"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts"
Congratulations on what we accomplished together on International Human Rights Day!
Tens of thousands of letter writers in 80 countries gathered on December 10th for what has become the world's annual biggest human rights event, Write for Rights. We focused on our energies in 2012 on 12 urgent human rights cases, and wrote letters, signed petitions and raised our voices in celebration of human rights.
And we're getting results, as we hear positive responses from governments and hear heartwarming "thank yous" from recipients of our solidarity messages. .
Our Write for Rights letter-writing counter has surpassed the remarkable total of 1.9 million letters: that's 1,913,319 letters and messages written by Amnesty International supporters around the world.
Thank you to the letterwriters for being part of this incredible day of solidarity and action!
Read our final report: Letter Writing Marathon 2012
In Canada, nearly 30,000 participants wrote persuasive letters to authorities, urging an end to human rights abuses. Many of of you also chose the option of writing letters of hope and solidarity directly to the people featured in our actions.
Write for Rights will be return on December 10th, 2013 and we sincerely hope you will join us.
At Amnesty International we campaign with passion and dogged determination on behalf of individuals who are experiencing human rights abuses around the world. And we're going to keep campaigning for freedom and justice for the individuals we featured as part of Write for Rights.
Read some heartwarming words of thanks from people who received our messages of solidarity
|150 greeting cards written in Canada for the former Coastei community in Romania|
Claudia, from the Coastei street community, Romania:
“Thank you very much to everyone for the letters that have been sent to the mayor, and also for the letters of solidarity that we received. We feel very much supported and we have confidence that with your support from around the world we will succeed. We do not give up because we know we have so many people that are standing by us in the fight for justice. We are really touched to know that people from all over the world are thinking about us and have written to us. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”
Two years ago, 350 people from the Coastei community in north-western Romania lost their homes when they were forcibly evicted by local authorities. They were not given any written or detailed communication or sufficient notice - the evicted families were only told that they needed to move themselves and their belongings within two days!
|David and Christian of the Bodo community, Nigeria|
Dinebari David Vareba, from the Bodo community, Nigeria:
“I think this solidarity, I would say, is the highest we have had…. assisting the Bodo people to actually have a better situation in the disaster which they had. I am so impressed by first of all, Amnesty International organizing this, for inviting us.”
In 2008, two consecutive oil spills, caused by faults in a Shell pipeline, resulted in thousands of barrels of oil polluting the land and creek surrounding Bodo, a town of 69,000 people in Nigeria's Niger Delta. No proper clean up has ever taken place. The Bodo community had some recent good news, when the court of the Economic Community of West African States ordered the Nigerian government to punish oil companies over pollution. But pressure is needed to make sure that the government adheres to this judgment.
In an inspired act of generosity for Human Rights Day, Christian & David from Nigeria's Bodo community, wrote messages of support to people who lost their homes in the Coastei community in Romania.
|Hundreds of dove messages to send to Colombia|
Luis Evelis, Indigenous people at Risk, Colombia:
"Your letters and expressions of concern about this grave emergency can help prevent Indigenous Peoples from being wiped out. So that we don't lose these cultures, their wisdom; entire Indigenous Peoples, human beings."
Amnesty International Canada is raising the profile of the threats to Indigenous peoples in Colombia through a photo gallery that is touring the country. During Write for Rights, many schools in Canada got involved in writing on the pressing issues: teachers at Mount Royal Collegiate in Saskatoon and Beaverlodge Regional High school in Beaverlodge, Alberta, for example, got their students involved and sent in packages full of dove messages to President Santos. Children as young as 5 prepared dove images and adults wrote thoughtful solidarity messages.
Taghi Rahmaniosa, husband of Narges Mohammadi, Iran:
“Your organization has always been a great support for me and I say that as someone who has spent 14 years of my life behind bars. My wife, Narges Mohammadi and I, as human rights activists, have always been warmed by Amnesty International’s dedication to promoting human rights.
For me, Amnesty International is the symbol of an organization that wants human rights for all people. An organization that, free from any political affiliations, urges governments and other entities to respect human rights."
Narges is an Iranian women’s rights activist and a mother of 5-year-old twins who was sentenced in April 2012 to six years in prison on charges related to her human rights work.
Yolanda Oquelí, Guatemala
"Its the most beautiful thing I've received in my life! I'm going to frame them. There are some drawings from children of 8 and 9 years old that are so pretty!".
Prior to Write for Rights, Yolanda Oquelí was the subject of one of Amnesty International's ongoing Individuals at Risk actions, after she was shot for speaking out against a proposed mining operation in Guatemala. Following our campaigning in the fall, authorities responded by providing her with protection, but activists in her community continue to be the subject of violent attacks.