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2022 - A year of Courage & Solidarity

image reads: solidarity, hope, love, courage, strength and justice

Whether it’s “permacrisis” or “sportswashing”, some of the 2022 words of the year reflect what a tough year it has been for human rights.

But amongst the many suggestions for entry into the pages of dictionaries, was the statement of solidarity “#IStandWith”

This statement flooded social media channels as Russian tanks beat a path into Ukraine, as the US Supreme Court’s gavel struck out a woman’s right to choose, and as Iranian authorities ruthlessly attempted to silence the courageous call for Woman, Life, Freedom.

All around the world, people rose up against these abuses with solidarity, hope, love, courage, strength and justice. These are the very values that inspire the humanity that fuels the fight for human rights.

Here’s just a handful of these key moments that tell the story of the last 12 months.


The movement for Woman, Life, Freedom in Iran embodied the COURAGE of those pushing for change.

In the face of brutal repression and punishment by authorities, Iranian people have shown extraordinary courage.

And the world listened, joining in with the chorus of cries for Woman, Life, Freedom.


This year, we saw how HOPE can be rewarded.

British Nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were unjustly imprisoned in Iran and after spending a combined 10 years detained.

Led by their incredible families, we spent years campaigning for their freedom and never gave up HOPE.  

And in March this year, they were finally released. They were flown back home to the UK and into the arms of their loving families.


After the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan we documented how in less than a year, the human rights of women & girls have been decimated in all areas of life.

Despite all hardships, women & girls in Afghanistan represent STRENGTH through their perseverance in enduring some of the hardest restrictions across the world

We will continue to support them in their fight for rights.


This year, JUSTICE was secured.

Almost 35 years ago, Aidan McAnespie was fatally shot by a soldier during the Northern Ireland Troubles conflict.

In 2022, Aidan’s family finally saw a trial into Aidan’s death & eventually his killer was found guilty of manslaughter.

Aidan’s story is a vital rebuttal to the government’s Troubles Bill which aims to give de facto amnesty to those responsible for grave human rights violations or serious crimes.

We must protect victims' paths to JUSTICE.


This year, for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we acted in SOLIDARITY, with Palestinian activists defiantly dancing outside the Israeli embassy ✊🏾

Racist systems like apartheid aren’t relics of the past but the reality for millions of Palestinians.

Together, we can begin dismantling Israel's cruel apartheid system over Palestinians.


This year, we saw that LOVE wins 💛

In September, Cuba took a historic step in the fight for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights.

Cubans voted in favour of the family law reform. Same-sex marriage is legalised and gay couples have the right to adopt children.

Love is a human right 🌈


Earlier this year, we saw HUMANITY in action. Bernardo Caal Xol was wrongfully imprisoned after speaking out about the destruction of the natural environment and defending the rights of indigenous communities.

Thousands of people demonstrated HUMANITY by participating in our annual Write for Rights campaign and we delivered 30,000 letters of solidarity to Bernardo.

In March this year, Bernardo was released and reunited with his loved ones.

What about 2023?

As we await what 2023 brings us, we know that we’ll be defending the right to protest, rising up against Israeli apartheid, advocating for the Human Rights Act and campaigning for individuals wrongfully imprisoned across the world.

And we’ll be taking our fight to the UK Government armed with some New Year’s Resolutions for the Prime Minister:

         📝 Leave our Human Rights Act alone 

         📝 Abandon the Northern Ireland Troubles Bill

         📝 Scrap the Public Order Bill

         📝 Start respecting Refugee and Migrant Rights

         📝 Bring home wrongly imprisoned British Nationals

         📝 Reform racists and sexist policing

         📝 Support brave human rights defenders across the world


About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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