Posts Tagged ‘Salisbury’

Meeting

Posted: July 7, 2021 in Group news
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Group meeting on Thursday 8th July starting at 7pm (note slightly earlier time) via Zoom. All supporters welcome. If you would like to attend, reply to this (or on Facebook, or Twitter) and we will send you a link. You can see the minutes of the previous meeting here.


Minutes of the June 2021 meeting via Zoom

We are pleased to attach a copy of the June minutes thanks to group member Lesley for preparing them. It was a full meeting marked by a decision to end the North Korea campaign which has run for over a decade. The group thanked Tony for his work on this campaign over the years. Although no longer a specific campaign, we will carry out actions from time to time if the opportunity arises.


Amnesty International celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and the local group braved the inclement weather to take a group shot to mark the occasion. The Salisbury group was established a few years after AI was formed and is still going strong. The need for human rights organisations is even stronger than ever with many examples around the world of people’s rights being infringed.

In Yemen there is the continuing war and bombing of civilians continues unabated; the genocide of Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar); Syria; wars in the Horn of Africa are just some examples.

In the UK we remain concerned at government attempts to stifle freedoms of assembly, the Judiciary and their long term desire to curtail or abolish the Human Rights Act.

If you live in the south Wiltshire area and would like to join us, you would be very welcome.


Salisbury Concern for Israel, Palestine is holding a Zoom event

SCIP is holding a Zoom meeting on 29 April 2021 in which the Jerusalem academic, Jeff Halpen will speak about his ideas for the future of Palestine. Jeff is the author of Decolonising Israel: Liberating Palestine. Zoom opens at 18:45. He will be joined by three other guests. Details on the link below:


Boris Johnson’s reaction to the ICC case and Palestine

Palestine Briefing – parliamentary newsletter and briefing service


Johnson declaration undermines ICC inquiry into Palestine war crimes


Boris Johnson took a sudden last-minute decision this week to oppose the International Criminal Court inquiry launched last month into war crimes that may have been committed in the West Bank and Gaza since 2014.
While declaring his support for the ICC, the Prime Minister said this particular inquiry was “an attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s”.

In the past the ICC has turned down Palestinian requests for inquiries into Israeli conduct in Gaza and the West Bank on the grounds that Palestine was not a state. This situation changed in 2012 when Palestine was recognised as a state by the UN and again in 2015 when it was accepted as a member by the ICC – and the UK did not vote against either.

The Palestinian request for an inquiry – made in 2015 – took five years to be processed and even in 2020, when the chief prosecutor was ready to launch an inquiry, she asked a panel of judges to rule whether the ICC really had jurisdiction. Germany put forward counterarguments, as did Hungary, Brazil and Australia, but the judges ruled last month – in March 2021 – that there was no jurisdictional problem and therefore the inquiry could go ahead. Again the UK did not publicly oppose.

On the day of the announcement the Israeli prime minister launched a diplomatic offensive, summoning all his ambassadors at a weekend and ordering them to set all other work aside and lobby their host governments to block the inquiry. The lobbying appears to have been successful. That is why the Prime Minister’s announcement, which is of vital, even existential, significance to a Palestinian state, was made neither in Ramallah, nor in Jerusalem, nor even by the Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons, but in a letter from Downing Street to the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Palestinian ambassador Husam Zomlot said: “It is clear that the UK now believes Israel is above the law. There is no other interpretation of a statement that gives carte blanche to Israel. If ‘friends and allies’ are exempt from international law, there is no foundation for the rules-based global order.”

Two questions now arise. The Middle East minister made a statement about the ICC inquiry on March 2nd which made no mention of a change in policy. What happened since then to change the Prime Minister’s mind?

Secondly, Scottish QC Karim Khan takes over as ICC Prosecutor in June and will be responsible for conducting the inquiry. Could the Prime Minister’s letter conflating UK support for reform of the ICC with the UK’s new-found opposition to an inquiry be intended to influence him?

Dear Stephen, Eric and Stuart,

As you are aware, the UK is a strong supporter of the ICC in line with its founding statute. We have been working with other countries to bring about positive change at the Court’. This process has been driven by our ambition to strengthen the ICC. The election of two highly qualified UK nationals, Judge Joanna Korner QC and Karim Khan QC, to the roles of Judge and Prosecutor to the ICC respectively, will help serve reform. This was a key priority for the UK, demonstrating our enduring commitment to strengthening the Court and serving international justice.

