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    March 08, 2016
    Pictured above: Girls who are victims of early and forced marriage as well as early pregnancy at the FOCEB shelter admiring solidarity letters and postcards sent as part of Write for Rights 2015. Amnesty International Burkina Faso volunteers prepared the wall display for the girls, most of whom have been disowned by their families.

      Burkina Faso's Ministry of Justice, Human Rights, and Civic Promotion has affirmed the government's commitment to eradicating early and forced marriage.

    The ministry plans to raise the legal age of marriage for girls to 18 years and to ensure that forced marriage is clearly defined in Burkina Faso's criminal code.

    March 08, 2016

     

    “When I receive all these letters saying that I’m not alone, it makes me feel great. And I think, yes, it’s true, I’m not alone. They really are supporting me.”  

    On January 29, 2016, Amnesty International visited Yecenia Armenta in prison and to deliver your letters of solidarity. Yecenia has spent more than three years in prison based on a "confession" she gave under torture. Worldwide attention was given to her case last December 10th during Amnesty International's global letter-writing event on International Human Rights Day.

    Yecenia is in good spirits and says she is immensely grateful for all the support she has been receiving from Amnesty International supporters:
     

    February 19, 2016

    Today, we celebrate the long-awaited release of Albert Woodfox, after more than four decades in solitary confinement! 

    Woodfox was the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, 

    "After four decades of isolation, Albert Woodfox’s release is long overdue and undeniably just. Nothing will truly repair the cruel, inhuman and degrading solitary confinement that the state of Louisiana inflicted upon him. But this belated measure of justice, on Woodfox’s 69th birthday, is something he has been seeking for more than half his life," said Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Risk Campaign.

     

    After four decades of isolation, Albert Woodfox’s release is long overdue and undeniably just.

    - Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Risk Campaign

     

    February 04, 2016

     

    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. 

    December 10, 2015
    10 Ways you can change a life on December 10

    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.
    Watch video


     

    December 07, 2015

    “Write for Rights, Toronto!” successfully concluded on December 5th, 2015. We will discover the number of messages penned when all the letters and cards are sorted. But more important was the number of people participating.

     

    Watch coverage of the event on CityTV News

    This year’s event was incredible because of the record attendance. We had to squeeze in three more tables. We ran out of paper and food! Our organizers were pleasantly shocked at having to make runs to nearby stores for more snacks and writing supplies. Amnesty International is made strong through the support and enthusiasm of its supporters and activists and this event was a testimony to that strength!

    December 07, 2015

    FIND AN EVENT NEAR YOU

    Hundreds of Write for Rights events have been organized in communities across Canada in the days leading up to International Human Rights Day, 2015.

    See the map of all public events on the Write for Rights webpage, or check out some of the major events here:

     

    City

    Location

    Date

    Time

    Organizer

    Aurora

    The Rectory, Trinity Anglican Church
    79 Victoria St
     

    December 07, 2015

    By Ann Douglas
    Writer, Amnesty International supporter

     

    I believe that writers can change the world.

    We have the power to tell stories and share ideas that can fuel social change. It’s both an extraordinary privilege and a daunting responsibility. And it’s a responsibility that I take very seriously, which is why I am participating in Amnesty Canada’s Write-a-thon for human rights.

    I suppose I should give credit to my Grandma Rea. She’s the one who first made me aware of the power of the pen as a tool for political persuasion. She was a long-term supporter of the work of Amnesty International. I remember her writing letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience and the wrongfully accused back when I was a teenager—an idea that had a powerful impact on me as a young person and an emerging writer. 

    December 04, 2015

    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:
     

     

     

    Albert Woodfox

    Facebook:

    Albert Woodfox has spent over 40 years in solitary confinement- 23 hours a day alone in a small cell even though no physical evidence links him to the crime the state says he committed 43 years ago. Demand his release NOW: http://bit.ly/1m04yFS

    Twitter:

    December 03, 2015

    In Toronto, Amnesty International’s Write for Rights offers our community a unique opportunity to make a difference in protecting human rights. Come and join us! Participation is free and open to everyone.

    When:  Saturday December 5, 2015 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    Where: Centre for Social Innovation (Annex)
    720 Bathurst Street (south of Bloor) Toronto

    You can also participate online or find other Write for Rights events at www.writeathon.ca

    During the annual Write for Rights campaign,  hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International supporters and activists around the world will send letters, emails, SMS messages, faxes and tweets calling for the release of activists jailed for peaceful dissent, supporting victims of torture and pointing a spotlight on other human rights abuses.

     “Our campaign promises exciting, uniting and effective activism bringing together people from all different walks of life,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.

    November 27, 2015
    Phyoe Phyoe Aung with husband Lin Htet Naing

    By Lin Htet Naing

    In March, Phyoe Phyoe Aung was locked up for helping to organize a student protest in Myanmar. After eight months in hiding, her husband Lin Htet Naing was also arrested in November. Before his arrest, he told us about his partner and their fight for justice.  

    My favourite day is April 11, 2007. It’s the day we fell in love. I love my wife because she is simple, honest and very kind to me. I think she loves me because I am a little bit bad :D. We just want a sweet home and a family together.

    I met her at a student book class in 2006. I thought she looked like a boy. And she wasn’t afraid of anyone. She was always debating with our classmates, and talking about why globalization is good.
     

    November 12, 2015

    By Catherine Brunelle, Write for Rights Support Team

    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 3.2 million letters and messages for human rights from 143 countries. Here's a list of 10 ways you can get involved:

     

    1. Start with the simple stuff

    November 10, 2015

    by Catherine Brunelle, Write for Rights Support Team

    Amnesty Canada campaigner Hilary Homes has seen many events during her work with Amnesty activists. As we approach Amnesty International’s biggest global activism day of the year, Write for Rights on International Human Rights Day, December 10, we’ve asked her to share some favourite organizing takeaways. Haven’t signed up yet? Join Write for Rights at writeathon.ca!
     

    1. Hold your event in a fun public space

    Partner with a coffee shop or library! Or hold it in a university campus common space,  an art gallery, or at the market. Think of spaces that naturally have a lot of people. It’s an easy way to boost your numbers!

    October 27, 2015
    Moses Akatugba invites you to Write for Rights on Human Rights Day
    My name is Moses Akatugba. For 10 years I was on death row in Nigeria.
     

    I was arrested, tortured and imprisoned when I was just 16 years old. I was sentenced to death.

    Police officers beat me with machetes and batons. The pain I went through was unimaginable. 

    This May, my execution was halted and I walked free. Your Write for Rights letters saved my life. Thank you.

    Please, help others who are being subjected to human rights abuses, as I was. Sign up for the 2015 Write for Rights campaign.

    I am proof your Write for Rights letters work.

    Without the thousands of letters sent in support of my case, I might never have been granted my freedom. Three other people were pardoned with me.

    Amnesty International activists like you are my heroes. You’ve inspired me to become a human rights activist – to fight for others.

    Will you join me? Will you fight to free the unjustly imprisoned as a participant in this year’s Write for Rights?

    August 21, 2015

     

    Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified US government documents to the website WikiLeaks. Two years after she was first sentenced, Chelsea tells us why speaking out against injustice can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

     

    Q. Why did you decide to leak documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? 

    These documents were important because they relate to two connected counter-insurgency conflicts in real-time from the ground. Humanity has never had this complete and detailed a record of what modern warfare actually looks like. Once you realize that the co-ordinates represent a real place where people live; that the dates happened in our recent history; that the numbers are actually human lives – with all the love, hope, dreams, hatred, fear, and nightmares that come with them – then it’s difficult to ever forget how important these documents are.

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