Millions of people around the world set to Write for Rights to mark International Human Rights Day
Amnesty International supporters and human rights activists from more than 100 countries around the globe are taking part in the world’s largest annual human rights event around International Human Rights Day December 10 with a two week campaign.
Called Write for Rights, the event mobilizes supporters to put pen to paper or send electronic messages on behalf of individuals and communities suffering from brutal human rights violations including arbitrary detention and torture.
Supporters in Canada are signing petitions, writing letters, participating in events and posting tweets calling for justice, freedom and protection from human rights violations. Some of the cases, amongst others, include:
|"Write for Rights epitomizes what Amnesty International is all about – individuals helping other individuals, wherever they might be. It is a unique and extraordinary event that brings together millions of people in a bid to secure justice for men, women and children around the world."|
|Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada|
• A fair trial for Canadian citizen and ethnic Uighur, Huseyin Celil serving a life sentence in China for his human rights activities in support of the Uighur people. Huseyin Celil’s case is of special interest to Amnesty members in Canada who have been campaigning since 2006 for his safe return to his family in Canada.
• Proper compensation and medical assistance for the victims of Bhopal who still await justice after the 1984 gas leak disaster which killed more than 22,000 and left half a million injured.
• Real action to end violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
• The release of Raif Badawi, whose family are in Quebec, and who was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 2012 for posting pro-democracy messages on the internet.
Canadians can join Write for Rights events on December 10 from coast to coast.
Here is just a small sample of events happening across the country:
• ‘Invitation to Write for Rights’ at Margaret Hennigar Public Library, Bridgewater NS
• Ottawa Write for Rights and Winter Barbecue
• Schools in Barrie, ON, raise Amnesty’s flag at City Hall to mark Human Rights Day
• Lethbridge Action Circle at The Owl Acoustic Lounge
• Letter-writing at the Vancouver Public Library
• Youth “Dance for Rights” in the streets of Montreal
• Write your own letters or tweets at home, work or school online
For further details of the over 240 events or to register online, visit www.writeathon.ca.You can also join a thousand more individuals writing on their own.
Artists, writers, actors and musicians, including Nino Ricci, Margaret Atwood, Deepa Mehta, Fiona Reid, Eric Peterson and David Usher, have been lending their support for this massive day of mobilization.
“Write for Rights epitomizes what Amnesty International is all about – individuals helping other individuals, wherever they might be. It is a unique and extraordinary event that brings together millions of people in a bid to secure justice for men, women and children around the world,” said Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada’s Secretary General.
“The campaign is a great demonstration of the power of individual peaceful protest.”
Write for Rights was first launched in 2003. Since then, many activists featured in the campaign have been released from prison while others saw their conditions improved. Investigations have also been initiated into dozens of cases of arbitrary and unfair imprisonment, torture and other human rights abuses.
“Write for Rights clearly shows that concrete change can take place when people are determined to make it happen. Every year our activists empower and strengthen individuals whose human rights are under threat. In 2014 we are calling particular attention to cases involving torture. That Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 1000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for speaking out for democracy is an outrageous sentence that serves as a rallying cry for all Canadians and human rights supporters around the world. We are determined to challenge injustice and change lives,” said Alex Neve.
For further information:
Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations
(416) 363-9933 ext. 332