Archive for November, 2014


On Saturday 15 November the group carried out a signing for the #stoptorture campaign.  Cards for five

Preparing for the signing

Preparing for the signing

individuals who have allegedly been tortured were available for people to sign and we secured the magnificent total of 267.  It was the first time out for the torture wheel which is modelled on the infamous wheel used by the Philippine police.  Various forms of abuse are put on a wheel which they spin to decide on what method to use on a victim.

Although we achieved a good response, many refuse to sign and one person ventured the opinion that ‘they must have deserved it.’  Torture is widely used around the world and is practised in 141 countries despite nearly every nation having signed the UN protocol against its use.

The cards will be posted over the net few days to the relevant authority where the victims are held.

Torture wheel

Torture wheel


Don’t forget the Salisbury Arts Centre film on 4 December.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#stoptorture #deathpenalty.  The November report on the death penalty is attached thanks to groupNo to the death penalty member Lesley for compiling this.

Death Penalty Report


Don’t forget you can access other sites with a human rights theme from the blog roll at the bottom of this page.


Group welcomes speaker on #Korea.  On Thursday 13 November, the group was pleased to welcome a Korean speaker as part of our activities to keep the problems in North Korea in the limelight.  Bona Shin is a member of a large community of Koreans who live in London, the largest such community in Europe.  There are thought to be around 32,000 living in the UK and 691 of whom from North Korea.

Bona Shin

Bona Shin

Other speakers have mentioned the difference between Pyongyang and the rest of the country.  People who live in Pyongyang are the elite and they are reasonably well fed by North Korean standards.  It is the rural areas which are impoverished and where people struggle to survive.  She said there are no disabled people in the capital either: they are all moved out to the rural areas.

She mentioned the propaganda initiative recently where the North Korean embassy hosted an art exhibition.  Developments in the last week or so at the UN where there are attempts to get the regime and Kim Jong un indicted for crimes against humanity.

There are reports of the infamous Yodok camp being closed and prisoners being moved to Camp 14 or Camp 16 as part of the propaganda by the North but this cannot be confirmed at the time of writing.  Bilateral talks may begin with the EU on the question of human rights.

There are still survivors from the Korean war which Britain contributed large troop numbers second only to the USA.  There is a British Korean Veteran Association

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Posted: November 14, 2014 in Group news
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This morning, 14 November, we had our 1000th hit since the site was launched earlier this year!


The meeting took place tonight with a speaker from South Korea.  A full report will appear soon.

#stoptorture  And a reminder that we are running a stall on Saturday 15th in the Market Place to highlight the issue of torture around the world.  If you can come along and sign or better still, help for an hour that would be great.  It will be the first outing of the torture wheel based on the Philippine’s security services wheel used to decide on how they are going to torture a suspect.

Group campaign event, Saturday 8 November

Group campaign event, Saturday 8 November


Amnesty group makes YouTube video.  The #Salisbury group of Amnesty International broke new ground today when they prepared

Jooil Kim at the signing

Joo il Kim at the signing

a short YouTube video clip to highlight the appalling situation in the North Korean prison camps.  Fifteen members held up cards which spelled out the message ‘Close the Camps’ to mimic the huge displays which take place in Pyongyang.  It was part of a morning spent collecting signatures which unfortunately had to be curtailed because of the heavy rain which made it impossible to continue.   Despite this, in the hour or so we were able to operate, 84 people signed.

Jooil Kim (pictured) an escapee was able to attend and take part and we were pleased to have a member of the South Korean Embassy come and sign as well.

Thanks for all who came and made this a success and especially to Karen (and husband) who did all the work preparing the cards. Now watch the video …!

UPDATE: revised YouTube video

UPDATE II: link to a newspaper interview with Joo il Kim

Link to the New Malden North Korean site


Jonathan, Fiona and Andrew went to Bishop Wordsworth’s school  last month for the annual #Citizenship Day, an event for Year 12 students from the Bishops Wordsworth School and South Wilts Grammar.  More than 50 students opted to attend our sessions – about the same number as last year – choosing over other charities, pressure groups and political parties.

Citizenship

Citizenship

Three sessions were held and following an introduction by Andrew, Jonathan got them to work thinking about human rights in general and Fiona finished with a “what you can do” chat.  To judge from talking to other presenters, ours was probably one of the more interactive sessions, and the students seemed to respond well, overcoming a natural reticence.  Groups had interesting thoughts about what rights consisted of, and one group even came up with a definition, although knowledge of Magna Carta was surprisingly spotty.

We hope some will take up the essay challenge and a good number of forms were taken away.  Feedback has been positive, and we are hopeful of encouraging the students to take up Amnesty causes for themselves.


We have several events in the next couple of weeks and anyone free to help will always be welcome.

  • Today! Saturday 8 November at the Guildhall.  We shall be holding an event in aid of our #NorthKorea campaign and we will be doing a moving display at 10 o’clock and our first YouTube posting if we can manage it.  If you are free at that time that would be really useful – we need people to hold some cards.
  • Thursday 13 November at 7 pm (note earlier time).  Normal monthly meeting followed by a talk by Kenny Latunda Dada who has been to Salisbury on two previous occasions and Bona Shin who is a South Korean activist.  They will be talking about #NorthKorea.
  • Saturday 15 November at the Library which will be a card signing as part of the Stop Torture campaign, #stoptorture.  If you can help or come along and sign that would be appreciated.