Write for Rights 2020: You're already changing lives!

In 2020, Amnesty International Australia supporters took over 185,000 actions as part of Write for Rights. Around the world, nearly 4,500,000 actions were taken as part of Write for Rights to challenge injustice. Check out the full report from our International Secretariat here.

Our collective actions are already making a difference and changing lives.

Challeging injustice and changing lives

Paing Phyo Min was released from prison in Myanmar on 17 April 2021!  Paing was sentenced to 6 years in prison in Myanmar following his arrest in April 2019 for peaceful satirical performances.  When asked what he would say to Paing Phyo Min’s supporters, his father said “I just wanted to say as a parent thanks so much for helping my son.”

“I just wanted to say as a parent thanks so much for helping my son.”

Paing Phyo Min’s father

On 19 February Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, imprisoned for covering protests, was conditionally released!

(C) Getty Images

“I want to thank everyone who supported me and who supported the prisoners of conscience because your support is essential for all of us.”

Khaled Drareni thanking Amnesty supporters following his release.

On Monday 8 March, International Women’s Day, the South African Police Service committed to investigating Popi and Bongeka’s case. The commitment followed a meeting where Amnesty South Africa, along with Popi’s sister Lihle and mother Nomsa, handed over 316,796 actions taken by Amnesty supporters during Write for Rights.

(C) Amnesty International

Saudi Arabian women’s rights defender Nassima al-Sada was sentenced to five years in prison – with a suspension of two years – on 25 November 2020. Nassima is expected to be released in June. Nassima’s family see the sentence as a positive development, but they continue to demand her immediate release so they can be reunited.

The direct commander of the police who injured Gustavo Gatica has now been questioned by a court in Chile. Gustavo was blinded after being shot by the police during a protest in November 2019.

The authorities in Pakistan admitted to Idris Khattak’s whereabouts and arranged a meeting between him and his daughter. They have also allowed Idris to be represented by a lawyer of his own choosing. Idris, a human rights researcher, was disappeared in November 2019.

In Australia, tens of thousands of Amnesty supporters and activists stood with survivors and took action calling on governments to ban conversion practice. On 4 February, Victoria passed world leading legislation to ban harmful conversion practices.

Australia writes for rights 

In Australia, activists organised an incredible 60 events, both offline and online. At these events, they sent more than 5,000 letters, solidarity messages and tweets! Activists also held the inaugural 10 Days of Activism, bringing together hundreds of people to hear from speakers, including poets and protesters, about human rights and take action for Write for Rights.

In February 2021, activists in Canberra handed over all the actions taken in Australia to Embassies, and met with Embassy representatives.

Sending solidarity

Supporters also wrote thousands of solidarity messages, which are being posted to people right now, reminding them they’re not alone in their fight for justice

On February 12, Amnesty International Netherlands handed over thousands of solidarity messages for women’s rights defender Nassima to her son Mousa.

Later in February, Amnesty International South Africa also handed over solidarity messages to Popi’s sister Lihle and Bongeka’s cousin Mdu.

What now?

We will continue to campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of Nassima, Idris, and all those unfairly imprisoned. We will continue to call for justice for Gustavo and for Popi and Bongeka, for all Australian states to ban conversion practices, and for governments everywhere to combat injustices and respect human rights. 

Want to get involved in a movement that makes a difference? Find out how here.