August Good Cause in St Mark’s

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We were most fortunate that during the service on 2 July, Tom Spark’s, from Amnesty international spoke to us about the work of the charity.

The charity works to protect women, men and children wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. It is the world's largest grassroots human rights organisation. It investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilises the public, and helps transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

Pauline Kelly from Amnesty International explains that this year’s Edinburgh Festival campaign is to free two imprisoned British-Iranian nationals in Iran; Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Kamal Foroughi.

‘It’s just over a year since British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin was arrested. In September 2016, she was charged with “membership of an illegal group” connected to her work with BBC Media Action and Thompson Reuters Foundation. Following an unfair trial held before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran, she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

She is currently very depressed and suffering from severe neck, arm, and back pain and has extremely limited movement in her arms. She is not receiving adequate medical care.

Kamal Foroughi, 77, was arrested on 5 May 2011 by men in plain clothes who offered no warrant or explanation for his arrest. He was held in solitary confinement for 18 months in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. In 2013, he was sentenced to seven years and one year in prison for espionage and “possession of alcoholic beverages” respectively.

He urgently needs cataract surgery in a hospital outside prison.

Nazanin and Kamal remain in prison they are missing out on precious moments with their families. Nazanin has a three-year-old daughter and Kamal is a father and grandfather. They should be at home with their families, making memories’.

For more information about Amnesty International go to www.amnesty.org.uk