Write for Rights

Amnesty International Bury St Edmund’s annual Write for Rights letter-writing campaign launches on Friday December 8th. at West Suffolk College library, with a further session on Saturday December 9th., also from 10 to 2, at the Apex cafe.

Local residents are invited to add their names to cards of solidarity and support to people who have had their freedoms denied, or to letters appealing to those in power to stop the abuse.

Last year, more than 152,000 people across the UK took part in the campaign, writing letters that had a huge impact on individuals’ lives.

“At Amnesty, we know that the simple act of writing a letter can make a huge difference to a person’s life. Letter writing can – and does - quite literally help save lives.

“For someone languishing behind bars after an unfair trial or being persecuted by the authorities, receiving messages of support can give them the boost they need to cope with the difficulties they face and continue in their struggle for justice.

 “And when thousands of letters get behind a single cause, those in power will often take notice and feel pressured to do something about the abuses being committed.

"This campaign is a brilliant demonstration of the power of peaceful protest. When thousands of voices come together, you can almost guarantee they will be heard.

“It would be great to see as many Bury St Edmunds residents as possible getting involved in this humble yet powerful act of solidarity. Letters sent from us will help right wrongs and change lives.”

Letters written during previous Write for Rights campaigns have:

  • helped support Chelsea Manning, the US army whistle blower who was freed in May this year after outgoing US president Barack Obama cut short her 35-year sentence

  • helped push Peru to drop charges against Máxima Acuña who was attacked by the police for standing up to one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines when it evicted her family from their farmland

  • helped put pressure on the US to release Albert Woodfox, who was freed in February 2016 after being held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.

People featured in this year’s campaign include: Shackelia Jackson, whose brother was gunned down by police in 2014 and is now leading the fight against police killings in her country; ten human rights activists in Turkey – including the director of Amnesty Turkey – who are on trial amidst a crackdown on civil society organisations in the country; and UK immigration detainees, who are held in detention centres for an indefinite amount of time, usually in terrible conditions.

Write for Rights goes back to the very roots of Amnesty International, which was founded in 1961, with Amnesty’s early campaigners writing letters of support to those affected by human rights abuses, as well as letters of concern to governments around the world.

Background information

For more information on Write for Rights 2017 and for pictures, illustrations and further detail on the cases please contact:

www.amnesty.org.uk/write

For further information, please contact 01284 725380 // amnestyburysteds1@yahoo.co.uk

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