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Urgent Action Network

    Uighur activist and former AI prisoner of conscience Rebiya Kadeer holds a copy of the Urgent Action that Amnesty International issued on her behalf © Stefan Anderegg

    Your letters can protect individuals from human rights violations

    When an individual is in immediate danger as a result of the violation of a basic human right, Amnesty International can launch an Urgent Action to protect them. The massive number of appeals from concerned people around the world pressures the authorities to right the wrong.

    Typical Urgent Actions try to protect an individual from torture, unlawful arrest, “disappearance” in detention, denial of medical care, and both lawful and unlawful executions.

    Amnesty's Urgent Action Network mobilizes letter writers quickly.  You can read about the situation, follow the suggestions of what to write, and use the contact information to send your message to the appropriate authorities.

    Take action on Amnesty's most recent Urgent Action

    The power to protect people is in your pen – or keyboard! 

    See the latest Urgent Action

    Join the Urgent Action Network



      Sign-up at and receive the Urgent Action Newsletter

    To join and be contacted about Urgent Actions as they arise, send an e-mail to Marilyn McKim at with  "I want to join"  in the subject line. There is no cost to sign up. Marilyn will contact you about your preferences:  you can receive the alerts by mail or email on a schedule that you choose.

    If you have any other questions about the Urgent Action Network, contact:

    Marilyn McKim
    Amnesty International Canada - Urgent Action Office
    (416) 363-9933 extension #325


    Letter-writing works!


    The First Urgent Action

    It was four decades ago that an Amnesty International researcher, Tracy Ulltveit-Moe, created the technique. That first Urgent Action, issued for Brazilian professor Luiz Rossi who was being tortured, turned out to be successful. The last we've heard, Professor Rossi is still writing Urgent Action appeals for others at risk! 

    Resources for Writing
    Behind the Urgent Actions