Every year, to mark Human Rights Day on December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, working through Amnesty International, send letters on behalf of someone they’ve never met, as part of Write for Rights. The messages help convince government officials to release people imprisoned for expressing their opinion (called “prisoners of conscience” by Amnesty), support human rights defenders, stop torture, commute death sentences, and end other human rights abuses.
Letter writing has always been at the heart of Amnesty International’s human rights campaigning, and 55 years of human rights activism proves that it still works. Volume matters: the more participants in Write for Rights, the more letters and e-mail messages we generate, increasing our influence on government officials. Here’s an example of a recent success: the story of Albert Woodfox…
“I’d like to thank our friends at Amnesty International and Amnesty USA for their remarkable support these last years, culminating just recently in the Write for Rights Campaign”
– Albert Woodfox, 2015 Write for Rights case.
On his 69th birthday, February 19, 2016, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox walked free – 44 years after he was first put into solitary confinement. He was the USA’s longest serving prisoner held in isolation. Nearly every day for more than half of his life, Albert Woodfox woke up in a cell the size of a parking space, surrounded by concrete and steel.
For the first time in more than four decades, Albert Woodfox is now able to walk outside and look up into the sky.
This year, with your help, we will contribute towards Amnesty’s goal to surpass 4 million actions and make a difference in the lives of all 12 cases.
Here’s what we’ll be doing: We will hand-write letters on behalf of 12 men and women that Amnesty International is helping. I will provide envelopes, paper, pens, one-page case sheets and sample letters. Early next week, I will report all of our letters to Amnesty International and mail them.
What can you bring, you ask? Just yourself and your favorite pen! But if you insist, also welcome are stamps and a vegan snack to share (no meat, dairy, eggs).
And our results: