Send a card and make an impact this Christmas with Amnesty

One easy way to make a difference this season in the lives of people facing persecution around the world is to send a card, said Amnesty International today (1 Dec) as it encouraged people to join its Greetings Card Campaign. Amnesty International is urging people to send a message of solidarity and support to the 32 cases of men, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, families and communities that feature in this year’s campaign. The list includes 11 Moroccan students currently being held as political prisoners and who say they were tortured during detention, nine Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights human rights defenders standing up for victims of abuse in Nicaragua, and a family in Guatemala fighting for justice after the murder of their 19-year-old daughter. Amnesty International’s UK Director, Kate Allen said: “The simple gesture of sending a card to someone featured in Amnesty’s Greetings Card Campaign is an effective way of offering a great sense of hope and solidarity to the person opening it. “We at Amnesty regularly hear about the positive impact the cards have had in a person’s situation. The level of support and solidarity demonstrated by the thousands of cards received send a clear message that tells police, prison staff and political authorities that the world is watching what they do. “I’d encourage everyone to just add one more card to their greetings card list this year and be involved in making a great difference in a person’s life.” Earlier this year 29-year-old Patrick Okoroafor – imprisoned since he was 14 in Nigeria – wrote saying: “When I read some of your letters they make me so happy that I forget about the deplorable living conditions here in Aba prison. [I] am patiently waiting for that glorious day when my discharge will come and with whole heartedness, it will call for celebration in the Amnesty community here in Nigeria and the whole world at large.” Amnesty is calling for Patrick’s immediate and unconditional release. Nineteen-year-old law student from Guatemala Claudina Velásquez was shot dead in 2005. So far her killers have never been brought to justice. Her family are pursuing justice for her and her father, Jorge Velásquez, had this to say to those who sent greetings cards last year: “Keep us always in your hearts, minds and pens; because without you, without your help, we couldn't carry on in this struggle that seems to have no end.' 1.Amnesty International’s Greetings Card Campaign runs from now until 31 January 2010. 2.The campaign makes it easy to add a couple of extra cards to Christmas card lists by providing information about people who are at risk, and addresses and postage information for sending cards. All the information is available as a free pack or online. 3.To find out about other cases and how to get involved, visit www.amnesty.org.uk/gcc

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