TURKEY - At the time of the Tulip Festival in Istanbul, Amnesty York asked York residents to sign tulip cards for our friends in Istanbul prisons, who cannot enjoy the city’s tulip displays themselves. AI Bookshop, York AI York Next Meeting Local Events Some recent events

TURKEY - At the time of the Tulip Festival in Istanbul,

Amnesty York asked York residents to sign tulip cards for our friends in Istanbul prisons, who cannot enjoy the city’s tulip displays themselves.

pictures of imprisoned people in Turkey
people signing cards
people signing cards including York MP


Çiğdem Mater Utku (f), a film producer, Mine Özerden (f), a documentary film maker, Can Atalay (m), a lawyer, and Tayfun Kahraman (m), a town planner are serving 18 years in prison. Osman Kavala, a former businessman and arts philanthropist is serving life in prison. All were charged with offences against the state following their criticism of the Turkish government during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul in 2013.

We had an overwhelming response from passersby and signatures included that of Rachael Maskell, York Central MP and lifelong Amnesty International member.

John McDonnell MP and trade union leaders call for release of Egyptian textile workers

Protesters in UK

Leaders of some of Britain’s biggest trade unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers across public services, health, education and transport sectors have joined Labour MP John McDonnell in condemning the arrest and detention of workers from Egyptian textile factory Misr Spinning in Mahalla al-Kubra following a strike in late February. Maryam Eslamdoust, of the TSSA transport workers union, Patrick Roach of the teachers union NASUWT are two union General Secretaries backing a statement demanding the release of the 5 workers. They are joined by Julia Mwaluke, Vice-President of Unison which represents 1.3 million workers across the public sector, and Pat Davis, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of Unite, another of Britain’s largest trade unions with 1.4 million members across all sectors of the economy.

The five textile workers were arrested after a successful strike by thousands of workers at Misr Spinning’s massive factory won pay rises to combat the spiralling cost of living which has plunged millions of Egyptians deeper into poverty. Egypt’s military dicatorship criminalises strikes and protests and wants to take revenge for Mahalla workers’ defiance.

Dozens of other trade unionists who took part in the ‘Stop the Hate’ anti-racist protest in London on 16 March also backed the statement.   more online 

Hoda Abdelmoniem faces more bogus charges...

Hoda who faces bogus charges

Egyptian human rights lawyer, Hoda Abdelmoniem, rather than being released at the end of her unjust five-year sentence, was instead ordered into pretrial detention pending investigations into yet more bogus terrorism-related charges. Please find  online the Eighth UA 190/18 calling for Hoda’s release.

Hoda, 64, has been arbitrarily detained for over five years, solely in relation to her human rights work. Her health continues to deteriorate.

We are calling on Egyptian authorities to ensure that Hoda is immediately and unconditionally released.

York artist raises funds for the UNHCR and The Lemon Tree Trust

Linda Combi, a York Artist and Amnesty friend, has a beautiful exhibition now at Pyramid Art Gallery - her 52 postcards, one for each week of the year, called Oasis are reflections on migration, symbolised by the natural world.

Quote:"The postcard format expresses the desire to find tranquility, safety, beauty and hope, which war and climate change obstruct too often."

Amnesty International York logo
Amnesty International York logo

Original collages, printed cards and booklets, with proceeds being divided between UNHCR and The Lemon Tree Trust which funds refugees to build and maintain gardens in refugee camps. The Pyramid Gallery is at 43 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW

At our last meeting, on Tuesday 13th February, a fascinating talk about the situation in Ghana was given by Robert Wanjala


Abstract: The echoes of Kenya's post-election violence still linger today. Kenyans flocked to the polls on December 27, 2007, to elect leaders, who would guide the country for another five-year term. Instead, on December 30, the country descended into political anarchy, an upheaval that would most likely shape the course of the country's political history for many years to come.

What began as a disputed presidential election quickly escalated into a deadly wave of violence, leaving an indelible mark on the country's political structure. The two-month period of carnage took a horrific toll, with more than 1,300 people killed and over 600,000 people forcibly uprooted from their homes, and forced to live in run-down camps for the internally displaced.

