Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s annual global letter writing event that creates positive change for people who have, or are experiencing, human rights abuses.
Write for Rights events will be happening across Australia during November and December 2016. Remember, words change lives.
The issue in depth
Write for Rights is not just about letter writing. It’s about taking some form of action for one or more of the cases – signing a petition, tweeting or emailing a country leader, or drawing a picture for someone detained. You can even hold your own event and encourage others to take part.
Last year Amnesty supporters in 182 countries completed over 3.7 million actions as part of Write for Rights. In Australia we contributed 111,000 of those. As a result:
Albert Woodfox in the US was finally released in February 2016 – 44 years after he was first placed in solitary confinement. More than 240,000 people called for his release.
In February 2016, the Burkina Faso government affirmed its commitment to eradicating early and forced marriage for the girls and young women of Burkina Faso. Over 500,000 supporters called for the protection of the girls.
Yecenia Armenta was released from prison in June 2016. She had been arbitrarily detained in 2012 by Mexican authorities and tortured into confessing to murdering her husband. Over 300,000 supporters called for her release.
Youth activists Fred Bauma and Yves Makawambala, who were imprisoned for promoting democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were released in August 2016. Over 170,000 people stood up for Fred and Yves and demanded their release.
On his release, Fred said “I am happy to finally be free after more than 17 months of imprisonment. I thank Amnesty International and all those who fought in one way or the other for my release.”
This year will be making a difference in the lives of:
- Fomusoh Ivo Feh, a student from Cameroon facing 20 years for an SMS.
- Indigenous peoples of the Peace River in Canada, struggling to save their ancestral lands.
- Ilham Tohti, a university professor in China, jailed for life for fighting discrimination.
- Shawkan, a journalist in Egypt, jailed for doing his job.
- Johan Teterissa, a teacher in Indonesia, tortured and jailed for waving a flag.
- Annie Alfred, a child from Malawi, hunted for her body parts.
- Máxima Acuña, a peasant farmer in northern Peru, attacked by police for speaking out.
- Eren Keskin, lawyer and former newspaper editor in Turkey, arrested over 100 times for speaking out.
How it works
It doesn’t take much to pick up a pen, but it means a world of difference to someone needing your help. Phyoe Phyoe Aung, pictured, was released in April 2016 after almost 400,000 Amnesty supporters called for her release during Write for rights.Watch the video