Monthly Archives: June 2010

Break the silence, buy radios for Burma


To mark opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th birthday the BBC World Service will be broadcasting a special programme about the Nobel Peace Prize winner into Burma. The programme is also aired on BBC Radio 4 at 11.00am on Friday 18 June.

National Conference and Annual General Meeting 2010

Just over 500 activists and staff met at Warwick University for our 2010 AGM and National Conference on 9-11 April. We had an inspiring three days of debates, workshops and presentations. The AGM debated resolutions on prostitution, climate change, the papal visit to the UK later this year, Roma communities in Europe, Papua, strategic directions for Amnesty UK and many other issues.

To find out more on the decisions taken, photographs of the weekend and the conference highlights see

Please note the 2011 National Conference & AGM takes place on the weekend of 6-8 May at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Journalism Under Threat – Burma

At this year’s Amnesty International Media Awards, AIUK gave the Special Award for Journalism under threat not to one individual, but to all the independent journalists of Burma. This video explains why –

These journalists in Burma keep the flame of freedom burning and is of immense value in protecting human rights for those in Burma. They do so at considerable personal risk and with great courage and bravery against the odds to ensure the Burmese population know the truth and are aware of their choices. Our work as human rights activists offers support to the Burmese people and our solidarity plays an important role.

This year we are increasing our activism as Amnesty International this year as elections take place in Burma. You can find out more about our work at

Urgent Action: Prevent forcible removal of Yosief Michael Kidane

Refused asylum seeker Yosief Michael Kidane faces forced removal from the United Kingdom (UK) to Eritrea, where he would be at risk of arrest, incommunicado detention and torture or other ill-treatment, for his political activity and for seeking asylum in the UK.

To find out more and take action visit


Press Release:

On Saturday 19th June, human rights activists will join together to mark the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League of Democracy to victory in the last elections in Burma back in 1990 with just under 60 per cent of the vote. However, the ruling military junta ignored the result and she has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and has been described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “Burma’s Nelson Mandela”

In Burma, any political meeting of more than 5 people is considered an illegal act. Such a small act of defiance is impossible to do in Burma without severe consequences. Stirrer blogger, Dr David Nicholl said “In Burma, the harsh reality is that anyone brave enough to speak up against the regime can be monitored, harassed, discriminated against, detained, imprisoned, tortured and even killed. We felt that we could acknowledge solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people by meeting at 1pm on Saturday next to the Bull at the Bull Ring. We will all wear masks of Aung San’s face and a photograph taken. All the photos uploaded onto Facebook will be passed onto Aung San’s supporters In Burma. This will be a tremendous way to show that the people of Birmingham are literally ‘at one’ with the people of Burma”

This is part of a national initiative from Amnesty International to simultaneously ‘flash mob’ photos of Aung San supporters at 1pm via Facebook. Other demonstrations are taking place in Hagley, Manchester, Bath and overseas. Dr Nicholl is encouraging others to add their support and photographs via the Foreign Office Facebook page at

On Friday, Radio 4 will be broadcasting a special programme on Aung San Suu Kyi. The following day (Aung San Suu Kyi’s actual birthday) the programme will be broadcast by BBC World Service into Burma.

Dr David Nicholl

Troy Davis – the last call for justice

On 23 June, Troy Davis finally has the chance to present new evidence to a US court that could prove his innocence. Troy has spent 18 years on death row in Georgia and faced execution three times for a crime he maintains he did not commit. Add your face to our photo petition and join a day of global action on 22 June to show Georgia that the world is watching.

Take action at

Refugee Week

This week is refugee week (14th-20th June). Full information on this can be found at with information on the Simple Acts campaign referred to in the video above.

Amnesty International work on and information can be found at

In Birmingham there sadly won’t be the normal Celebrating Sanctuary festival due to a lack of funding. However there will be activities throughout the year – for more information see

Act now to save lives of women facing violence in the UK

Global Day of Action for Iran

To mark the anniversary of the disputed election in Iran which is today, Amnesty and others are sponsoring a Global Day of Action (  For more details:

To show my solidarity I’d like to share with you a video of German activists in a photo action of solidarity for Iranians entitled ‘Faces for Freedom’ – enjoy and hope you have a good weekend.

We’re on Twitter and Facebook too

If you are on Twitter then you can follow West Midlands Amnesty International at

On Facebook ‘WestMids AmnestyInternational’ can be your friend whilst we also exist as a ‘West Midlands Amnesty International’ group too.

If you’re an Amnesty activist social media is a great way to spread the message. Want me to follow or add you then leave your details below.