The power of the pen
(NC)—Amnesty International started as a group of people who used the power of the pen to help others. The idea caught on and the organization now has more than 3 million members who strive to protect human rights.
On December 10, International Human Rights Day, individuals will write thousands of letters for the cause. They will be taking part in Write for Rights, the world's largest letter-writing event. Amnesty International chooses specific human rights cases and people write letters to support them.
Many people gather with their friends, family and community to hold writing events. This could be in homes, at school, at cafes, in a place of worship, or at work on lunch hour. Everything you need—cases, event support, and information about finding an event near you—can be found at writeathon.ca.
Canadians who participate in Write for Rights love the sense of being a part of a global movement of people who care, writing letters, signing petitions and sending tweets about human rights on December 10.
Letters can help give a person back their freedom; they can make demands for justice for survivors of torture; and they can give hope to individuals at risk. Here are some of the actions that will be featured this year.
Mexico: Miriam Lopez was grabbed by two men wearing balaclavas. For a week, soldiers raped her repeatedly. The torture stopped when she falsely implicated herself in drug offences. She needs justice for this horrific attack.
Myanmar: There will be a campaign for the release of a respected medical doctor, Tun Aung, serving a 17-year sentence.
Russia: Three men participated in protests in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square. They were picked up, released, but then re-arrested and are still in custody without a fair trial. All three have serious health problems.
Tunisia: Facebook activist Jabeur Mejri is serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for posting articles critical of Islam on Facebook. He is a prisoner of conscience who needs to be released.
You are invited to join in the celebration of human rights and take a few minutes to help someone half a world away. More information is available online at writeathon.ca, on Facebook, or toll-free at 1-800-266-3789.
When asked why they participated in Write for Rights, one person said: “To defend those that can't defend themselves.”
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