Amnesty launches Write for Rights campaign in 50th year

Amnesty International is launching a new Write for Rights campaign in celebration of the organisation’s 50th anniversary and to mark International Human Rights Day.

Amnesty, the pioneers of activism, is encouraging people to pick up a pen and change a person’s life in a return to the classic, hand-written letter which has proved such a powerful tool for change.

Millions of people around the globe take all forms of action for Amnesty’s campaigns, from online petitions and other methods of digital communication to public rallies and demonstrations. But in the organisation’s 50th year, the humble hand-written letter is being championed once again, in a “penaissance”.

It is hoped that more people than ever before will write a letter demanding action on one of the ten cases in the Write for Rights campaign. The cases illustrate the diversity of Amnesty’s work; from people facing the death penalty, to people imprisoned for peacefully calling for political change, to communities facing forced eviction and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who are challenging the impunity which allows soldiers in Mexico to avoid justice for rape.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“In 1961, when Amnesty was started, our founding members had no idea whether ordinary people writing letters to Heads of State and other people in power would make any difference. It turns out that it did, and it still does.

“These days, we Tweet the President of Azerbaijan, or e-mail the head of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles – and we will continue to deploy every weapon in our arsenal - but the humble, classic letter is a uniquely formidable tool.

 “A letter has the power to embarrass, persuade, protect, coerce and force people to alter their behaviour, and ultimately to change the world. If you want to right the wrongs, write about them.”

The ten individuals and groups who feature in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign,  include; Jabbar Savalan, a 20 year old history student in Azerbaijan who is serving a prison sentence for anti-government comments he posted on Facebook; 75 year old Hakamada Iwao, believed to be the world's longest serving death row inmate who has spent the last 43 years awaiting execution in Japan and Inés Ferndández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, two rape survivors in Mexico who have tirelessly campaigned to have the perpetrators of the attacks brought to justice.

Background information
 
On Saturday 10 December (Human Rights Day) Amnesty International is hoping that an unprecedented number of people across the UK and around the world, will write to people with the power to stop human rights abuses. Thousands of school pupils across the UK will be writing letters on behalf of the cases on Friday 9 December.

To find out more about the ten cases, visit www.amnesty.org.uk/write

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