15 October 2014

Minutes for the October 2014 meeting

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 October 2014

In attendance: Barbara, Bob, Jeff, Kara, Tilo, Struan, Marsha

Actions and Updates 
  • Marsha: Letter on behalf of our case file, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, journalist in Iran
  • Marsha: Letter on behalf of Hussain Hubail, photographer in Bahrain (AI Urgent Action from 13 October 2014)
  • Barbara: Letter on behalf of Brishna, 10-year-old rape victim in Afghanistan
  • Gina (via Barbara): Letter on behalf of Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa, Indonesian national on death row in Saudi Arabia

The 2014 AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference will be held 7–9 November at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC. This year's theme is "Bringing Human Rights Home." Barbara had hoped to attend but is unable to. All AIUSA members are encouraged to attend.


Barbara attended a "Stop Torture" phone conference on 23 September. The speaker was Ann Burroughs, a former prisoner of conscience and subject of a successful AI urgent action campaign. She was imprisoned in South Africa during the 1980s for her work against apartheid. Zeke Johnson leads AIUSA's Stop Torture campaign.

Barbara reminded everyone to mark their calendars for the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June. Among the many events that day will be a march in Washington DC from Union Station to the Supreme Court building.

New Business

OUTREACH: Jeff expressed an interest in sending a handwritten note (an invitation to attend our meetings) to all AI members in our area who are not members of Group 342. The trick is to get the AI members' contact info, which AIUSA is unwilling to release to us. Jeff thinks AIUSA might be loosening up on this, and he and Barbara plan to communicate with some AIUSA higher ups about this. Marsha suggested that our group send in AIUSA a request (signed by all our group members) with this request too.

BOOK DISCUSSION: Barbara proposed doing a group read-a-long and discussion of I Am Troy Davis, by Jen Marlow (2013, Haymarket Books). All the members present agreed to this. Barbara will purchase copies of the book for everyone and distribute them at the November meeting. We will plan to discuss the book during the January 2015 meeting.

EDUCATION: Barbara did a presentation on how to prepare an appeal letter. She gave everyone a handout with step-by-step instructions for finding AI urgent actions and writing letters for them.

Upcoming Events

Meeting on Wednesday, 19 November, 7:30 p.m., Wegman's cafe in Malvern

Write for Rights event on Saturday, 13 December, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ten Thousand Villages, Exton

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