Get writing for rights of others

On Saturday December 1, Amnesty International Horsham Group is hosting a letter-writing event at the Friends’ Meeting House, Worthing Road, from 10am to 12 noon.

Horsham residents are encouraged to send a message of solidarity to men and women around the world whose human rights and freedoms have been denied.

This is part of Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights campaign that takes place from November 1 to December 31, where thousands of messages of support are sent to men, women and children whose rights have been abused and also to the authorities to call for the protection of their basic rights.

Among the highlights this year is the case of Hakamada Iwao who has spent 44 years on death row in Japan despite his claim to innocence and after what appeared to be an unfair trial. It also features Gao Zhisheng, one of China’s most respected human rights lawyers, who has suffered enforced disappearance, imprisonment, torture and illegal house arrest because of his work.

The Write for Rights campaign goes back to the roots of Amnesty as an organisation, which began campaigning by writing letters of solidarity to victims, as well as letters of concern to governments and police forces.

Sending a message of solidarity to those whose rights are being abused and also to the authorities on that person’s behalf is so powerful.

Imagine drowning in thousands of letters of encouragement and solidarity – in fact, imagine the officials who will see and deliver thousands of cards to the victims and their families. The effect on both of them is priceless.

It shows the authorities that that individual is not alone and that all over the world thousands of people are standing up with them, and for them.

Daily thousands of human rights defenders and ordinary men, women and children are put in situations where no one should be – without their freedoms and without their rights.

It is important that those of us who are able to exercise our rights come together to ensure others can enjoy their rights too.

For more information contact:

Amnesty International Horsham group secretary Jacinta White via email: jacinta.white@hotmail.co.uk

JACKIE FRY

Worthing Road, Horsham