To the editor;
Every year on December 10, International Human Rights Day, Amnesty International promotes a letter writing campaign to help free individuals being unjustly held under human rights violations around the world.
This year I am hoping to encourage others in our local communities to join this worthy cause and commit to writing at least one letter.
I have been writing letters through Amnesty for a couple years now. I find it to be very fulfilling; I cannot tell you how many success stories there have been.
Some letters go directly to the governments where the abuse is taking place, and some go to our own government leaders imploring them to take action.
Charges often border on the ridiculous, but the tortures and horrors of their experiences are real enough.
We feel so safe in Canada, for the most part, that it is easy to forget that other countries are not quite so liberal, or accepting of freedom of expression.
One has to be quite careful when travelling these days, or even expressing opinions on social media sites.
It is an awe-inspiring thought that one can literally help save the life of another. We have seen that the influence of letters, or a widely-circulated petition, can tip the balance and persuade a government leader to do the right thing.
Let it be YOUR action that tips the balance and saves a life! One person CAN make a difference.
You can get started on Write For Rights now by going onto Amnesty’s website and signing a petition on one of the most outrageous cases featured in this year’s event. Raif Badawi has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes for writing a blog that criticized religious figures in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty considers this to be a gross violation of his human rights, and is working hard to get him released and reunited with his family and three children in Montreal.
Visit the Amnesty International website for tons more information, or contact Lauren Powers, at 250-682-1375.