Source: Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand
Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights campaign is here again and this year it has kicked off in true Kiwi style in the sun and surf by Auckland’s Mission Bay beach. Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi who is in New Zealand filming the upcoming Lord of the Rings series joined Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand to head the launch.
It’s the world’s biggest human rights campaign, each year garnering millions of letters calling for justice for human rights defenders across the globe. Last year over six and half million actions were taken – an annual increase for the 18th consecutive year. The case of Yasaman Aryani in Iran received over one million actions alone.
It’s a chance for any person to pick up a pen and demand action on a human rights case. It’s also a chance for governments to end injustices against people who are detained or persecuted because of their beliefs or who they are.
Amnesty International Community Manager Margaret Taylor says it’s easy to get involved in Write for Rights.
“Anyone can do it; you don’t have to be an expert on human rights to see when someone has been wronged. The millions of people who take part in Write for Rights each year stand for the freedom and dignity of all people.”
Taylor says COVID-19 has brought out the best in people, but sometimes the worst in governments.
“If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that in times of crisis people come together. It’s disappointing that some governments have seen this as an opportunity to suppress people. But we know that when enough of us speak out, governments do listen, and make improvements. Simply writing letters has proven to be a life-saving act for those we stand with. People are regularly freed from death row or prison, have charges against them dropped and are reunited with whānau.”
She adds the campaign allows for people to write letters and children to draw pictures that show solidarity with those experiencing human rights abuses. It also gives people the resources to directly ask authorities to correct injustices.
“These messages of support are like a hug, letting human rights defenders know they are not alone, while also letting governments know we are aware of their wrongdoing. It’s why I encourage everyone to get involved, in your lunch break, or at a social gathering; pull people together ahead of Christmas and be a part of this life-saving campaign in the season of giving.”
Write for Rights will run from 20 November to 31 December 2020.
To get involved or find out more go here.