The campaigning activity of the group

The Southampton group is involved in many of the campaigning activities of Amnesty International. In particular our activity is focused on

  • I Welcome, campaign: This campaign for refugee rights has several aims. 1) To get the UK Government to improve asylum rights and increase its share of responsibility for hosting refugees, particularly reuniting refugee families. 2) To welcome refugees, nationally and within communities, by giving them positive experiences. 3) To build stronger and more sustainable groups and organisations working together for refugees’ rights. 4) To respond as needed to key issues such as Windrush. 5) To encourage international respect for refugees’ rights.
  • The Death Penalty: Amnesty has campaigned for 40 years for an end to all executions around the world - no matter what the circumstances. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. In 1977 the death penalty was legal in most of the world, with the exception of 16 countries. By 2018 it was illegal in 106 countries. Good news is that global executions (excluding China) fell by 31% in 2018. However, in five countries the number of executions went up, and two countries resumed executions after an interval of years.
  • Save the Human Rights Act: We will be campaigning to ensure that politicians do not take away the rights we enjoy under this Act, which many people around the world are still fighting for. It is not yet known what steps the government might take to repeal the Act and replace it with alternatives of their own choosing. Action is likely to include lobbying local and national politicians and using the media to dispel myths, highlight how the Act has been used to protect people’s rights, and make sure that attempts to repeal the HRA are not submerged in the Brexit negotiations.
  • Protecting Human Rights Defenders: This campaign, begun in May 2017, aims to reinforce and implement protection mechanisms for Human Rights Defenders against any type of violence, threat, reprisal, discrimination or pressure. We will campaign to support the crucial work of Human Rights Defenders from across the world, such as Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and to demand truth and justice for those who have been murdered, like Honduran Campaigner Berta Cáceres
  • People's Republic of China: During the year we shall be undertaking Urgent Actions on behalf of individuals in China who have been detained or victimised for their work as Human Rights Defenders. We will be calling for freedom of speech and freedom to demonstrate peacefully against curtailment of rights by the Chinese state. Following pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, Amnesty is calling for an investigation into the use of force by police which appears to have violated international human rights standards.
    Amnesty is calling on China to end its campaign of mass internment and indoctrination against up to a million Uighur minority people in Xinjiang, who are forcibly detained in camps and subject to brainwashing, torture and punishment.
  • South Asia: This region includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. Action is likely to include work on the treatment of human rights defenders in Afghanistan; the lack of religious freedom and the impact of climate change in Pakistan; attacks on minorities and extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh; discrimination against Muslim residents in Assam in India; and work for human rights defenders and people who are affected by the coal mining activities in Adivasi (tribal people) areas of India.
  • Individual at risk: Dr Eduardo Cardet, Cuba - Dr. Cardet, a medical doctor, is a human rights defender and has been leader of the pro- democracy Christian Liberation Movement since 2014. He was released from prison in May 2019. He was serving a three-year sentence due to end in September 2019. He is now living with his family but the conditions imposed on his release limit his freedom of movement and severely restrict his opportunities for employment. Although Amnesty International no longer regards Dr. Cardet as a prisoner of conscience, we will continue to press for the conditions placed on his release to be removed.
  • Individual at risk: Aster Fissehatsion and Dawit Isaak, Eritrea The long-awaited peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia has brought economic prosperity but no improvement for human rights in Eritrea. Politician Aster Fissehatsion and journalist Dawit Isaak remain in detention for publishing criticism of the government in 2002. Both are regarded as Prisoners of Conscience by Amnesty International, and their whereabouts and current welfare have never been revealed. We continue to press for their release from the harsh prison conditions which they and thousands of others endure in Eritrea.

Every month we publish a monthly action, that generally consists in writing on behalf of a prisoner of conscience or a human rights defender. Group members are requested to take part in this action.