The International Criminal Court's (ICC) efforts to hold those responsible for the violence sparked a well-known debate within and beyond Kenya. On one front, there were apprehensions that holding accountable prominent perpetrators could exacerbate ethnic tensions and impede national reconciliation. On the other side, proponents argued that the ICC's involvement in Kenya was not only morally justified but also could act as a deterrent against future violence in a country that had witnessed ethnic conflicts since the advent of multiparty politics in 1992. This ongoing discourse reflected the fundamental 'dilemma' of transitional justice—a precarious equilibrium between the necessities of justice and peace in post-conflict situations.

Our speaker, Robert Wanjala, an investigative journalist who reported on ICC proceedings both in Kenya and The Hague, will share his experiences in a politically charged environment. He will dissect the impact and challenges of the international court, at the height of demonization of the court as a tool for "global power politics and not justice."

Robert Wanjala is a trained investigative journalist and a passionate advocate for human rights, particularly media freedom and the safety of journalists. With over a decade of experience, he has extensively covered criminal justice, human rights, social and land justice, and governance issues, including corruption, gender issues, and transnational organized crime. His commitment lies in promoting balanced and independent journalism that addresses societal concerns. He is currently a Fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York


Amnesty International York logo

Milena Buyum, the senior AMNESTY campaigner for Türkiye this letter to all campaigners for the Gezi 7 prisoners in Istanbul in December 2023.

Dear all,

Together with Türkiye researcher Begüm Başdaş and Europe Research Director Dinushika Dissanayake, we visited Mücella Yapıcı and Hakan Altınay in Istanbul, the two Gezi prisoners of conscience who were released at the end of September following the overturning of their convictions. They face retrial under the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations which is set to begin in February. We will of course continue to monitor this retrial and keep you informed.

I wanted to briefly share with you both their gratitude for all the messages they received from around the world. There were many many letters… Unprompted, they explained how much difference this made to them while they were held behind bars. Hakan mentioned steady stream of letters and cards, giving the example of Amnesty activists from York in the UK, and how writing back was also very important to him. Mücella said this was one very crucial way to ensure people in prison feel they are not forgotten, a feeling that helped her a lot.

Thank you all for everything you have so far done to show solidarity with the Gezi PoCs. As you know Osman Kavala, Mine Özerden, Çiğdem Mater, Can Atalay and Tayfun Kahraman are still unjustly imprisoned. Please continue to write to them.

As you can see, our solidarity messages to the Gezi 7 are incredibly important. More are on their way as I type! Barbara L. Amnesty York

Spotlight - Myanmar

global alert banner

See these links...
Sky News Special Programme: Inside Myanmar's hidden war

Al Jazeera - Myanmar: Campaign of Terror | Bird’s Eye View

...about Noon

The Myanmar military’s decision to seize power on 1 February 2021 triggered a wave of resistance across the country. By the end of June, almost 5000 anti-coup demonstration events were reported in Myanmar. The military has responded with a campaign of violence and mass arrests. Despite the crackdown, anti-coup activists have continued to demonstrate, and some have armed themselves in self-defence. Noon, is a Ta’ang woman who has played an active role in nonviolent efforts using dialogue, discussion, social movement and advocacy to the leaders and the international community to resist the military junta's violence. She recently addressed a York Amnesty International meeting. These links provide more information.

end all dictatorship demonstration

Amnesty International Bookshop in York has relocated to 19 Micklegate York YO1 6JH.

The team from York Unlocked visited the shop earlier this month and made this video: beautiful building, welcoming bookshop.

To find out opening hours and a whole lot more follow this link


wide angle shot of york minster

Amnesty York’s installation of the sea with a flotilla of origami boats (folded by Amnesty York, York for Europe and RAY) was displayed in the Minster’s South Piazza by the Roman column on Saturday October 23rd. This was in recognition of the thousands of people who try to cross the Mediterranean each year.

The display was the focus of many passers-by throughout the day. It was also an opportunity to make new Amnesty friends and meet up with established York group members. The Revd Canon Michael Smith joined us to express his support and undertook to remember those who perish in this way at evensong at the Minster.

