Patrick Okoroafor 14 year campaign - the power of 14!

Need an excuse to get friendly with a famous number 14 footballer?  Have a classroom full of fourteen year-olds who might be interested?  Here's some info from the IS on the Patrick Okoroafor campaign.

On 29 May 2009 Patrick Okoroafor will have spent 14 years in detention. Patrick was 14 years old when he was arrested. The Nigeria team would like all sections and groups that are campaigning for Patrick to take part in a day of action, marking the 14 years and calling for his immediate release. AI UK will coordinate the event.

Sections are requested to approach famous sports personalities that wear the number 14 and ask them to join the call for Patrick’s release: take a photograph of the ‘famous number 14’ holding a photo of Patrick and ask them to sign a letter requesting his release – try to record a video or audio clip of them asking the governor of Imo state to release Patrick. [Thierry Henry – Barcelona, Patrick Vieira – Inter Milan, Theo Walcott – Arsenal, Xabi Alonso – Liverpool].

Photos and signatures of the ‘famous number 14s ’will be shared with other sections that may then organise an event and press coverage in their own country. Sections could present the photos and signatures to the Nigerian Embassy in their country – or plan a peaceful protest outside the embassy.

OR…

  • Print some t-shirts (or make them yourself) with the number 14 on the front.
  • Send cardboard cut outs of the number 14 to the Governor of Imo state and the Attorney General of Imo state.
  • Arrange for 14 year old students to organise a day of action at their school (wearing T-shirts with the number 14, sending postcards, signing a petition to be presented by the section to the Nigerian embassy) – a good way of growing youth activism too!

If your section / group would like to take action, or if you have more ideas, please email Lucy Freeman lucy.freeman@amnesty.org or Carly Witheridge on cwitheridge@amnesty.org

As the launch of the Annual Report 2009 and the Demand Dignity Campaign have been rescheduled for 28 May, the Nigeria team has advised the following:

There will be a media blackout starting 1.5 weeks before the launch and continuing for 2 weeks after the launch. This means during this time AI will be unable to release any information on Patrick’s ‘14 action’ to international or Nigerian media. Sections would be similarly restricted with their national media. As such, we have decided to reschedule the Patrick 14 action to the new date of 16 June. This is the International Day of the African child. The day of action was not moved forward to an earlier date in May because the Niger Delta report will now be launched mid- May.

We would encourage you to continue collecting material – particularly audiovisual material and endorsements by famous 14s – throughout April & May. This may be photos of people wearing the number 14, petitions or other activities that you are planning. These photos of actions, petitions and other materials will be collected by Elodie Soulard (volunteer with the Nigeria team at the IS). They will then be collated and available for use on AI websites.

On 16 June, we would ask that groups organise a public event, with press coverage if possible. Sections could organise an event outside the Nigerian embassy in their country: a vigil, a presentation of the materials collected over the past months, or a small protest with posters of Patrick. For example, AI UK is taking 14 fourteen year-olds to the Nigeria embassy in London.

We are sticking with the message ‘14 years in prison’. However, as the final event will be on the Day of the African Child, wider issues of children on death row or children in detention (there are 40 people on death row in Nigeria who were juveniles at the time of the offence – contrary to national & international law), could also be raised.

Please do get in touch at the email addresses above if you have any queries or ideas.

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