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    January 13, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

    The Pardon Snowden campaign delivers signatures to White House; prominent supporters call for President Obama to pardon whistleblower before Jan. 20

    (New York) - Today the Pardon Snowden campaign delivered more than 1 million signatures to President Barack Obama, urging him to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden before he leaves office on January 20. The signatures delivered to the White House, totaling 1,101,252 in number, were collected by the campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Demand Progress and CREDO Action.

    “People from all over the world have come together to show their support for Edward Snowden and thank him for the public service he performed in standing up for their human rights. Edward Snowden is a hero, not a traitor, and that he remains in limbo years after sparking such an important global debate about surveillance and privacy is a gross injustice. He deserves better than a life in exile,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

    December 08, 2016

    Egyptian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release photojournalist Mohammed Abu Zeid, popularly known as Shawkan, who has spent more than three years in detention and whose court hearing takes place on Saturday 10 December, Amnesty International said today. The authorities must also drop all charges against him.

    “Mohammed Abu Zeid was simply doing his job when he was arrested, taking photographs of the violent dispersal by security forces of a sit-in at the Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in Cairo in 2013 that led to horrific mass killings. His detention by the Egyptian authorities is clearly politically motivated and he should not be held for another day – taking pictures is not a crime,” said Najia Bounaim, Deputy Director for Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Tunis Regional office.

    December 07, 2016
    Peruvian water and land defender Máxima Acuña is one of 10 individuals and communities we're taking action for during Write for Rights on Saturday, December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Join Write for Rights to stand with Máxima! 

    Máxima Acuña is a water and land defender in Peru. She has survived years of harassment, intimidation and vicious beatings by police and mining company security personnel over her right to defend the environment and her home from a massive gold and copper mine.

    Her property shares a watershed with 4 lagoons that, if the company gets its way, would be drained and turned into tailings ponds. She has been forced into court to defend her family’s property rights to the land where they live and grow crops –and she has won. In September, she was beaten severely. It is staggering to comprehend the level of violence she has endured to defend her rights. 

    December 07, 2016
    Did You Know That Your Social Media Has the Power to End Human Rights Abuses?  

    These days, many government bodies and heads of states have Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Some of these state authorities are the same once who have the power to end the human rights abuses at hand in this year’s Write for Rights cases.

    Amnesty International is asking activists from all around the world to use their social media channels for human rights. Below you’ll find sample social media posts that you can use to #Write4Rights:

    Australia: Refugees on Nauru

    Target: Peter Dutton, Minister of Immigration and Border Protection – @PeterDutton_MP

    Sample message:
    I'm writing to @PeterDutton_MP to Tell #Australia to end the abuse of #refugees on #Nauru. #W4R16 #Write4Rights
     

    Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov

    Target: President Ilham Aliyev – @presidentaz

    December 02, 2016
    Join Amnesty International supporters around the world on International Human Rights Day for our global campaign Write for Rights, and call on Iran to free women human rights defender Narges Mohammadi from prison.

    Narges Mohammadi is a prominent human rights advocate in Iran campaigning for justice and gender equality, and against the death penalty. She has been targeted and imprisoned by Iranian authorities before for her peaceful activism and has spent the last decade in and out of prison. Narges has spent the last year in Iran's notorious Evin prison, and has been sentenced to 16 years in prison following an unfair trial for trumped up national-security related charges.

    Her only 'crime' is standing up for human rights--including the rights of women and girls--amidst Iran's crackdown on women's rights and those who advocate for women's rights. Narges remains in prison because of peaceful human rights work. Iran needs to know that it is not acceptable to persecute peaceful activists. And Narges needs to know that the world is watching and advocating for her freedom.

    December 02, 2016

    World-renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is joining forces with Amnesty International to mobilize hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world to inundate the White House with messages in support of Edward Snowden, as part of the world’s biggest human rights campaign, launched today.

    The Write for Rights campaign, from 2-16 December, is also taking on 10 other human rights cases, including a jailed Egyptian photojournalist “Shawkan” at risk of execution, Azerbaijani activists tortured after graffitiing a statue, and an Indonesian teacher imprisoned for the simple act of waving a flag. (See annex for full list of cases.)

    December 01, 2016

    Amnesty supporters across the country are taking action for Write for Rights. 

    Every year on December 10th, Amnesty International celebrates International Human Rights Day with the world's largest grassroots human rights event. Last year, we sent 3.7 million letters and messages for human rights from 200 countries. 30,000 participants in Canada contributed over 35,000 actions to the worldwide total. Our activists make all this possible. 

