Wins: Mohamed released from prison, supporting a Voice to Parliament, working towards legislating a Human Rights Act and more

In the last few months, we’ve recorded some big wins for human rights Australia-wide. We’ve seen groundbreaking progress in our fight to end offshore detention, and increased community support for people seeking asylum. We’ve rallied local communities to support the Voice to Parliament. And we’ve kicked off Write for Rights 2023, the world’s biggest human rights event.

Here are some of the lives you’ve changed. Read on to see how Amnesty staff and supporters have campaigned for change in recent months.

The road to the referendum

The Yes walks across the country mobilised thousands of Amnesty supporters and members of the wider community, demonstrating a united front in support of the Voice and a successful referendum.

This on-the-ground activism – walks, door knocking, community activations – is uniting the public. Together we are promoting the Voice to Parliament as a vital step toward a fairer, more equitable nation.

As we approach the referendum, our Indigenous Rights campaigner Kacey Teerman wants to emphasise this crucial message:

This isn’t about party politics; it’s about human rights. It’s not Labor’s voice; it’s the voice of grassroots First Nations people, and it’s a cause we should all champion.

Kacey Teerman

What’s next?

  • Learn more about Amnesty’s campaign for the Voice
  • Read the frequently asked questions to understand The Voice to Parliament
  • Pledge to vote Yes to the Voice
  • Explore Amnesty’s Voice Activist Toolkit 2023

Calling for Australia to respect the rights of people seeking asylum

Amnesty Australia has been calling on the Australian Government for a community-led solution for refugees that really works. In good news, the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP), an alternative approach to the settlement of refugees, has marked its first year of operation with all 250+ refugee participants reporting they feel welcomed in their local communities.
Our Refugee rights campaigner Zaki Haidari says:

CRISP is a great example of how we can welcome more refugees and provide them with an opportunity to build their lives and thrive. Thank you to everyone who made this possible

Zaki Haidari

After years of campaigning to end offshore processing, the last refugee held by Australia on Nauru was evacuated in June. But it’s far from being over. The Australian Government says it remains committed to offshore processing as a policy. Over 62 refugees and asylum seekers are still being held in Papua New Guinea. And like those who have suffered in Nauru, they must be supported through recovery in the Australian community.

What’s next?

  • Take action for Australia to raise the refugee and humanitarian intake.

Write for Rights, the world’s biggest human rights event, changes lives.

Every year in December, Amnesty supporters like you sign petitions, send emails, and write letters during Write for Rights, calling for change. This year alone, seven people’s lives have changed because of your actions. Here are two such stories:
Human rights lawyer Mohamed Baker was arrested by Egyptian authorities for defending human rights for Egypt’s most marginalised community. Over 300,000 actions taken by supporters like you contributed to his freedom in 2023 after a presidential pardon and 45 months of arbitrary detention. After his release, Mohamed said that he will never forget Amnesty standing by him.

Activists from Morocco take action for Mohamed Baker © Amnesty International Morocco
Activists from Morocco take action for Mohamed Baker © Amnesty International Morocco

Yasaman Aryani and her daughter Monireh Arabshahi were sentenced to 16 years in prison from speaking out against Iran’s forced veiling laws. Due to the action of 100,000 supporters in Australia and one million supporters worldwide who demanded their freedom, they were released in February 2023.

Tweet from AIA announcing Yasaman and Monireh's release from prison.

Aleksandra (also known as Sasha) faces up to 10 years in prison for opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Supporters like you sent postcards to Sasha in prison to show solidarity and support. Her lawyers passed on this message:

I wholeheartedly thank you for your support for Sasha. Your attention warms us up at this difficult time and lets us feel that we are not left alone with the repressions, which are, unfortunately, taking place in our country.

Aleksandra Skochilenko

Amnesty continues to call for her release, and for the Russian authorities to drop all charges against her.

In 2022 more than 5.3 million people worldwide took action. Read more about the impacts and how your participation can change lives.

What’s next?

  • Learn more about our Write for Rights Campaign 2023
  • Take action for all ten Write for Rights cases
  • Explore Amnesty’s Write for Rights 2023 Activist Toolkit

We’re a step closer to protecting people’s rights in Australian law.

Over 4,000 Amnesty supporters made submissions to a government inquiry considering whether Parliament should legislate a federal Human Rights Act, and protect our rights in law. From Mudgee to Darwin, and everywhere in between, Amnesty activists and supporters told the government why they need the government to legislate an Act.

In August we spoke to Labor and Union members about why Australia needs a Human Rights Act, and what an Act would mean for workers. A few days later, the Labor conference amended the Labor Party Platform to include a call to consider a human rights charter.

This is a significant step closer to an Australia where people’s human rights are protected in our laws.

Every day we continue to campaign for a world where everyone, everywhere can exercise equal rights and fundamental freedoms. Thanks to Amnesty supporters like you, our collective impact continues to change lives.

What’s next?

Amnesty International is a global movement of 10 million people standing up for justice, freedom and equality. Together, our voices challenge injustice and are powerful enough to change the world. Find out more about what we do, our impact and our current campaign cases.