Amnesty International Global Write-a-thon

Mary Jane Derksen

Amnesty International (Gabriola)

Monday, November 26 2012

Please visit the local Amnesty International Write-a-thon at the Gabriola Commons between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 to celebrate International Human Rights Day by writing a letter.
We also plan to have action cards to sign at the following locations: Mad Rona’s, Old Crow Café and Gabriola Artworks. We are grateful for the support of these local businesses in drawing attention to human rights violations around the world.
Across the planet, groups and individuals mark Human Rights Day in a variety of ways, through celebration, education, promotion and mobilization. It is an opportunity to remind governments of their commitments and obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to call attention to human rights violations that continue in all parts of the world. The Amnesty International Write-a-thon, first organized by Amnesty members in Poland, has become a worldwide event, with participants in over 30 countries joining together in the powerful act of writing letters.
Last year over one million letters were written from around the globe on behalf of a prisoner of conscience, a human rights defender at risk and persons and communities suffering human rights abuses. Here in Canada, letter-writers contributed more than 32,000 to the global total with over 800 of them from Gabriolans!
Youth activist and political blogger Jabbar Savalan of Azerbaijan was one of the prisoners spotlighted in last year’s write-a-thon.
He was detained in prison in response to his activity on Facebook. He had called for a day of protest against the arrest and detention of students who were involved in a series of peaceful protests against the government. He was sentenced to two and half years in prison. Over 130,000 actions were sent to the Azerbaijani authorities as part of Write for Rights. Jabbar was pardoned and released on Dec. 26, 2011.
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of “ordinary” people who work together to achieve extraordinary results.  Each day we stand in solidarity with – and help protect – individuals and communities around the world whose human rights are under attack. Visit Amnesty International Canada’s website: www.amnesty.ca.