Write for Rights
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 3.2 million letters and messages for human rights from 143 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!
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!
Sample Social Media Messages:I’m joining #Write4Rights because a letter can change a life. Are you? www.writeathon.ca You're invited to the #Write4Rights letter writing party in #Hamilton! www.writeathon.ca Write a letter. Change a life. Join me for this year’s #Write4Rights: www.writeathon.ca
You can also include your favourite Write for Rights video!
This Human Rights Day, December 10th, people around the world will be joining Amnesty to write for rights. In this blog post, we are going to share with you how to engage the world and your country in celebrating the power of letter writing and defending human rights. If you have not yet registered with Write for Rights, visit our website and be sure to sign up. You’ll find our featured 2016 cases, and ideas on how to host your own letter-writing parties.
This year, Amnesty International will be using Twitter to create an online wave of speaking out for human rights through YOUR tweets about Write for Rights. 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 entire day.
Here’s how you tweet along on Saturday, December 10, 2016:
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.
Have you ever wanted to make a difference, but then felt totally overwhelmed by that massive idea? We all have the potential to impact our world for good, often by simply supporting a cause already in motion.
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.
By Gloria Nafziger, Amnesty International Canada's Campaigner for Iran
Where would you spend a Sunday in July?
On Sunday July 17, the members of Amnesty International’s TriCities Group in Coquitlam BC chose to stand in solidarity with Iranian prisoner of conscience, Narges Mohammadi
Narges Mohammadi is a human rights defender who received a 16-year prison sentence after she was convicted, following an unfair trial in April 2016, of the charges of “founding an illegal group”, “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, and “spreading propaganda against the system”. She is already serving a six-year prison sentence from a previous case. Her convictions are based solely on her human rights work.
Narges is critically ill. She suffers from a pulmonary embolism (a blockage in the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs) and a neurological disorder that has resulted in her experiencing seizures and temporary partial paralysis. She needs ongoing specialized medical care, which she cannot receive in prison, as well as daily medication.
With a new trial set for July 12, Saman Naseem – who featured in Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign Write for Rights in 2015, sends a message to his supporters.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world showered Iran’s authorities with appeals for a fair retrial for Saman Naseem. He had been sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was just 17 and scheduled for execution in February 2015. He was, however, spared execution after Amnesty launched a worldwide campaign on his behalf. Saman was granted a retrial, which is due to begin on July 12. In the days leading up to this, and with another possible death sentence looming, Saman wrote this message to everyone who has taken action to save his life.
Hello and greetings to you all,
“We are inspired and deeply honoured to have the support of so many individuals in our fight to stop the proposed Site C Dam." - Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations
West Moberly is one of the First Nations in the Treaty 8 region of northeastern BC that vigorously objected to the Site C dam through the environmental assessment review process. The report of that independent review set out a clear case against the dam, including the irreversible harm that it will cause to one of the few remaining areas where West Moberly and other First Nations can exercise their rights, the destruction of hundreds of cultural sites, and the province's failure to properly other, less harmful alternatives.
We're still celebrating the release of scores of prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, including student leader Phyoe Phyoe Aung, on April 8!
And now we get to take a moment to reflect on how amazing March was for human rights – activists were released, unfair laws were changed, and people who committed serious human rights abuses were brought to justice. We’ve picked out 15 successes, wins and pieces of good news, and they were all made possible thanks to your support.
>> For the latest good news stories, click here!
By Ann Douglas
Know a young person who is passionate about social justice—who is eager to make the world a better place, starting right now?
Let that young person know about the Lifesaver program. Lifesavers are free monthly actions for kids aged 9 and up. The actions involve writing letters on behalf of an individual or group whose human rights are in jeopardy. https://www.amnesty.ca/get-involved/youth-activism/lifesaver
Recent Lifesaver actions have offered support to:
To mark the World Day Against Cyber Censorship, Edward Snowden talks to Amnesty about how governments are watching everything we do online, and why we must bring mass surveillance back under control. Follow Ed on Twitter @Snowden
Today, the government is granting itself the power to police every citizen’s private life. Every man, woman, child, boy, girl. It doesn’t matter who you are, how innocent or not innocent you are, they are watching everything you’re doing. They’re intercepting it, analyzing it and storing it for increasing periods of time.
The fact that we’ve got agencies like the GCHQ looking through webcams into people’s bedrooms, into the four walls of their homes, is terrifying. The NSA is collecting billions of phone location records a day, so they know where you got on the bus, where you went to work, where you slept and what other cell phones slept with you. We have to ask: “Do we want to live in a society where we live totally naked in front of government, and they are totally opaque to us?”
Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid (known as “Shawkan”) has spent nearly 1,000 days in jail after photographing the violent response of security forces to a sit-in protest in Cairo. He has been tortured in detention and now faces trumped-up charges which could lead to life imprisonment. Ahead of his trial on 26 March, he sent Amnesty this letter about his experiences in prison.
At 7:45am, a tall, hard-hearted and thick-minded informant with barely recognizable facial expressions shows up; his accent betrays his countryside origins. His mission and assignment inside the prison, like his other “team” members of informants, are to stand near your head and shout the following: “Stand up buddies, all of you; it is inspection time”.
THANK YOU to all Write for Rights participants for creating amazing momentum on December 10th, International Human Rights Day!
We could actually feel the wave of energy from east to west as thousands of Canadians gathered from coast to coast to write letters, tweet and even draw pictures for our annual global letter-writing marathon.
Supporters of all ages organized a record-breaking 1,700 public and private events in homes, schools, cafes, workplaces and more to send strong human rights messages to world leaders and to stand in solidarity with people facing human rights abuses.
On International Human Rights Day, a wave of human rights activism is spreading across the globe. Get yourself inspired, and make your own ripples, to bring hope and justice to people whose rights need protecting today, on the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1. See what it's all about in 60 seconds
Watch “Write like someone’s life depends on it”, a one minute video narrated by television host George Stroumbouloupolous.