Saudi women’s rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison in December 2020. 

She has since been released on strict probation conditions and faces a five-year travel ban. Despite her release from prison, Loujain is far from free.

Loujain’s unjust imprisonment

In May 2018, Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested and detained without charge or trial. For the first three months of detention, Loujain endured torture, sexual abuse and other ill-treatment and had no access to her family or lawyer.

Loujain is a women’s rights defender who peacefully campaigned for an end to the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia and fought for women’s right to drive. For this, she was convicted of trumped-up charges, including “spying with foreign parties” and “conspiring against the kingdom.” 

In December 2020, Loujain was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, with partial suspension of two years and 10 months, including the time she had already served in detention since May 2018. She has appealed her sentence. 

Loujain’s conditional release

On 10 February, Loujain was conditionally released from prison.

Despite her release from prison, Loujain is not free yet. She continues to face probation, which means she faces the risk of re-imprisonment and a travel ban of five years. In addition, she continues to be denied access to justice and accountability for her allegations of torture.

Email the Saudi embassy and call on them to help ensure that Loujain’s sentence is quashed, that her travel ban is lifted and her allegations of torture and other ill-treatment whilst in prison are investigated. Furthermore, the Saudi authorities should ensure Loujain is able to safely continue her human rights work without intimidation or fear of prosecution.


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Sam Murray’s Response to Tim Lockington’s Musing

Here Saint Margerets Ward Residents Association Ipswich Lib Dem Tim Lockington has written a piece slagging off the vaccine rollout..

It starts,

I am not an algorithm!

Do you remember the Drama series “The Prisoner” and the memorable line, I’m a free man too and centre stage, “I am not a number, I am a Free Man”?

I’m a free man too and I am not a Vassal of the EU either. If he believes in freedom, why is he against Brexit and what did he have to say about Lockdown?

He then attacks the government for vacccinating vulnerable groups first.

Here Sam Murray shares the bigger picture that Tim would be unaware of due to never venturing beyond Ye Grande Duchy of Lockingtonshire also known as Saint Margerets.

She says,

Today I read a blog from Ipswich Lib Dem Cllr Dr Tim Lockington about his vaccine reflection. It’s the first time I have noticed a blog from the local Liberal Democrats and was interested to see what he had to say. He begins by claiming he is not a number but an individual and should be treated as one when it comes to this vaccination rollout. He doesn’t want the programme to be run in the way it has been run, by using a priority system created on those statistically most at risk based on factors such as health and age. Though Dr Lockington strongly suggests the priority system is only on age which is simply not true.  He goes on to complain that he was able to get a vaccination but was unable to pass it down to his son who he felt was more at risk because he is a teacher.

Now I have in the past shared this opinion. I believed that teachers should have been given priority, but that’s because I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture and at that stage was hidden away from the real world and wasn’t seeing the individuals walking into the vaccine centre I am volunteering at. You see it’s easy to look at something in a very simplistic way as I have been guilty of and say of course teachers should be priority. But now as I grow, and I’m exposed to the real world instead of being isolated at home relying on news headlines, I can confidently say my opinion on this was wrong. It is somewhat ironic for Cllr Lockington to start off by saying he wanted to be treated as an individual but then calls for a group of people who are not statistically more likely to die of this horrible pandemic to be prioritised over extremely vulnerable individuals who are currently being vaccinated. Isn’t this treating people as numbers?  

I remember recently seeing Dr Therese Coffee MP reply to someone, asking them who they would like to see be pushed down the list to prioritise teachers? She is absolutely right. Teachers are predominantly healthy females who are at less risk of being seriously ill if they catch coronavirus. Would you like us to say to our severely disabled that they need to wait at home because they are not “frontline” even though they are still more likely to die without a vaccination?  Because this is the real reality here.

No system will be perfect, especially when we are trying to vaccinate such high numbers of people, and yes there will be the self proclaimed 65 year old in “mercifully good health” who will get a vaccine before someone else. But there must be a system in place and anyone that thinks otherwise should not be allowed anywhere near the decision-making process.

Unlike Dr Lockington, I am not medically trained, but I am aware that the vaccination does not stop you getting Coronavirus, it also doesn’t completely stop you passing it on to someone else. What it does, is hopefully protects you from dying if you were to get the virus. So now that I have that understanding, which admittedly I didn’t fully have a little while back, I can say that I disagree with the notion that a group of people who statistically are a low risk of being hospitalised or dying based on their job should jump a queue.

