Rochdale Amnesty

The Rochdale Group of Amnesty International UK Section

The views expressed in here are not necessarily those of the UK Section or of Amnesty International (International Secretariat)
These pages were last updated 22nd September1998. By clicking the button below you can register so that you will receive notification whenever the pages change.


Welcome to Rochdale Amnesty's home page. Here you will find details of our current and past activities and also links to othere areas of Amnesty activities. If you're in the Rochdale area, why not come and visit us at the Spread Eagle Hotel on the second Tuesday of the month (Except August) at 8.00pm. The Spread Eagle is at the top of Yorkshire Street in Rochdale (and does a nice line in Boddington's Bitter).


Latest News !

Rochdale Amnesty Classical Concert by the Northern Baroque (who are providing their services free) at St Chad's church hall Sparrow Hill Rochdale this Saturday night 26th September. 7.30 pm. Tickets 4 and 2.50 Concessions. Bring a friend or two :)

Amnesty and the Death Penalty

Our Current Campaign - Get Up - Sign Up -
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and making it relevant to everyone today
During 1998 we will be concentrating our efforts on this campaign, encouraging schools , libraries and local firms to display the UDHR and asking them to participate in various activities. The central theme of this is to try to get individuals to commit to the principles enshrined in the UDHR, enabling us to contribute to what should be the biggest book in the world, containing many thousands of personal commitments.

Our Last Campaign - Respect Refugees!

Details of the National campaign on Refugees can be found here.

Rochdale Amnesty Art Competition - There's no Place Like Home

During December we held an art competition for schools and youth groups. There are several age groups and a number of prizes. We had some excellent judges and involved the Rochdale Observer, local MP's Councillors and MEP's in the publicity. After the 800 entries were judged they were displayed in Rochdale's Heritage Centre 'White Room' from December 10th (Human Rights Day) until Saturday 13th December, when prizes were awarded. The theme, 'There's no Place Like Home' is based on the terrible decision that all refugees must make... To leave their homes behind them.
On 10th December at 2.00 pm, the exhibition was opened with a drama by the local 'Live Wire Theatre Group' followed by the lighting of an Amnesty candle and the first of many nightlights as we tried for a 'Candle in every home' for Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the founding of Amnesty International and the start of its 50th year. We were very pleased to see Liz Lynne former Rochdale MP who has always given us support and the Mayor of Rochdale Jane Gartside. We also received messages of support from Rochdale MP Lorna Fitzsimons and local actress Anna Friel
The prizes were awarded on Saturday 13th December by local MP Jim Dobbin and our MEP Glynn Ford and we thank them for their time and interest.

Following the sucess last year of our 'Candle in Every Window' event, we linked this with the Art Competition and extended the invitation to all churches in Rochdale. We prepared notes and gave an Amnesty Candle and a number of nightlights to each interested church in our area. We asked them to use them in their services that week and to ask people to take away the nightlights as part of the 'Candle in Every Window' campaign to remember all those real people being tortured or disappeared right now.

Links to other Amnesty International Sections and Groups can be found here

Worldwide Amnesty International Sections and Groups addresses can be found here

Worldwide Amnesty group contact e-mail addresses can be found here

Other Human Rights links can be found here

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Last year's Human Rights Day Activities

On Friday 13th December we held our own Non-Denominational Service at St John's RC Church in Rochdale and we are grateful for the help of Father Jed, who celebrated a very moving service with us, despite his near collapse with 'flu.

On Saturday 14th we were on the streets of Rochdale with our 'Tree of Hope' where, with the support of the people of Rochdale we were able to get around 200 dove cards signed and hung on the tree in less than two hours. It was very good to see the concern of ordinary people for those being tortured.

Earlier Campaigns

Our Prisoner of Conscience Mu'taz Qutlabi, who had been in prison in Syria for 12 years for belonging to the wrong political party, was finally released in 1996. We are now primarily working on Amnesty's national campaigns.

We had a good response to our first campaign in 1996 which centred on the 52nd session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at which our government will be represented. We had a very positive response from Liz Lynne MP who asked a number of questions in Parliament to determine what the UK government's stance is on a number of issues where to date there has been a degree of uncertainty. The areas are: Colombia, Turkey, Indonesia/East Timor, Nigeria, China and a separate action for defenders of human rights in countries where freedom of speech is not guaranteed or where to speak out too loudly could cost someone's life.

Our second campaign concerned women's rights. It was a follow up to the Women's Conference on Human Rights held last year in Beijing and started on March 8th, International Women's Day.
This highlighted a number of cases of women denied rights and culminated, for us, on 25th May when we asked the people of Rochdale to send greetings cards to women whose human rights had been violated. - to send messages of goodwill and let them know that they are not forgotten. These cards serve many purposes. While being a great source of hope and encouragement to women in prison, they also bring their cases to the attention of the prison authorities who will note their international mail. In addition, card to the families of victims can also act as a protective mechanism against further violations for the families involved.
The cases highlighted were for women in Peru, Guatemala, Nigeria, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Kenya, Morocco/Western Sahara and Cuba.
Our third campaign was to deal with Torture. You can still take action on this. Torture has reached epidemic proportions in more than 40 countries and outbreaks have been reported in 60 others. The Stop Torture Now Campaign aims to press the UK Government to step up diplomatic pressure on five key torturing states, and to ensure that UK companies do not contribute to the 'torture trade'. Amnesty International has released a report 'A Glimpse of Hell' which is available from Amnesty International UK, 99-119 Roseberry Avenue, London EC1R 4RE.
David Bull, AIUK Director, said "Torture takes place every day on every continent. It's happening to someone, somewhere in the world this minute. A Government's failure to stop torture makes it responsible for what is happening."

The five countries chosen from across the continents are:

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