Of those fleeing their homelands, some seek asylum, some flee poverty. This year, more than 700 (and counting) have drowned.

The stream of people will not stop until the world works together to solve the problems which send them on their journey. In the meantime, Amnesty International is pressing for:

— the creation of safe and legal routes to Europe for asylum-seekers (to put an end to people smuggling) along with a fair asylum assessment procedure.

- the end of the practice by FRONTEX, the EU border force, in cooperation with the Libyan coastguard of forcing people back to holding camps in Libya where they are forgotten, ill-treated and die.

- the end of prosecutions of people and organisations such as Médecins sans Frontières and Save The Children International for saving lives at sea (as is current, for example, in Italy).

* NB There are about 26 million refugees worldwide. In 2020, the UK had 35,770 asylum applications.


Amnesty International York logo

Amnesty International York are actively working on Human Rights in Turkey.

Get involved in York Amnesty
    in York, UK

Amnesty International York logo

Our Amnesty York group meets monthly to plan campaigns, lobbying and fundraising events. We are always looking to welcome new members to the group. No prior knowledge required - just an interest in protecting human rights!

Join us on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm. Meetings are currently taking place at the Amnesty International Bookshop in Micklegate, York.  here 

About Amnesty International, YORK

Our group is made up of like minded people who want to do their bit to protect humanity and human rights around the world.
We organise fundraisers such as: quizzes, ceilidhs and writing competitions.

We do letter writing to support prisoners of conscience. Our group enjoys links with local organisations such as York Pride and Refugee Action Week.

We often welcome specialist speakers to our meetings, who share their first hand experiences as human rights defenders around the world. Our aim is to spread awareness of the important work of Amnesty International and encourage active engagement in standing up for human rights.

Who are Amnesty International?

Amnesty International is the world's largest grassroots human rights organisation. It has more than 10 million members worldwide. Amnesty works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

They investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilise the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. Visit the Amnesty International Website to find out more.

Time To Be Out

is a small York based charity which aims to promote the social inclusion of LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees

more information download pdf

how to support - download pdf

time to be out logo

Woman Life Freedom Collective York

women life freedon logo
An important message from our friends at the Woman Life Freedom Collective...

You may have heard the recent heart breaking news that a further two Iranian men have been executed by the regime. Please do spread awareness amongst your networks - here are profiles of those executed so far and those awaiting their death sentence. Sunday (8 January) marked the third year anniversary of the shooting down of Ukrainian Passenger Flight PS752 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that caused the death of all 176 people on board - so far no one has been held accountable. There were rallies held in London and globally in support. Please do also read, sign and share this Woman, Life, Freedom Charter that has already gained the support of over 1600 people. It is only a draft and anyone signing can add their own suggestions.

We will be holding another rally in St Helen's Square on the 18 February 2023 from 11 am. Please join us! We will update you on further details and plans for the day, but invite you to share the date amongst your contacts and to share any ideas you have for making it a rally to remember!

We will also be seeking to organise events to mark International Women's Day (8 March 2023) and will again update you on further details.

The collective is a small group of individuals from York who care deeply about human rights and the revolution in Iran. We warmly invite you to join our discussions - we aim to meet every fortnight to discuss how we can show our solidarity with the people of Iran, and we also have a Whatsapp group where we share ideas. Please let me know if you wish to join us in person and / or on Whatsapp. You can also follow us on Instagram.

With best wishes and hope for the victory of the Iranian revolution in 2023, Woman Life Freedom Collective York


The quilt comes home

the hand made quilt

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

This beautiful creation was made by thirty local groups and societies in 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. The groups were invited to design and make a square based around the Chinese proverb above. The quilt is over nine feet tall and is currently on display in the stairwell at Friargate (the Friends' Meeting House, York, where we hold our meetings) for you to come and see.


Linda Combi artwork

York artist Linda Combi has created beautiful cards to support the work of UNHCR current crisis. They’re A5 folded cards with designs on both sides, and include envelope.

For more information visit Linda's blog or e mail her directly on here.....

An individual has a right to seek asylum anywhere in the world. In practice it is easier in some places than others....