Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Write for Rights

On International Human Rights Day, December 10, would you like to be part of the biggest annual human rights event?

Amnesty International is organizing a global day of action: Write for Rights. People from around the world will come together to write letters calling for the protection and promotion of human rights. Last year, Canadian Write for Rights participants contributed 60,000 letters to the 500,000 world total.

These letters have proven to be effective in making positive change in people’s lives.

Amnesty International provides information about various human rights abuses about which you may want to write. For example, there is the case of 20-year-old Jabbar Savalan, a young man from Azerbaijan imprisoned for his Facebook activity. He had posted messages such as an article from a Turkish newspaper that was critical of the Azerbaijan president and he had called for a day of protest.

In February, he was arrested and later charged with possessing marijuana. Savalan, his family and friends have continually insisted that he never used drugs – even a blood test after his arrest showed no trace of marijuana. Human rights groups like Amnesty are insisting the drug charges are false and that his imprisonment is part of government crackdowns on activists using social media to protest against the government.

Savalan continues to be held in prison in Baku, not due for release until August 2013.

During the writeathon, you can write about cases like Savalan’s to leaders in our country and the country concerned. You can also write to the individuals affected and to their families and supporters. Addresses are provided.

Let the people who are suffering know they are not alone. Let those who allow human rights abuses know that the world is watching and that there are many people who care.

Sign-up for Write for Rights with Amnesty International.

For those of you in Ottawa, there will be a letter-writing event on the 4th floor of the Canadian Museum of Nature on December 8th. The evening will include live music, all-ages crafting, letter-writing, snacks, cake and a cash bar - as well as some ‘special surprise’. Entry to the museum is free for this event. Anyone want to join me??

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