This year while I am writing my Christmas cards, I will also be adding to my list a person I’ve never met or even spoken to.
That person is Laisa Santos Sampaio, from Brazil, who has been the target of persistent death threats since 2011 for her work as a member of a group that opposes illegal logging and charcoal burning in her home state and promotes sustainable development.
Her sister and brother-in-law have already been killed because of their environmental campaigning work but she receives little protection from the local authorities.
Letters or cards of solidarity can make a real difference to people at risk. It reminds them they are not alone, and by showing the authorities that the world knows what’s going on, it can help , in this case, persuade them to investigate the death threats and provide Laisa with safety.
I would encourage all readers to come to the Friends Meeting House in Worthing Road, Horsham, on December 7 between 10am and 12 noon to sign a card for Laisa.
We are grateful to Horsham Quakers for hosting this event as part of their regular coffee mornings on the first Saturday of each month. Alternatively, full information about Laisa, and how you can help her and others, is at www.amnesty.org.uk/write
On behalf of Horsham Amnesty, Worthing Road, Horsham