As a founder member of the ICC, we have been one of its strongest supporters and continue to respect the independence of the institutions. We oppose the ICC’s investigation into war crimes in Palestine. We do not accept that the ICC has jurisdiction in this instance, given that Israel is not a party to the Statute of Rome and Palestine is not a sovereign state. This investigation gives the impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s.

Yours ever, Boris


We decided to reconvene via Zoom for a group meeting in March 2021 and ended up having a great deal to talk about. The minutes of that meeting are available thanks to group member Lesley for writing them up. The group will be taking a great interest in the forthcoming debate in parliament where it looks as though the government will be using the cover of Covid to limit the right to demonstrate and to give the police and Home Secretary greater powers to limit such demonstrations. We are also keeping a watching brief over the plans to alter the Human Rights Act, promised in several Conservative manifestos.

We were pleased to welcome a new member. New members welcome of course and leaving a message here or on Facebook is the best way.

March minutes (Word)


Meeting via Zoom

TONIGHT!

After an absence of a year, the group is to hold a meeting on Zoom next Thursday, 11th March at 7:30 pm.  It will mostly be a working meeting but any local supporter is welcome to join.  If you would like to, leave a message here or via Facebook or contact one of us.


Physicians for Human Rights website added to the list of sites (at the bottom of the page)


Farrants singing in an earlier year

Last evening we went carol signing in Albany and Belle View Roads in Salisbury with a group of singers from the Farrants.  It was a bit touch and go whether we would do it this year and we certainly had to scale things down.  The singers had to observe distance rules and of course we could not go close to doorways.  We were delighted with the response though and several family groups stood in their doorways to enjoy carols sung by a choir of dedicated singers.  With thanks to the Farrants, group members Jonathan, Joanna and Lesley for helping.  This is around the 15th year we have sung carols in this area of Salisbury.  

We would like to wish all our supporters and followers, a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year.

19 December 2021

 

 

 


Christmas tree festival

The Salisbury group took part in the annual Christmas tree festival organised each year by St Thomas’s church in the city.  Our photo was taken in the Cathedral and was placed in front of the Amnesty candle which stands in the Trinity Chapel.  We are grateful to the Cathedral for allowing us to place it there.  All the entries can be seen by clicking this link.

Tree featuring Human Rights Defenders

 

 

Welcome!

Posted: November 4, 2020 in Death penalty, Film
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If you come here following the film Just Mercy shown at Playhouse, welcome and the case we referred to can be accessed from this link.   It concerns a singer in Nigeria who is at risk of execution.  As was explained, Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.  It is not a deterrent and mistakes which are many, cannot be rectified once someone has been executed.

The group produces a monthly report on cases and issues surrounding the penalty around the world and the most recent can be found here.  We have also published a review of a discussion organised by Amnesty concerning the World Day Against the Death Penalty, (which Amnesty themselves have used), and this can be found here.

There are concerns that there is a desire to resume the death penalty in the UK and some politicians have said so but in the case of the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, she has said she no longer supports that position.

You may have heard of Reprieve and the work of Clive Stafford Smith in USA.  Clive represents many people on death row some of whom were convicted on flimsy or circumstantial evidence.  Unlike in the UK, police in many US States are under no obligation to reveal evidence which points to the suspect’s innocence.  Clive’s fascinating book Injustice is reviewed on this page.

The Salisbury group is not just concerned with the death penalty but with human rights issue generally.  We are concerned at the government’s desire to abolish the Human Rights Act especially when we leave the EU and we shall be campaigning on this if it comes to fruition.

We are not doing any face to face activities at present for obvious reasons but new members are welcome and following this site or Facebook or Twitter @salisburyai is something you can do.  When normal times resume, we hope to get back to campaigning work.

Just Mercy

Posted: October 26, 2020 in Death penalty
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Film Just Mercy to be shown on 4 November at 7pm in the Playhouse with an introduction by a member of the Salisbury group. For further details and how to buy tickets see the Wiltshire Creative post.