Newsletter September 20th 2015


Welcome to the latest news from your local Amnesty Group.
Our next meeting is Thursday, 8th October 2015 at 7.30pm at Moordown Community Centre, Bournemouth. We are delighted to announce that Dr Howard Davis, lecturer in Public Law at Bournemouth University will be giving a talk about the Human Rights Act. Whilst this has gone relatively quiet media wise in recent weeks, its still a Government commitment to replace the HRA with a ” British Bill of Rights”. Hopefully Howard will give us a good grounding on these plans and what we should do to oppose.

Late Autumn Quiz

quiz nightWe’ve had a succession of quiz venues closing down or being refurbished in some way after our events – hopefully this is pure coincidence! But we’ve been welcomed back by the Queen Mary Inn, West Street, Poole for our next quiz on Friday 6th November 2015, 7.30 for 8.00 sharp start.  This will follow the usual format with teams of up to 6 (can be formed on the night) and £5 a head. Sally Hawksworth has agreed to keep everyone in order and politely ask you things you don’t know.  David Rogers has promised to come up with some stunning questions.

Bournemouth Street Collection

We’ve had some difficulties with our Christchurch and Wareham street collections, so its “all hands to the pump” for our final collection of the year in Bournemouth.  Saturday 3rd October is the day we’ve been allocated.  Street collections are a very strange experience – you can get to feel totally invisible without taking anything illicit! You only need turn out for an hour or two and its very much a case of the more the merrier. We would like to get at least £250 on the day – if you are not a regular collector and would like to help, please reply to this newsletter.

Refugee Crisis

We brought your attention to the way Syrian Refugees were being largely absorbed by their neighboring countries a few months ago.  The current Amnesty International advice on the appalling scenes we see every day is to write to your MP. If you go to the main AIUK website, there is an email action to facilitate this.  If you prefer to write, here is a letter your editor recently sent to his MP which you can edit letter to MP

South America Newsletter

The group has long been associated with South America. This year we have worked on two “Individuals at Risk” case Action Files – one from Brasil and one from Venezuela (currently suspended). At the meeting in September we continued working on the Brazilian Action File, sending letters to authorities.

We have posted the latest newsletter from the South American Team, with updates on their work in the region. There are links to current actions you can take.  There is also a link, under Brazil, to a document called “You Killed my Son”.  This highlights the cycle of violence, impunity and fear that dominate the favelas – the poor suburbs – of the Rio de Janeiro – where so many of the killings are at the hands of the police. Do read this, as there are likely to be several actions around this in the run up to next years Olympics in the city.

Torture on Your Doorstep

Unfortunately this newsletter is too late if you wanted to attend last weeks London Arms Fair. At previous events Amnesty have discovered illegal equipment being advertised, as well as representatives from governments that are known human rights abusers.  The organisers got around that problem this year by barring Amnesty’s arms expert!  At our last meeting we wrote letters to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, urging him to close the loopholes in the EU laws which prohibit the trade in torture equipment.  You can find that letter here – Sajid Javid,  or send an email via the AIUK page.

Dr ‘Ali ‘Esa Mansoor al-‘Ekri, consultant surgeon, prisoner of conscience

Dr. Ali 'Esa Mansoor al-Ekri, Bahrain,Dr ‘Ali ‘Esa Mansoor al-‘Ekri, a consultant surgeon, is serving a five-year prison sentence in Jaw prison. He is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Dr ‘Ali al-‘Ekri was arrested on 17 March 2011 in an operating room at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Manama, Bahrain.
During interrogation he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated. In a testimony published in October 2011 he said:

“During this period I was subjected to all sorts of torture including: Beatings with metal rods, plastic hoses and wooden planks, kicking, punching and slapping with an emphasis on the head, ears and back. I was made to hear the screams of other people being tortured. I was threatened with police dogs being brought to my cell and they made me imitate the barking of dogs, they made me lick the floor, the soles of their boots and they forced me to eat faeces. I was also sexually molested and threatened with rape … I was deprived of sleep for a week and every time my eyes closed I was woken by loud shouts or cold water being poured on me …“I was forced to ’confess’ to possession of weapons, heading a militia and occupying the hospital. The next day the interrogation continued and a new interrogator was brought in who threatened to kill me with his gun.”

Dr ‘Ali al-‘Ekri initially was not able to meet his lawyer nor family, and then he only briefly met his lawyer on 6 June 2011 when he was brought to the National Safety Court of First Instance, a military court, and was transferred to Dry Dock Prison in Manama, where his torture and other ill-treatment continued. Dr ‘Ali al-‘Ekri is a consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, who trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He was among 48 health professionals arrested in March and April 2011 following widespread protests at the al-Farooq Junction in the capital, Manama.

Amnesty International believes that the real reason for targeting him was his vocal denunciation of the excessive force used by the armed forces against peaceful protesters during the February – March 2011 protests to the international media and exercised their rights to freedom of expression and association during marches and protests. Please send this email, with your name, to Bahrain Government officials.


jewelleryIn the past we held many stalls at Trade Union Conferences when they visited Bournemouth, plus we had our own Garden Party.  Times have changed, but as reported above, Ted and May still turn out at a variety of Fairs and Carnivals – such as in Winton, Boscombe.
So if you have any jewellery (even broken), scarves, handbags (particularly evening), books, bric-a-brac or other knick-knacks in any condition that you wish to donate, please let May Stevens know (01202) 510886. They can collect.