Getting home – storm or no storm

The storm that blasted parts of Britain earlier this week caused unrest, frustration and a definite sense of rage as people struggled to get home and then to work on the Monday morning. As my friends vented their frustration on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, the loss of control brought out little bursts of frustration with, for instance, a train into London from Surrey being delayed by two hours and brunch plans getting messed up. Tough way to start the day!

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand how frustrating train delays can be, storm or no storm. London’s public transport system frequently lets us down. Every time we think we might get home just a little earlier - if we run up the escalators and elbow past the other several hundred similarly struggling along - the disappointment strikes. No early return home for that comforting meal and entertaining episode of Downton Abbey. First-world problems

On a serious note, the storm obviously caused some serious damage and several people died. But there’s a world of difference between the struggle home in weather-affected Britain and the plight of some people who haven’t been able to get home … for a very long time. And due to no fault of nature or of their own. The new Help Get Them Home campaign highlights the stories of these individuals. People who’ve been held behind bars and tortured just for speaking against injustice and exercising their basic human right of freedom of speech.

For Soni Sori, a 37-year-old Indian school teacher and mother of three, home hasn’t been accessible since 2011, all because she was arrested for speaking out against human rights violations by the state. She was jailed without a trial and has been tortured and kept behind bars even though the charges against her have been shown to be groundless. Soni was even denied temporary release to attend her husband’s last rites after his death earlier this year. Whilst in jail she’s been tortured with electric shocks and sexually assaulted by police officers.

Along with Soni, there are several other prisoners of conscience who have been jailed out of no fault of their own. By sending a straightforward text message to sign a petition, you can demand the release of these prisoners of conscience, helping to get home to their families. Storm or no storm, getting home is something that I for one definitely take for granted. It would make a great difference in reminding these people that they haven’t been forgotten! Send a simple text: YOU CAN HELP GET THEM HOME.


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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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