Amnesty International is holding its annual letter-writing marathon on December 10th. Since the event falls on a Sunday this year, most of you should have plenty of time to participate, right? Right? Please join me in either writing appeal letters or sending greeting cards to support prisoners of conscience and others whose basic rights are being violated. It’s easy—the simpler the letters are the better—and it works (just ask Maher Arar). AI provides lots of help and examples of how to write appeal letters (see below). Leave a comment to let me know what you’ve done.
Write for Rights website
Send a Greeting Card (put those leftover Christmas/Holiday cards to good use!)
Letter-writing Tips (brief)
Letter-writing Toolkit (for over-achievers)
Sample Appeal Letters
About Amnesty International:
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights. We are building a world in which every person enjoys the rights included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. Towards this end:
- Amnesty International takes action to stop grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination. We campaign, for example, to free prisoners of conscience, ensure fair trials for political prisoners, protect refugees, abolish the death penalty, end political killings, “disappearances” and torture, and bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations.
- Amnesty International seeks to expose human rights abuses accurately and quickly. We independently and impartially research and publicize the facts of individual cases and patterns of human rights abuses.
- Our members, supporters and staff then mobilize persistent public pressure on governments, armed political groups, companies and others to prevent and stop these violations.
- Amnesty International promotes public awareness and understanding of the full range of human rights, and we work with a global community of organizations to ensure broad support and respect for all human rights.
- Amnesty International is governed by its members. We are independent of all governments, political persuasions and religious creeds. We are funded by our members and donors, and no funds are sought or accepted from governments.
UPDATE: How appropriate. Augusto Pinochet has died on Human Rights Day. Many people don’t know that the first September 11 disaster happened in 1973, when a CIA coup installed Pinochet as the President of Chile. Murder, torture, and suppression of human and democratic rights followed. He may have escaped earthly justice, but if he dares to show his face before the heavenly throne today, he will sure have some ‘splaining to do.
UPDATE II: I achieved my goal of writing ten letters, plus two internet actions for good measure. As I write this, nearly 3000 letters have been written by Canadians, and the evening is still young. I thought I was pretty hot for writing 10 letters myself, but one woman in London (Ontario) wrote 100 over the past week. Wow. So, did anyone out there in blogland participate? There is still time; all it takes is paper, envelope, stamps, and a few minutes of attention. What could be better this Christmas than to give the gift of human rights?