Where I do believe your occupation should be taken into account is in circumstances where you are exposed to vulnerable people such as carers and NHS wokers. It was reported 3 days ago that a single does the Pfizer cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission. Essential for reducing the spread to vulnerable people. Children statistically are not vulnerable in these circumstances. (I am of course not including SEN schools) Dr Lockington claims that asymptomatic spread has “been managed by Lock-downs and by testing, not altogether reliable, but has not featured in vaccine policy.” If this was the case then why were care home staff prioritised for the vaccine and how has 80% of NHS workers been given their first dose? Cllr Lockington’s claim is simply not true.

The prioritisation system will no doubt have the odd Lockington slip through the net, but overall will be one of the greatest success stories this country will have in my lifetime. To tear this apart, the way Ipswich Lib Dems have, is a kick in the teeth to all those who are working hard to get these vaccines in the arms of our vulnerable in society. Though we would all love for our family members to be given the vaccine as soon as possible, we do all have to accept that there are others who are in need first and perhaps the young music teacher and son of an Ipswich councillor, if in good health will have to wait until those who are not in such good health and those with disabilities are given the protection first.

Now that I am seeing first hand the impact this programme is having on individuals, I am not only full of pride and admiration towards every single person involved, but I am reminded of the individuals I see come into the centre. Each with a story and who we are protecting. Every single shift I do, I reflect on the people I see come in and how much relief and hope they have as they say thank you and leave. Also trust me when I say, they range from all ages and all walks of life. What they have in common, is they are at risk somehow and we are giving them the protection they need.

Sam Murray

I need to add nothing.

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The Great Lockdown Debate: Chris Snowdon vs. Toby Young | 24-Feb-21

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Investigate press coverage of Covid-19 outbreak as part of any public inquiry

We feel that some of the media has not conducted itself in a way that was helpful into reducing deaths and cases of covid in the UK and we feel their role and behaviour during this time must be included in the analysis of all decisions made and of the effect it had on outcomes.

The country needed to have a combined effort of the government, opposition, NHS, armed forces, volunteers and main stream media.
We feel much of the media was detrimental to the number of lives at risk of dying by misinformation, half stories, harassment and causing confusion. An investigation into their behaviour should be included in any public inquiry to change behaviour for the future safety of the nation.

Sign petition here

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Latest from Therese Coffey


Although infection rates are continuing to fall in Suffolk, it is still really important we all follow the rules and do what we can to limit journeys away from our homes. The Prime Minister will be making a speech on the 22nd of February setting out the roadmap for how the current restrictions can start to be relaxed in a managed way.

Vaccines: After a steady start, vaccinations are now happening at pace in Suffolk with our area contributing to the successful national effort in vaccinating the first 4 priority cohorts by last weekend. Previously, I raised concerns when it was clear that the cohort priority was not being followed unanimously. As an MP, I think it right to let the NHS get on with the programme but I also have a duty to hold them to account, which I have done. I’m pleased that saw a rapid response.
Whilst the Beast from the East led to some unavoidable closures, a special thanks go to the hardy team at Felixstowe, who shovelled away the snow to keep their vaccine programme running.
Due to the largely rural nature of Suffolk Coastal, I’m also pressing the Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, for more doses of AstraZeneca as unlike the Pfizer vaccine, it doesn’t have to be stored at such low temperatures and you can split the vials, meaning it is easier to take out to housebound patients.
I have also visited vaccine centres in Felixstowe, Saxmundham, Leiston, Trinity Park and Ipswich.
For the latest information on the restrictions and help and support available for businesses please see here.
 2. Energy/Environment

Scottish Power Renewables: I’m continuing to engage with the Planning Inspectorate hearings into the SPR proposal for huge substations at Friston and the associated cabling corridor from Thorpeness. I have made both written and verbal submissions against the proposal, which, if approved, would have a devastating impact on the local area including elements of the AONB. Instead, I continue to suggest more appropriate locations like the brownfield site at Bradwell.
 3. Health & Care

NHS Briefings: I’ve attended numerous briefings from the Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital, Nick Hulme and Ed Garratt and Melanie Craig who head up our local NHS Commissioning Groups. It is good news that hospital admissions are continuing to decrease. It’s reassuring that our hospitals are still carrying out all cancer treatments too.

