Refugee Engagement Event/ Conversation in Moss Side

Greater Manchester is taking control of £6 billion of public funding for health and social from April 2016.

This will involve making decisions about some of the most important things in our lives – such as health and social care. It will also mean that transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from national government to all 37 NHS Trusts and Local Authorities in Greater Manchester.

Manchester Refugee Support Network is working across Greater Manchester to ensure that refugee voices are heard. They want to help build a collective understanding of what hinders or helps refugees and people seeking asylum from taking charge of their health and well being and making healthy choices, so they need your thoughts and experiences.

This event happening tomorrow Saturday 19th March, 11 am – 3 pm At: St James Church, Princess Road, Moss Side, Manchester, M14 4TH

Refreshments and travel expenses will be provided.

People from all parts of Gtr Manchester are strongly encouraged to attend this event.

For further details contact Belay Kahsay on 01618680777

Email: belay”mrsn.or.uk

You could go online and answer a few questions about your health;

http;//takingchargetogether.org.uk/?grp=Refugees.

 

What 8th March Means to Me

I have been asked by Migrants Supporting Migrants to write an essay for International Woman’s day. I took the opportunity to talk about some women who have been in jail or still in jail due to their humanitarian or civil activities.

”Another 8th of March has arrived and the international woman’s day is cherished in many counties around the world. However while we , in the west, celebrate this day, there are millions of women in developing or dictatorship countries who can’t commemorate simply because their government sees it as a political act and a threat against itself.

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you a few brave Iranian women who fight for women rights in Iran and have been in jail for that matter. Some still in jail as Prisoners of Conscience. Because 8th of march is their day as well and it’s true that without such brave women and their fight for equal rights we would not have had what we got now.

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Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer and activist in Iran, the winner of many human rights awards.

She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors.
Nasrin’s first work in the field of women’s rights was a diverse collection of interviews, reports, and articles for the journal Daricheh. The editor-in-chief of the publication rejected the collection which “made Sotoudeh even more determined in her work for women’s rights”. She is one of the key leaders of one million signature.

One Million Signatures for the Repeal of Discriminatory Laws, also known as Change for Equality, is a campaign by women in Iran to collect one million signatures in support of hanging discriminatory laws against women in their country.

Nasrin has been arrested a few times. Last time she was arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security and was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Evin Prison.

In January 2011, Iranian authorities sentenced her to 11 years in prison, in addition to barring her from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years. An appeals court later reduced Sotoudeh’s prison sentence to six years, and her ban from working as a lawyer to ten years.

In jail, she went on hunger strike two times. First strike was to protest being denied visits and phone calls from her family which last four weeks. Again on 17 October 2012, she began an indefinite hunger strike in protest of new restrictions placed on her family visits. She her hunger strike after 49 days following a short visit of some parliament members at Evin prison where they acknowledged and implemented her requests on lifting her daughter’s travel ban.

Nasrin was released on 18 September 2013 along with ten other political prisoners days before an address by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
to the United Nations. She has been active since her release and is being threatened by hardliners.


Read the rest of the story on the following link;

http://www.migrantechoes.org.uk/news/category/iran

the heartbreaking story of syrian refugees by Richard Flanagan

Today I read a story beautifully written on Syrian refugees by Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan in Guardian.  He visits Lebanon, Greece and Serbia to report on the plight of the 5 million Syrians fleeing their country. The story tells how families had to pack and flee their home after ISIS had appeared from nowhere; inexplicable situations which  the pen is incapable of describing.

He asked children to draw their homes in Syria and every single of them used dark colours , blue and black. One of them said ” there were no colour left after Daesh came”.

The story ends very touching ;  ”Refugees are not like you and me. They are you and me. That terrible river of the wretched and the damned flowing through Europe is my family.”

Read this unique story here;

He has also made a short film in which he shows the pictures of refugee camps in Lebanon. You can watch the video here.