Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category

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.

These are the minutes of the October group meeting – thanks to Karen.

October minutes

UPDATE: The full minutes are now available here

September minutes

We held our monthly meeting on 11 September and a number of items were discussed some of which will be separately posted [P].

  • the treasurer reported we had around £334 in the bank.  The funds promised from one of the school groups have not arrived
    Amnesty logo

    Amnesty logo

    however and he will chase this up

  • North Korea.  We have a speaker – Bona Shin – for the November meeting so we will hold it in Sarum College [P].
  • Lesley presented the death penalty report which will be separately posted.  Executions continue apace in Saudi Arabia, Florida and Texas [P].
  • Peter gave an update on progress with the Magna Carta celebrations next year and said that we have held our third meeting with Seif at the Cathedral and arrangements were proceeding well.  Caroline was hoping to prepare tapestry with all the regional groups contributing a panel each to illustrate an aspect of the Human Rights Act.  Fiona is working with S Wilts on the idea of a film.
  • Cathedral service.  Jonathan will liaise with the Praecentor about dates and a speaker.
  • there is to be a coffee morning on Saturday 20 September in St Thomas’s starting at 09:30.
  • the second Citizenship day is to be held next month on 23 October run on similar lines to last year.  There is to be a repeat of the competition with 3 prizes totalling £100 from a supporter.  Peter is to contact the sixth form colleges and schools in the area [P].
  • the forthcoming campaign against torture stall was discussed and will take place on 15 October in the Cheese Market [P].
  • the film will take place again on 4 December at the Arts Centre and will be on the subject of Palestine.  The speaker is Samiha Abdeljebar [P].

Full minutes will be posted soon.

The minutes of the July meeting are available, with thanks to Karen.  Remember all recent minutes are posted on the About us tab.

We held our monthly meeting this evening Thursday, 10th July.  Among the matters discussed were the following:

  • Market stall.  This took just over a £100 and is well below the results of previous years.  The usual crowd of people waiting for us to open and almost climbing into our cars, was absent this year.  The main reason was lack of stock.
  • Death penalty #deathpenalty.  Lesley reported it was relatively quiet this month.  The ‘World Day Against the Death Penalty‘ is coming soon and a meeting will be held in the Black Horse at Great Durnford to plan actions.  [The DP report will be a separate post here in a few days]
  • North Korea.  Karen said there were plans to invite a speaker and October 9th or November 13th were likely dates.
  • John Glen.  #HRA The meeting with him [was] on Friday 11th July (details in the previous blog) and he had noted this in his ‘View from the Commons’ piece in the Journal.  Open to Amnesty members and supporters – at the Methodist Church, 7:30.  Lesley circulated a leader in the Guardian commenting on the relevance of the Human Rights Act
  • Conference.  The planned conference in September was not gaining a head of steam Peter reported.  The City Council had given their funds to the Cathedral and were unable to help in other ways such as free use of the Guildhall.
  • Magna Carta #magnacarta.  Peter had held a meeting with Seif el Rashidi and this had been very positive.  They were keen for our involvement and various ideas were discussed.  A group was set up to take these forward.  Once we have a draft plan then we can approach AIUK for help and assistance.  The Cathedral is willing to help with graphics and has offered us a stall.  The involvement of Kate Allen and the discussion between her and Rob Key who is the chair of the Cathedral group was discussed.  Caroline, the regional rep. said that it had been a brief conversation only and that Kate Allen was delighted that the Salisbury group were involved and that they were best placed to take things forward.
  • Strategic issues.  There was a long discussion on strategic issues with Caroline and group members voiced various concerns about lack of response from AI.  Lack of materials was an issue; finding out what was available was difficult; and lack of response another problem.  Caroline responded by saying that the restructuring had had major effects with many staff leaving or being made redundant.  It had also consumed a lot of senior management time.  She will raise these issues nationally and she said they were similar to concerns raised by other groups.  Southern region news can be found here.
  • Web site.  217 views of the site since launch.  Most from the UK as expected with 12 from USA and 11, Brazil.  People from 19 countries were now shown as viewing it.  There 18 blog followers; 8 twitter followers and 3 from Facebook.
  • Stop Torture.  A possible date for a stall on 15 November was discussed.
  • Citizenship.  This to be taken forward with Bishop Wordsworth.  The competition will be repeated this year with more schools involved.

Minutes will be posted soon.

View the South region site of Amnesty

The minutes of the June meeting are here.  Thanks to Lesley.

June minutes

The monthly meeting took place on Thursday, 12 June.

The following were discussed:

  • there was an update on the death penalty from Lesley and her report will be a separate post in a few days.  It was noted that the Devizes group were active with Hakamada Iwao who was probably the longest serving prisoner on death row but is now on release.  We are waiting advice from AIUK on the campaign in Belarus
  • an email has been received from Kenny Latunda Dada concerning North Korea and he has a speaker on that country.  This will be investigated
  • John Glen MP.  11 July has been confirmed for him to speak to the group which will be in the Methodist Church at 7:30.  It is restricted to members and supporters.  We are to let AIUK know of this event
  • Unfortunately the regional rep could not come to this meeting but is coming to the next
  • Peter said he had received no copy from anyone and was reluctant to write an entire newsletter.  It was agreed that it would wait until after 11 July
  • Magna Carta.  The group were very disappointed not to have heard from AI HQ following the contact Kate Allen had made with Robert Key.  Fiona is to write to the regional rep to complain.  Peter is to contact the manager of the MC event being organised by the cathedral.  It was unlikely that there would be any money coming from the City Council as they had awarded money to the Cathedral project
  • Cathedral service in November: Tony is to follow up
  • Film.  Omar has been agreed on as this years film.  More details in future.  To be shown on 4 December
  • The stall is on Saturday 21st!

