Turn your text into a postcard for Azerbaijani activist

Update: Thank you for all your messages! Our volunteer translators created 70 postcards in Russian, which we'll post to Mehman so that he can read your messages - see photos of your messages. We can longer translate your message if you text us, but you can still call on the authorities to drop all charges against Mehman.

Do you remember Eurovision, with all its sparkle, kitsch, and europop? While we were dazzled by the diamanté, the government of the host country Azerbaijan were hitting us with a PR whitewash, desperate for no one to notice their record on free speech.

23-year-old photojournalist Mehman Husynov remembers it very well. He didn’t want the government to get away with it. He wanted to show the rest of the world the way the authorities usually celebrated free speech – with handcuffs and prison sentences. He went to work for the ‘Sing for Democracy’ group, who persuaded this year’s eventual winner – Sweden’s Loreen – to speak out about human rights abuses in Azerbaijan.

But the authorities were not going to let this bit of peaceful campaigning go unpunished. In June, after the media spotlight had faded, Mehman was arrested on bogus charges and is now facing up to five years in jail.

Text a message of support for Mehman, and we'll translate and post it to him

Today, as part of our International Human Rights Day activities, we want your help in highlighting Mehman's case, and we want you to send him a message of support, to let him know we're standing with him.

So that he can fully appreciate your words, we're going to translate your text message into Russian, which Mehman reads. With the help of some very generous Russian-speaking volunteers, we're going to turn your texts into a collection of hand-written postcard messages.

Text your message for our volunteers to translate

Text 'AMNESTY TEXT', and then a short message and your name to 70555

Over 18s only please! Texts cost £3 plus your standard network rate. The £3 will help us cover materials and postage, and go towards our campaigning work. Full terms

Not sure what to text? You could say something like "Stay strong in your struggle for freedom in Azerbaijan". Please don't write anything political or religious - the most important thing is to show your support.

We've never tried anything like this before, and we're very excited that we've got the opportunity to translate your messages as you send them thanks to a small band of volunteers. 

Encourage your friends to send a text

Please help us send Mehman as many messages as possible and once you've texted, share this with your friends.

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Your translations so far

Keep checking the blog throughout the day, as we'll be adding photos of your translated messages as we take them.

Mehman is part of our Write for Rights campaign, where we encourage everyone to write a personal message in support and solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses. We know these messages can bring hope and mean so much to individuals and groups fighting for justice.

Show your support for Mehman today and text him a message.

Text your message for our volunteers to translate

Text 'AMNESTY TEXT', and then a short message and your name to 70555

Over 18s only please! Texts cost £3 plus your standard network rate. The £3 will help us cover materials and postage, and go towards our campaigning work. Full terms

Please also call on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against Mehman

Full SMS terms
Texts cost £3 plus one standard message, refer to your tariff for details. If your message is longer than 160 characters you will be charged one standard message per 160 characters. We reserve the right to not translate messages where it would be unsuitable for Amnesty to pass on. Please ask bill-payers permission. Amnesty UK receives at least £2.85. By texting us you consent to future contact by SMS. You can unsubscribe by texting STOP AMNESTY to 70004 at any time. Full terms and conditions at: www.amnesty.org.uk/smsterms

We will tag translations with your name so you can see your message – if you do not wish your name and message to be made public, please email sct@amnesty.org.uk

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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