Amnesty Canada has announced its “Write for Rights” campaign this year. There are in total around 10 cases that are being challenged through Amnesty International (IA). The Northumberland committee has chosen to focus on these four cases:
1. Shackelia Jackson was harassed by police in Jamaica for protesting police violence.
2. Clovis Razafimalala was jailed for protesting the smuggling of rosewood trees from forests in Madagascar.
3. Xulhaz Mannan was murdered in Bangladesh for defending LGBTIQ human rights.
4. Taner Kilic and 10 others were on trial in Turkey for defending the human rights of journalists and other non-violent protestors.
Amnesty International is a worldwide group of people supporting human rights. The UN’s Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (1947) forms a legal basis for AI support. AI members investigate human rights abuses wherever they occur. In many countries, people are punished for exercising their freedom of expression. Punishments include imprisonment, intimidation, torture, sexual abuse, and even murder. AI organizes protests in many ways, mobilizing thousands or millions of supporters. Their efforts can often have a positive impact on the plight of victims. AI supporters also provide letters of encouragement and comfort to unjustly imprisoned victims.
A local committee of 15 individuals meets monthly to plan AI events in Northumberland County. In addition to writing and signing letters of protest at each meeting, the group plan two major events each year. A fund-raising dinner in April raises funds to help Amnesty Canada with the cost of investigating human rights violations and a letter-signing at various venues locally during the December Write for Rights campaign. This year, venues include YMCA, Furby Bookstore, Trinity United Church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, and Port Hope United Church, as well as CCI.
For 15 years, AI has been organizing its annual Write for Rights protest campaign. Early in December of each year, AI focuses its support on about 10 different cases of human rights abuse and encourages sympathetic people around the world to write letters of protest to key individuals in governments or administrations who are doing the abuse. This major show of support highlights the situation of these victims of abuse. In 2015, 3.7 million letters of protest were sent from around the world, and at least 5 prisoners of conscience were freed after years of torture and imprisonment. In 2016, 4.6 million actions were taken, including letters, emails, tweets, and demonstrations. You can obtain more information about Write for Rights from the Amnesty Canada website, at www.amnesty.ca.
Upcoming Campaign Dates
- December 3, 2017, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (200 King St. W, Cobourg).
- December 6, 2017, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Cobourg Collegiate Institute (335 King St. E, Cobourg).
- December 8, 2017, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: YMCA Cobourg (339 Elgin St. W, Cobourg).
- December 9, 2017, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Furby House Books (65 Walton St. Port Hope).
- December 10, 2017, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Trinity United Church (284 Division St. Cobourg).
- December 10, 2017, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Port Hope United Church (34 South St. Port Hope).