North Korea event

Posted: April 16, 2014 in Group news, North Korea
Tags: , ,

Amnesty logo

Amnesty logo

The group ran a short event in the Library passage on Tuesday 15 April 2014 to ‘celebrate’ the birthday of Kim Jong-un of North Korea.  Not really a celebration of course but to highlight the terrible situation in the camps in that country.  People are sent to them for the slightest reason and sometimes they might not know the reason.  If a member of their family is arrested, then other family members can be arrested without knowing why.

The worst of the camps are in effect a death sentence.  Some do escape but the usual route is via China who often sends them back as they do not wish to upset the status quo.

The Salisbury group wanted to highlight the situation in the camps and asked people to sign a petition which achieved 128 signatures.  There is a brief item and a photo in the Salisbury Journal – see the link below.  Thanks to Karen for leading on this. We were joined by two members of the Ringwood group and we are grateful for their help and support.

North Korea pops up in the news occasionally and a few weeks ago there was some shelling of an island in the south.  There was a story that all men in the north must have the same haircut as Kim Jong-un the current leader.  This is probably a rumour although it does appear all male students have to have one.  In any event, a hairdresser in London put up a poster with a photo of Kim Jong-un as part of a promotion campaign only to receive a visit from two sinister men from the North Korean Embassy asking them to take the picture down.  This made it onto the BBC’s Radio 4 PM programme with a rather bemused proprietor of the salon being interviewed about the visit.

Of course this is to our eyes ludicrous but it does reveal the intense paranoia and sensitivity of the country and its leader to criticism.   Many people when asked to sign a petition say it probably isn’t worth it as nothing would ever make a difference.  This suggests it might not be a total waste of time.

The Guardian newspaper is commendably taking a wider interest in the affairs of North Korea and has supplied some useful links to sites providing further information about this secretive country.

North Korea News

Peterson Institute

Choson Exchange


Group members at the North Korean signing

Group members at the North Korean signing















Salisbury Journal

We had our monthly meeting on 10 April and these are some quick notes ahead of the minutes which will appear in the ‘about us’

Amnesty logo

Amnesty logo

tab above.

  • UPDATE [May 2015]: We must record that this money was never received by the group.  The £800 received from Bishop Wordsworth school was gratefully received and there was a discussion on how it would be spent
  • Lesley gave the update on the death penalty and there will be a separate post on that soon.  The press release on Sakineh in Iran was published in the Journal today but the fact she was due to be stoned to death was edited out
  • the North Korea campaign action on 15 April was discussed and the string of NK flags was displayed
  • John Glen’s assistant has now replied and a meeting will be arranged on a Friday evening to fit around JG’s parliamentary activities.  Probably June
  • conference planning proceeds and there was a meeting of the group yesterday.  We will be in ‘competition’ with the Cathedral who have half a million of Lottery money plus sponsorship.  No reply yet from Robert Key who is chair of their event.  However our conference will focus on the actual substance of the Magna Carta and its relevance today ie the human rights angle.  The proposed bid to the City Council was discussed and Peter will submit that by Monday
  • AI’s strategic plan was discussed.  The key point here was whether AI was offering support to groups with these campaigns?  Recent history is not encouraging.  Andrew to circulate for comments
  • film at the Arts Centre was discussed
  • the new regional rep. Caroline Butler, is to be invited to the meeting
  • there is to be a stall on 21 June
  • 10 October is the World Day Against the Death Penalty and the group will be planning an event for that
  • need to give some thought to the Cathedral Service

The group met yesterday for its regular monthly meeting and the following items were discussed:      3925

  • It was sad to record the death recently of group member Ursula Milner-White who has been a stalwart supporter almost from the start of the local group.  The group expressed its sympathies to the family and its thanks for the support Ursula gave to us over many years.  She was a regular at stall signings and rarely missed a meeting
  • Lesley reported on the workshop which was held at the last meeting and tabled the activity chart.  There were a number of actions some of which were discussed during the meeting
  • Death penalty report.  See separate blog on this
  • Vigil.  There is to be a vigil at St Thomas’s and the date has changed.  Jonathan is to advise of the new date and time.
  • North Korea.  Karen gave a brief update on the UN Report of the Commission of Enquiry on Human Rights in the People’s Republic of North Korea which documented the appalling situation in that country.  It is Kim Jung Un’s birthday on 15 April and we are planning an event on that day to highlight the situation there
  • John Glen MP.  An invitation sent last month to Mr Glen to come and discuss his desire to see the Human Rights Act abolished has not so far received a response.  A reminder will be sent
  • Conference.  Peter presented the initial plan for the human rights Magna Carta event being planned for September or October 2015.  The idea is to link the 800th anniversary to human rights today.  Partners and speakers and sponsors are now being sought.  More details in future postings
  • Web site.  Members will notice we have a new dedicated web site now and the address is in the url field.  We may pay a small sum to have the word ‘wordpress’ dropped.  The new site is a great improvement on the Amnesty hosted one which has limited functionality and was difficult to use.  Members are asked to include the link at the bottom of emails and on other material to help promote the site.  It will be possible for more people to contribute items to the site if they wish
  • Venue.  There was a discussion about the venue of future meetings and the results of these discussions will be posted here soon.  Thanks to Fiona for hosting this meeting
  • DoNM.  10 April at a venue to be notified.

Minutes will be posted here once they are received.