NHS Dentists: I met the Head of Commissioning for NHS England, David Barter to discuss NHS dentist provision in Suffolk Coastal, which is especially important following the closure of (My)Dentist in Leiston. NHS England is developing a new Dental Strategy for the East of England.
 4. Education

Schools will not fully re-open until at least the 8th of March. More detail will be set out on this shortly. In the meantime, a huge thank you to our teachers who are keeping schools open for the children of critical workers and to those parents who are homeschooling.
 5. Business
Freeports: I was proud to host the launch of Freeport East alongside Clemence Cheng, Executive Director of Hutchison Ports. Freeport East is a collaboration between the Ports of Felixstowe & Harwich, EDF and Ryse Hydrogen to create a single customs zone alongside innovative plans for green energy. Felixstowe is, of course, the UK’s largest container port and Harwich an important terminal for roll-on/roll-off non-containerised freight. The government is looking to create 10 freeports across the UK and are due to make an announcement soon. If successful, Freeport East would be a great boost for employment and prosperity on both sides of the Harwich Haven with over 13,500 jobs created.
 6. Constituency & Suffolk Matters

Howard House Surgery: I visited the Felixstowe GP Surgery to meet the team and thank them for their Covid-19 response.
Halesworth Community Larder: I visited the community larder in St Mary’s Church to thank the volunteers who run this vital service.
 7. Parliament & Ministerial Matters

Brexit: We left the EU on the 31st December 2020 with the Prime Minister able to negotiate a free trade deal based on zero-tariffs. Meaning that not only are businesses able to continue to trade smoothly within the EU, the UK is also free to strike free trade deals with non-EU countries, opening up new markets. An example of our new freedoms is no longer having VAT on women’s sanitary products, rather than the 5% which was the lowest rate we could have while operating under EU rules. I know many will welcome the complete ban on pulse fishing in our waters and no longer will new migrants be able to export child benefit. Now that the comprehensive deal with the EU has been done, I hope we will unite as a country and make our nation an even greater place to live, work and enjoy.
Kickstart: As Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, I’m pleased that our Kickstart Scheme, launched in September, has now created more than 120,000 job placements for young people – with their wages paid for by the government. To encourage more employers of all sizes to join our scheme, I am removing the minimum 30 vacancies requirement to enable more employers to apply directly to the Kickstart programme.
 8. Other Meetings & Events

– I attended various meetings to discuss the Freeport bid.
– I attended the Joint Local Authority meeting on Sizewell C.
– I attended a roundtable to discuss digital connectivity in the eastern region.
– I attended a County Landowners Association meeting to discuss Sizewell C.
– I visited the rapid Covid-19 test centre in Brackenbury Sports Centre in Felixstowe.
– I attended a SEAS (Suffolk Energy Action Solutions) campaign meeting to discuss the EA1N and EA2 wind farm projects.
 9. Next Surgery

I’ve held a number of online surgeries throughout the coronavirus pandemic. To make an appointment please call my office on 0207 219 7164.
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Where we are with Covid

Cases are continuing to steadily decline.

Here’s the raw data,

What overall data says is positive therefore the BBC decided to inform us that in some areas of the country it’s going up. But then that’s the nature of averages. Some areas go up and others go down. As they only named to areas, they were just trying to scare people. I have also been informed that Sage members have been prophesying doom over the last 24 hours. I haven’t heard any of them lately though. I saw one on the telly earlier but they were going as I put the telly on, so fortunately I missed him.

The Rolling 14 day death figure (announced – as opposed to date of death) continues to fall at a dramatic rate. The black line appears near vertical.

Here is the rate of change of deathes announced.

The lines are converging and each day the total is droping by 4%.

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Ipswich Labour Councillors Involved in a hate group.

A number of Ipswich councillors for Labour are members of a hate group on Facebook. On the group, these Labour councillors post lies about The excellent Conservative MP for Ipswich, Tom Hunt.

They refused to allow someone to join their purile, bigoted hate group because they were convinced he wanted to join the group to spy on them. But as their group has already been infiltrated, such defensive action would be pointless.

Labour councillors active in the hate group include Grant, Hughs, Trenchard, Colin Smart and Charlie Chaplin Daniel Maguire. There’s also a number of LAbour candidates in the group including Paul Bones.

Years ago, a Labour councillor, who to his credit, does not appear to be a member of the group, didn’t like us Conservative bloggers giving Labour councillors nicknames. I wonder what he has to say about his comrade, Elizabeth Hughs using stupid nicknames like Huntymachuntface.

One member of the group posted a poll asking if Tom was the worst MP in living memory. The result was odd because they all look to be older than 14 months. By what they’re positng they seem to be about 4 at the most.

They also like to notify each other when Tom Hunt is doing a survey to skew the results. Of course, our inteligence sources are aware of this including our spies within the group.

Can somebody find her dummy?

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Lib Dems Declare War on Free Speech and then Retreat Immediately

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A Letter to the Lib Dems

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