Please see below for Urgent Actions that you can take to support our Campaigns and People at Risk.
URGENT ACTIONS – MAY
Please see these two Urgent Action cases who need support this month.
As we will be unable to send a group signed letter please email your own letters. Please ensure that your letters are designated on behalf of AI Canterbury Group.
Viktar Serhil is at imminent risk of execution in Belarus after his conviction and death sentence were upheld by the Supreme Court on 31 January. Viktar Serhil can now appeal to President Lukashenka for clemency, but it is extremely unlikely that it will be granted. Soon after clemency is refused, Viktar Serhil may be executed.
Please see Amnesty International Resources page for draft letter and more details: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2020-03/First%20UA%202420_0.pdf?W0x8eltEmVIMAzn_gU6Q_itxXCFCFYLq=
President of the Chadian Human Rights Organization (OTDH), Baradine Berdei Targuio, was arrested in front of his wife and children at his home in N’Djamena by masked and armed individuals, on 24 January 2020. Reportedly taken to the National Security Agency (ANS), his family has not seen him since. Given several previous cases of people being tortured and ill-treated at the ANS, Amnesty International believes Baradine Berdei Targuio could also be at risk.
Please see Amnesty International Resources Page for more details and a draft letter to be sent: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2020-02/First%20UA%20720_0.pdf?tRyWruEaVnD4_LzjE9xV1Ty3e9RL5rm1=
NAZANIN ZAGHARI-RATCLIFFE CAMPAIGN
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British mum serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran – for a crime she didn’t commit.
The latest information is that she has been paroled to live with her parents in Iran due to the CoVid 19 outbreak. At least in their care she has an opportunity to recover some health.
There are some unsubstantiated rumours that she may be released as an act of clemency as Iran struggles to contain the CoVid 19 outbreak. We hope that she can be released soon to return to the UK and be re-united with Richard and Gabriella.
Please also see a poem written by Nazanin below:
A Yard of Sky
Sometimes days can pass
Without me seeing the sky
Except that small piece with the lonely cloud
Brooding over the prison yard
Our view in this far off place
While elsewhere the trees bloom
And the sun dazzles
And the leaves fall
And the snows come again
In our yard of sky
Days do not differ
They do not pass, but repeat
As a mother alone
These days I am a lonely mother:
I bathed my baby in my tears of goodbye
My arms full of cuddles now ended,
With kisses of hope
For her return
On an adventure to be with her hero
Who she could only imagined for more than half her life
A reality now to mend.
I was left behind
With my repeating
While outside passes by and on
Tears my food, fears filling my mind
Solitude too often my friend, and doubt my relentless foe
What if they never let me go?
Laughter become my past, sorrow only my present
And hope on a horizon hard to see
Yesterday we sat in the yard
We welcomed the newcomers from solitary
And baked scones for breakfast
Which we ate with pistachio peel jam
Willing it to taste sweet
We showed them the yard of winter sun
Wishing it to be warm
I talked of the almond tree
In my grandparents’ village up in the hills.
It survives the wind and cold and storm
Then bears the most beautiful blossoms
And almonds so sweet in May
I talked of the almond tree we have at home
Now far away
I talked of being strong
To myself as well as to those listening
For when the seasons move again.
Freedom needs its faiths
That faith is our survival
Within these walls of recurring days
Across the swirling storms of Iran
That lonely days of separation will pass,
That the walls will fall
That beyond the pale sun
Injustice will become a shadow
And our trees of solitude will blossom again
In the sky beyond the yard.
One day we will sit on our own balcony
And see the sky open wide
Watching the seals in their sunbathing
A new breakfast of scones and jam
Understanding their sweetness anew
With the happiness in arms so long out stretching
And cuddles no longer missed
Now to fill a new life.
Evin Prison, Winter 2019
Please see below for letter to be sent on the 1000th day of the imprisonment for Senator Leila de Lima.
SENATOR de LIMA
20th November 2019 marks the 1000th day that Senator Leila de Lima has been wrongfully imprisoned on politically motivated charges. As Amnesty Canterbury is campaigning especially for justice in the Philippines we ask our supporters to print the attached letter and send it to the Philippine Embassy. senator-de-lima-letterDownload