Send a card and make an impact this season with Amnesty

Send a card and make an impact this season with Amnesty   

With days before the final posting date for Christmas deliveries, Amnesty International is urging card-writers across the UK to add an extra name to their list and send a message of solidarity and goodwill to people around the world who have faced human rights abuses.

Human rights defenders from as far afield as South Korea and Zimbabwe are featured in Amnesty International’s Greetings Card Campaign this year along with people who have had their rights abused in countries such as Paraguay and Equatorial Guinea.

Amnesty International’s UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Each year we see the incredible impact which the Greetings Card Campaign has for those who receive the cards.  It’s an effective way of offering hope and solidarity to the person opening it.

“The level of support demonstrated by the thousands of cards received sends a clear message to police, prison staff and political authorities that the world is watching what they do.”

This year 32 individuals and groups feature in the campaign – one of whom is Park Rae-gun from South Korea. Rae-gun may face ten years in prison for protesting against the forced eviction of people in a district in central Seoul.  Park Rae-gun was charged with “blocking traffic” and “organising an illegal assembly after sunset.” Amnesty International is concerned that Park Rae-gun is facing prosecution for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.  

Also featured in this year’s campaign is Moroccan human rights defender Chekib El-Khiari who was sentenced to three years in prison and fined over £50,000 after  speaking out against corruption in the country.  Amnesty considers Chekib to a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

The human rights organisation has noted the impact of the campaign in previous years.   Palestinian student from Bethlehem Hamdi al-Ta’mari is one such example. Hamdi had been held without charge from July to November 2008 and then again from December 2008 to December 2009 by the Israeli military. Shortly after Amnesty featured Hamdi’s case in its Greetings Card Campaign, he was released from detention.  Hamdi told Amnesty:

“I showed the cards to my friends and explained to them about Amnesty…  I would like to thank all the people who remembered me and sent me their good wishes, and I send them my greetings from Bethlehem."

Kate Allen continued:
“Adding one extra card to your list may not make much of a difference to us but this card can have a massive impact in a person’s life.”

For more information, visit www.amnesty.org.ukgcc

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

The Greetings Card Campaign runs until 31 January 2011

A full list of all 32 individuals and groups can be found at www.amnesty.org.uk/gcc

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