The Kirschen Amnesty International Letter Writing Group (Bristol)

This Amnesty International Letter Writing Group, based in Bristol, is named after my late grandmother, Margaret Kirschen, and for her husband, Leonard Kirschen, who was imprisoned for ten years in Communist Romania. Both campaigned tirelessly for human rights.

For the Youth Group based at Bristol Grammar School, CLICK HERE

Our next meeting will be held at the Westbury Park Pub and Kitchen (Henleaze) on Wednesday 5th June, at 7.30pm-9.30pm. Some people eat, some don’t. Most people have a glass of wine. This month we will be writing letters in regards to the following cases, among others:

  • Women in Saudi Arabia at risk of being sent to prison: 11 Saudi women activists on trial before the Criminal Court in Riyadh risk being sentenced to prison terms on charges related to their women’s rights activism. Many of them have campaigned against the long-standing ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, and the end of the male guardianship system. While seven women activists were temporarily and conditionally released, four others remain in detention. The 11 women remain at risk of being sentenced to prison.
  • Venezuelan politician has disappeared: On 26 April 2019, intelligence officers took Venezuelan opposition member of parliament Gilber Caro at a restaurant in Caracas, according to reports. His fate and whereabouts have been unknown since. Gilber Caro was arbitrarily detained from January 2017 until June 2018, under unfounded accusations of treason and stealing military equipment. His detention and disappearance in April 2019 are arbitrary since it reverses the freedom he was granted in June under political motives. We call on the Director of the Bolivian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) to swiftly provide information on Gilber Caro’s fate and whereabouts and to release him immediately.


An update on the case of Nazanin (30 April):

Yesterday Nazanin was allowed to see a psychiatrist outside Evin prison. This is the first treatment she has received since her treatment was blocked in September last year. The psychiatrist was shocked by her mental condition (which includes regular panic attacks, anxiety, bleakness for the future and physical restrictions, amongst other things) and the fact that she had been denied care and medication for nearly 9 months.

Following all the media coverage in Iran around the revocation of an offer of a prisoner swap by Minister Zarif involving Nazanin, Nazanin had also had a break down on Saturday.

The doctor recommended in a letter delivered yesterday to the Head of the Prison Clinic that Nazanin should be hospitalised immediately.

We have asked the British Foreign Office to press the Iranian authorities to ensure this happens and, now that she has diplomatic protection, to also visit Nazanin to check she is ok before the situation deteriorates any further. #FreeNazanin