Did you know you could help support someone’s freedom with just the flick of your pen? Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights campaign is here again. It’s the world’s biggest human rights campaign, each year garnering millions of letters calling for justice for people who have spoken up for human rights and in turn have had some of their rights oppressed or withheld from them.
Often, the human right effected is their freedom of expression, which is the right for all of us to freely express our opinions and beliefs. Sometimes when people speak out about the way they live, their beliefs and actions get them in trouble with their government. Sometimes they may have written a poem that said something the government didn’t like, or maybe they wore something their government didn’t like; some governments who disagree with people’s opinions may put them in prison to stop them speaking out. In human rights terms, and in international human rights law, we call this an abuse of people’s freedom of expression.
Write for Rights gives other people the resources to support the person whose rights are being limited or oppressed completely.
And your support matters!
Last year over six and half million actions were taken – an annual increase for the 18th consecutive year. These are mainly people writing letters of support, or writing letters or signing petitions that ask certain governments to do certain things. The case of Yasaman Aryani in Iran received over one million actions alone, her sentence for handing out flowers on a train unveiled was reduced. Last year’s campaign also saw people who had been put in prison unjustly freed from prison and reunited with whānau.
Amnesty International Community Manager Margaret Taylor says the campaign is for everyone.
“Anyone can do it; you don’t have to be an expert on human rights to see when someone has been wronged. These messages and drawings of support are like a hug, letting human rights defenders know they are not alone. It’s why I encourage everyone to get involved, at school, in your lunch break, or at a social gathering; pull people together ahead of Christmas and be a part of this life-saving campaign in the season of giving. The millions of people who take part in Write for Rights each year stand for the freedom and dignity of all people.”
Click here to get involved!