Participants in a previous year’s Amnesty Write for Rights in Nelson. Photo: Submitted

Participants in a previous year’s Amnesty Write for Rights in Nelson. Photo: Submitted

Write a letter, change a life: Nelson Amnesty to hold annual Write for Rights event

Saturday, Dec. 11, at Nelson Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Submitted by Amnesty International Nelson

Twenty years of pens, letters, and human rights. Nelson’s Amnesty group is once again inviting the community to join in Amnesty International’s 20th annual Write for Rights campaign, a global letter-writing campaign around International Human Rights Day.

Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Amnesty supporters took more than four million actions that day and this year we’re hoping to replicate that.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Nelson Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“When hundreds of thousands of people around the world get together and send a clear message demonstrating they will stand by a person or group whose human rights are being violated, the impact is huge. It gives people the strength to keep going”, says Mike Chapman, Nelson Amnesty organizer. “It also sends a message to those who are violating human rights that they cannot keep their crimes secret.”

Phyoe Aung of Myanmar, a beneficiary of an earlier campaign, wrote: “Thank you each and every one of you. Not just for campaigning for my release, and the release of other prisoners, but for helping to keep our hope and our beliefs alive.”

Among the 10 cases selected this year, Amnesty International is highlighting the case of Bernardo Caal Xol, a Mayan Indigenous leader who was unjustly imprisoned for protesting the construction of hydroelectric power plants in Guatemala. Another case is that of Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist who is facing a four-year prison sentence in China for reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Wendy Galarza is yet another case, a childcare worker and feminist activist who was shot after police opened fire on a crowd of people protesting violence against women in Mexico.

A full list with more information about the 10 cases featured in this year’s Write for Rights campaign is available at https://writeathon.ca/.