The views expressed in here are not necessarily those of the UK Section or of Amnesty International (International Secretariat)
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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 :)
Details of the National campaign on Refugees can be found here.
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
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.
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
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:
"Despite this record, the UK Government maintains friendly relations with torturing governments. It sponsors trade and investment with them. In many cases, it even offers training to their police and armed forces, even though these are the people most likely to commit torture. We want to make torture a thing of the past, and we are asking people to help us by joining our campaign" said David Bull.
Details of the cases being focussed on for the
campaign (and information about how you can help) are on
UK Torture campaign page.
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