Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Statistics

Posted: January 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

We are pleased to report that the number of views to this site was an all-time record in 2021 at 8,375. This is an increase of 28% on 2020 itself a record. Well over six thousand were from the USA and just under a thousand from the UK. A surprise is over 200 from PRC, China where almost certainly sites such as this are blocked due partly to our references to the abuses of the Uyghurs.

We wish a happy New Year to our readers and followers.

MP’s surgeries

Posted: October 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

MP murdered while holding a surgery

A key part of our democracy is the ability of individuals to make contact with their member of parliament and this is usually done in a surgery which can be in a number of settings. People sometimes forget that the system has improved in recent times and the days when MPs were seldom seen in their constituencies has long gone. The great majority of MPs have regular meetings in their constituencies with organisations of varying kinds as well as with individual constituents.

The recent murder of Sir David Amess was a huge shock. The Salisbury group has only recently met our MP, Mr John Glen, to express our concerns – along with over a hundred other organisations – about a series of bills currently before parliament which we believe will seriously inhibit our human rights. The chair of our group wrote a letter to the Salisbury Journal published on 21 October 2021 thus:

Following the tragic death of Sir David Amess last week, I am writing to say how much we value the tradition of MPs’ surgeries.

My group had a meeting with John Glen earlier this month, where we were able to exchange views on current [proposed] legislation in a respectful way; while we had our disagreements, we took note of each other’s views and departed amicably. It is vital that this kind of relationship continues between us and our representatives, and it would be a sad day indeed if restrictions on this process were deemed necessary.

We would urge parliament and the government to do everything they can to keep local surgeries going even with whatever enhanced security may be appropriate to protect the lives of our elected MPs

Andrew Hemming, Chair, Salisbury Amnesty International


The first successful labor strike took place at Deir el-Medina—the same place where songs of personal expression were born. Mere coincidence? Ted Gioia writes at The Honest Broker: The first songs to express personal emotions and individual aspirations appeared more than 3,000 years ago in Deir el-Medina, a village on the west bank of the Nile. […]

Did Music Create Human Rights? — Later On

This is a republished piece:

In the News: On Friday 18 June, the Ministry of Justice published the End-to-End Rape Review Report on Findings and Actions, which assesses how the system is currently failing rape complainants, and sets out a plan to return the volume of cases progressing to court to pre-2016 levels. In the two years it took to…

The Weekly Round-Up: Rape Report and damning findings from the Morgan Inquiry — UK Human Rights Blog

Minutes of the May meeting

Posted: May 16, 2021 in Uncategorized

We are pleased to attach minutes of our May meeting via Zoom thanks to group member Lesley for preparing them. The government’s treatment of refugees occasioned a lot of discussion. We hope to be able meet in person later in the summer.

April minutes

Posted: April 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

We attach minutes of the April meeting held via Zoom thanks to group member Lesley for preparing them and thanks also to group member Jonathan for hosting the meeting on Zoom. A full meeting with items on North Korea and the Death penalty among other things. There are links also to two podcasts we have been able to produce for the first time, one on two Christians at risk of execution in Pakistan for alleged apostasy and the other on Grand Prix motor racing and its involvement with sports washing.

The group is concerned – along with many others – at the current government’s desire to abolish the Human Rights Act and the review currently underway will be watched closely.


IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

29/01/21

Faisal Yousef Mohamed

On 17 January 2021, human rights defender Faisal Yousef Mohamed was killed in his house in El Genena city, West Darfur by unknown individuals from armed militant groups. Two of the human rights defenders brothers were murdered in the same incident.

Faisal Yousef Mohamed was human rights defender and paralegal training to become a lawyer. The human rights defender was a member of Hay El Ameerya resistance committee, a committee that frequently organises peaceful demonstrations to promote civil and economic rights in Sudan. Faisal Yousef Mohamed was a member of El Geneana Para Legal Network, a network of paralegals who offered legal assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) in refugee camps in West Darfur. One of his main areas of human rights work was helping IDPs who had been victims of human rights violation seek justice by connecting them with lawyers.

On 16 and 17 January 2021, Faisal Yousef…

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Saudi Arabia: Send a message to Ali al Nimr for his birthday

This is a post from Reprieve.

Ali al-Nimr will turn 26 years old on December 20, 2020.

He’s been locked away from his family for seven years, and on death row in Saudi Arabia for five.

His so-called ‘crimes’ include “explaining how to give first aid to protesters.” For that, Ali was tortured until he signed a ‘confession’.

Ali shouldn’t be on death row. He shouldn’t be alone on his birthday.  For further details see this link to a previous post.

Will you write a message to Ali for his birthday and remind him that he is not alone?

This the link to send a message.

Group statistics

Posted: November 2, 2020 in Uncategorized

For those interested in statistics might find this interesting.


There is a majority of people in the UK who, for certain crimes, would like to see a return of the death penalty according to YouGov.  The current home secretary, Priti Patel, has said the same on Question time although she now resiles from this.  People in favour of the penalty should watch this film.

It concerns a female warden (governor in UK parlance) who is in charge of a prison where people are executed.  Directed by a woman, Chinonye Chukwu and starring Alfre Woodard it illustrates the tension of those in charge of actually carrying out the gruesome task.  At the start of the film, the execution process is botched and it takes quite a while for the prisoner to die, painfully.

The film charts the tension the warden experiences: on the one hand the desire to be professional and to do a good job and on the other, the doubts about the process itself.  This tension is reflected in her marriage where her husband leaves her for a while.

In Hollywood terms, it is quite unusual.  Firstly, because women feature a lot in the making of it.  Secondly, no background music which allows the natural tension to build.  The camera is allowed to linger on certain scenes and there is no frantic scene changes which are so irritating in much drama these days.  Lastly, the drama is carried along by Woodard’s expressions and face rather than just dialogue.

It is truly a powerful and quite unique film and makes the fundamental point that the process of executions damages all who are involved in it.

Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.  It does not deter and levels in violence in US states with the penalty is little different to those with it.  Mistakes, which are frequent, cannot afterwards be rectified.  The process, with appeals lasting years – the average in the US is 10 years – is expensive.  It is applied unfairly with a disproportionate number of black people on death row.  An examination of the trial of Kris Maharaj in Florida is also worth a read.

The group publishes a monthly report on the penalty around the world.

Meanwhile, the pace of executions in America continues with the Justice Dept. executing three people in four days, matching the total number the US government had conducted in the previous 3 decades (Washington Post).   This is part of the ‘law and order’ promise by the President despite serious misgivings by many Americans about the fairness of the process and think it needs a complete overhaul.

The film is available on streaming services.

19 July 2020