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Amnesty International global campaign takes aim at British Columbia’s Site C dam

    December 08, 2016

    For the first time, Amnesty International’s flagship global human rights campaign is taking aim at a human rights case in Canada. On December 10th, activists around the world will call for a stop to the Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia – one in ten cases around the world featured for concerted action in this year’s annual Write for Rights campaign.

    “The fact that a human rights case in Canada has been selected for this campaign alongside top-priority cases in countries including Egypt, Iran, the United States and China is significant,” says Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “It speaks to the seriousness of the human rights concerns related to construction of the Site C dam and also to the level of international scrutiny which the Trudeau government will bear if it fails to change course on this issue.”

    • TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to halt construction of the Site C dam

    • GET INVOLVED: Register NOW for Write for Rights on December 10th!

    An online petition against Site C has already garnered more than 60,000 signatures since Amnesty International issued a report in August 2016 which found the hydro-electric mega-project violates Canada’s commitments to uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples and should be brought to an immediate halt. In November of 2016, a separate Amnesty International report documented extensive human rights concerns related to unchecked resource development in northeastern BC, including increased risk of violence against First Nations women and girls.

    More than 1,700 community groups, schools, faith groups and individuals across Canada have registered to participate in this year’s Write for Rights Campaign, which coincides each year with International Human Rights Day. Last year, the global Write for Rights campaign garnered participation from hundreds of thousands of activists world-wide, generated over 3.7 million messages to world leaders demanding action on human rights and contributed to major human rights victories globally. 

    Among the other world leaders being petitioned in this year’s Write for Rights Campaigns are:

    • US President Barack Obama to pardon whistle-blower Edward Snowden whose disclosures exposed a massive regime of international surveillance fraught with human rights violations. 
    • Chinese authorities to free Ilham Tohti, an economics professor and well known critic of China’s ethnic and religious policies in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). He was sentenced to life in jail for “separatism” – a charge that has often been used against Uighurs who speak out against human rights violations.
    • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei to immediately and unconditionally release activist Narges Mohammadi, who is imprisoned solely for her human rights work;
    • Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan, arrested August 13, 2013 in Cairo for taking pictures.

    For a full list of this year’s ten Write for Rights cases, and a map of the 1700 events planned across Canada, please visit www.writeathon.ca.

    For media requests, please contact:

    ·         Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations (Ottawa), +1 613-744-7667 ext. 236, jkuehn@amnesty.ca

    ·         Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations (Toronto), +1-416-363-9933 ext. 332, BBerton-Hunter@amnesty.ca

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