    Want to join in? 

    1. Start your own event 

    There's still time to organize your own event for Write for Rights. 

    Hold a potluck with friends or gather at a local coffee shop to write letters. 

    Check out our tips for organizing a great event and register now! 

    December 03, 2016

    Check out the *FULL list of social media mobilizing ideas HERE*, including our Twitter Party at 4 pm EST on December 10!

    Write for Rights is just around the corner — now's the time to spread the word!
      1. Use social media to encourage friends to sign up!

    Like and Share our Write for Rights posts that you see on the Amnesty Canada Facebook page and Twitter feed OR post your own message using #Write4Rights and www.writeathon.ca!

    December 01, 2016

    By Yaridbel Licón and Victor Molina, Amnesty International Venezuela

    “I often woke up believing my strength was running out, believing I couldn’t keep going, and then I received photographs of Amnesty International human rights activists from all over the world requesting my freedom, respect for justice and for life. Infinite thanks, friends, without you I wouldn’t be here!” - Rosmit Mantilla, ex prisoner of conscience, unjustly detained in May 2014 and released in November 2016.

    On May 2, 2014, a delegation of more than 20 members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) burst into his apartment in Caricuao, a modest neighbourhood in west Caracas, where Rosmit Mantilla lived with his grandparents. A student, member of the opposition Party “Voluntad Popular” and a human rights activist, he never thought he would spend two and a half years of his life behind bars awaiting a trial against him that would never happen.

    November 30, 2016
      Join activists around the world this Human Rights Day for a 24 hour letter-writing marathon on Twitter and Instagram.

    Write for Rights is one of the world’s largest human rights events and on Human Rights Day we want the world to see how far and wide the campaign reaches, and all the great work we do to change lives.

    On December 10th, 2016 we will be using Twitter and Instagram to show that people all over the world are writing letters for those whose rights have been abused. You can find more information on Write for Rights cases here.

    Let’s show the world that human rights matter, by making the 2016 Write for Rights hashtag #W4R16 and #Write4Rights appear in conversations online throughout the day!

    3 ways to tweet with us on Human Rights Day!

     

    November 28, 2016
    Write for someone's life: SIGN UP TODAY FOR WRITE FOR RIGHTS

    Last year Amnesty supporters across the world wrote an astonishing 3.7 million letters, messages, emails, tweets and much more as part of Write for Rights. From Afghanistan to Zambia, dedicated campaigners, students, school kids and loads of others got on board. In Canada, Amnesty supporters took action in more than 1000 locations across the country, taking over 30,000 actions. Together, we demanded change on behalf of people and communities suffering appalling human rights abuses.

    And guess what? It made a massive difference. Here are five people whose lives were transformed by the power of the pen.
     

    November 23, 2016

    Join Amnesty International supporters around the world on International Human Rights Day for our global campaign Write for Rights, and protect Indigenous rights in the Peace River valley!

    The proposed $8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 km of the river valley, stretching west from Fort St. John. The severe impact on Indigenous peoples is beyond dispute. A joint federal-province environmental impact assessment concluded that the dam would “severely undermine” use of the land, would make fishing unsafe for at least a generation, and would submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

    Here are some ways you can stand with Indigenous peoples of the Peace River valley against the Site C dam:

     

    1. Send a solidarity message or photograph

    Rising Waters photo action:

    November 22, 2016
    By Catherine Brunelle, Write for Rights Support Team

    Amnesty International is inviting you to help change lives on December 10, International Human Rights Day, with the world's biggest grassroots event for human rights: Write for Rights! Last year we sent 3.7 million letters and messages for human rights from more than 200 countries. Here's a list of 10 ways you can get involved:

     

    1. Start with the simple stuff

    Sign up at Writeathon.ca! From there you can sign e-petitions and stay in the loop on cases to be featured on December 10. 
     

    November 22, 2016

    So you've signed up to host a Write for Rights event. THANK YOU! Your time and enthusiasm means more people are taking action for human rights on December 10! (Haven't signed up yet? You can still sign up HERE!)

    We've put together a few tips to help you make the most of your event, whether it's just a few people in your living room or a big event downtown!

    1. Spread the word!

    If you were selling tickets for your Write for Rights event, how would you publicize in advance? Those strategies will work for building up your presence on the day. Feature a Write for Rights case a day on your blogs or Facebook page. Poster the local libraries and telephone poles with news of the event. Spice up your social media profile pics with a special Write for Rights overlay! We’d also love to hear your ideas for getting the word out!  

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