Amnesty Human Rights Group
Mr. Tidswell and Miss Furniss have started an Amnesty Human Rights Group who meet every Thursday lunchtime. The purpose is to identify causes/countries where justice, fairness, freedom and truth is denied - qualities that we so often take for granted. The group have only been meeting for a short while but have already taken action on two causes. See attached letters for more information.
Mr. J. C. Fletcher
"Dear Mr Grieve,
I am writing to you, as a Year 10 student at The Beaconsfield School and as your constituent, to implore you to call on the government to improve the support of Amnesty International UK’s campaign for women’s rights to be protected in Afghanistan.
I firmly believe this is an incredibly important cause to support because there has recently been an increase in attacks against high-profile Afghan women and Afghan Women’s Human Rights Defenders who are among the most active agents for change in their communities. Their work is essential in promoting peace and stability, supporting families and in holding the Afghan authorities to account. Yet they face extreme challenges, for example:
Parween, a Head Teacher from Laghman province, was targeted for running a girls’ school. After receiving repeated threats from unknown men warning her to stop working, her son, Hamayoon, was abducted and killed.
Dr. D. works as a gynaecologist providing healthcare to women suffering from abuse, including rape and domestic violence. She has told Amnesty International how the Taliban targeted her as a result of her work, murdering her brother and badly wounding her 11 year old son in a grenade attack.
How is it fair that we, here in England, have so much, even though we have just gone through a double dip recession, we are still pretty well off, while Women in Afghanistan don’t even have some basic human rights?
Amnesty International is urging the UK government to become a champion for women human rights defenders in Afghanistan and to be a leader in improving support and protection to them. The UK government should develop a country specific plan for supporting human rights defenders in Afghanistan. Such a plan could stimulate work in this area, ensuring UK staff, in Afghanistan are aware of the risks faced by Women’s Human Rights Defenders and equipping them with an understanding of practical measures to support their work. The Foreign Secretary has championed support for women human rights defenders through his Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. Please write to him asking him to ensure this expertise is applied in Afghanistan and that supporting women human rights defenders is prioritised there, through developing and implementing a country specific plan of support.
Thank you very much for reading this and hopefully taking action,
Charlotte, Year 10
Member of the Amnesty Group at The Beaconsfield School"
'His Excellency Mr Nkwelle Ekaney
High Commission for the Republic of Cameroon
We are a group of students from The Beaconsfield School and members of the Amnesty International campaigning organisation. We are writing to you because we have just heard about the unnecessary and preventable death of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede. After contracting a hernia in prison, his family denied him treatment because they saw his alleged homosexuality as a ‘curse on the family’. This opinion is a direct result of your countries’ criminalisation of a persons’ sexuality.
We are deeply concerned that people in Cameroon still face harassment, arrest and imprisonment because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Authorities are detaining an increasing number of people on charges of “homosexuality” under Section 347a of Cameroon’s Penal Code, a law that contravenes Cameroon’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
We respectfully urge you to combat homophobia in Cameroon by repealing Section 347a of the Penal Code and by immediately and unconditionally releasing all those imprisoned solely because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. We further call on you to ensure the safety of these individuals while they remain in detention. Thank you.
The Beaconsfield School Amnesty Group'