four years on Gustavo is still waiting for justice. Charges have been brought in only 127 of the 10,568 complaints of human rights violations during the period of social unrest, resulting in a mere 27 convictions and eight acquittals. None of the commanders of the Carabineros in control have been charged.  Call on the prosecutor to bring an end to this impunity (ignore the “0 days left to take action”)

South America Newsletters

We are sending this out between newsletters. The October issue, with updates on Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and Paraguay is on the website.
The November issue will be published by the end of the week. You will find it here

Help Free Virginia Laparra

Virginia Laparra (above), a renowned anti-corruption prosecutor, is being unjustly imprisoned in Guatemala. In 2018, she filed a complaint against a judge for sharing confidential information. In a striking display of retaliation, the judge accused Virginia of the crime of “abuse of authority continuously committed against the public administration”, leading to her arrest and a four-year jail sentence.
Virginia is now facing a second trial, which could extend her sentence by an additional six to nine years. Amnesty International has deemed her a prisoner of conscience. Urge  Guatemalan authorities to release Virginia Laparra and drop all charges against her.
On August 28, 2023, one of Virginia’s lawyer, Claudia González Orellana (below) was arrested at her home after a judge issued a questionable arrest warrant against her. She remains in detention – please urge the Public Prosecutor to review the charges against Claudia, and dismiss any unfounded proceedings, guaranteeing her rights under national and international law. (ignore the “0 days left to take action”)