Take the Make a Difference in a Minute challenge and write a poem that you can perform in one minute or less.

Watch top poets Sarah Crossan, Amy Leon and Inja take the challenge

The challenge

To write a poem about human rights that you can perform in one minute or less.

The current theme for Words That Burn is Freedom of Expression. It can be:

• Your personal experience of, or view on, freedom of expression;

or

• A solidarity or appeal poem for Azza Soliman, an individual at risk who has had her right to freedom of expression taken away (more details below).

You can submit your poem in written form or as an audio clip or video clip that is one-minute or less. A selection of poems will be chosen for showcase on our website. We will let you know if your poem is chosen.

If you submit a solidarity or appeal poem for Azza Soliman, Amnesty International UK will send your written poems, and where possible audio and video clips, to Azza or the Egyptian president. 

Freedom of expression

"We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people wherever they live, through books, radio, television and in other ways."
– Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 19

Find out about Amnesty International’s work on freedom of expression.

Azza Soliman

Azza Soliman is a lawyer and women’s human rights defender from Egypt. She has been arrested many times for defending human rights. The Egyptian authorities and media have harassed Azza by inventing stories about her and calling her an enemy of Egypt. She is now under threat of being imprisoned.

Azza has worked very hard to protect others human rights. She has started an organisation that helps poor Egyptian women get legal aid and support.

The Egyptian government is trying to silence Azza because they do not like the things she says about Egypt.

Azza has now been charged with insulting Egypt by saying that women in Egypt face violence. She is banned from travel and could be sent to prison for up to 25 years, just because she won’t stop defending Egyptian people and their human rights.

Freedom of Expression in Egypt

Egypt imposes harsh laws on charities and human rights groups and tries to control their activities. Anyone who goes against these laws is in danger of imprisonment.

The government is trying to stop people from having freedom: freedom to help each other, freedom to defend their human rights, and freedom to express themselves.

Solidarity and Appeal

Write a solidarity poem to Azza, letting her know that you support her and her work defending women’s human rights. 

Write an appeal poem to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, asking him to drop the charges against Azza and to stop the government imprisoning and harassing human rights defenders.

Poetry Submission

You can submit your poem in written form or as an audio clip or video clip that is one-minute or less. A selection of poems will be chosen for showcase on our website. We will let you know if your poem is chosen.

If you submit a solidarity or appeal poem for Azza Soliman, Amnesty International UK will send your written poems, and where possible audio and video clips, to Azza or the Egyptian president.

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