During the month of December each year, people from all around the world come together to join a letter-writing marathon, Write for Rights, for people whose basic human rights are being violated. Ordinary people will raise their voices and Amnesty KG intends to do the same. As the year is coming to an end and the days are getting darker, KG will come together as we have shown in previous events of helping out those in need, and show our activism through pen and paper. We will sign petitions,send e-mails, spread awareness through social media, write letters and send postcards to fight the wrongdoings of governments that are neglecting human rights. Through the mobilization of people that think alike, we can convince governments to take action, change decisions and ultimately change lives.
For a month onward, a member from Amnesty KG will each week post an article about an Amnesty case in KZINE. This case will be campaigned for outside the cafeteria by activists where people can sign and show their support. In addition, there will be a station in the entrance hall (new case each week) where people can send postcards to support the people in our campaigns, to show support for their fight for justice. By sending these messages in bulks from all over the world we will also pressure their governments to take action.
So which cases will we focus on? Amnesty Sweden has decided to campaign for Edward Snowden, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, Zeynab Jalalian and Máxima Acuña. Edward Snowden, probably the most famous out of the four, shared US intelligence documents with journalists to reveal the mass surveillance that is carried out by governments. For this he risks facing decades in prison instead of being celebrated as a hero. Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid (known as Shawkan) is risking the death penalty for photographing security forces’ violent behaviour during protests on the streets of Cairo. He has been in detention for 2 years even though it goes against Egyptian law. Zeynab Jalalian was arrested for accusations of being a member of the Kurdish militant group PJAK, and was first given a trial, after months of torture and isolation whilst being interrogated. Máxima Acuña and her family, subsistence farmers, had their entire crop destroyed by a mining company, and when they tried this they were met with violent force which ended in Máxima being taken to hospital with several injuries.
We often do not think about how privileged we are to be able to openly question the things we feel are wrong in society. Needless to say, we live in a place where people can think freely and it is therefore very important that we act and speak up for others. The phenomenon of people-power can truly change the world and it also prohibits any oppressive leader from putting his or her people in an expressive coma. Thus we are fighting the violence without violent force in return. Unfortunately free speech is not cheap as it craves political empowerment. However, by educating the leaders of the world and using our words to help those who have had theirs taken from them, we can hold governments and regimes accountable. Participate in Write for Rights with us and make your contribution to the human rights movement.