Letter writers at the 2021 Write for Rights event in Nelson. Photo: Submitted

Letter writers at the 2021 Write for Rights event in Nelson. Photo: Submitted

Write a letter, change a life at Nelson Library

Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights event takes place Dec 10 at the Nelson Public Library

Submitted by Amnesty International Nelson

After 20 years of pens, letters, and human rights, Nelson’s Amnesty group is once again inviting the community to join in Amnesty International’s 21st annual Write for Rights campaign, a global letter-writing campaign around International Human Rights Day that aims to transform the lives of people whose rights have been wronged.

Last year, despite the pandemic, local supporters wrote over 200 letters, and this year we’re hoping to replicate that. Come and bring a friend, on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Nelson Public Library, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“When hundreds of thousands of people around the world write letters to stand by someone whose human rights are being violated, the impact is huge. It gives people the strength to keep going,” says Mike Chapman, Nelson Amnesty organizer.

Last year Colombian environmental defender Jani Silva wrote, “From the bottom of my heart, this campaign has kept me alive, it’s what stopped them from killing me because they know you are there.”

This year Amnesty’s global letter-writing marathon is all about the right to protest, featuring 10 people whose lives have been negatively impacted by governments’ crackdown on this precious right.

Among them are Joanah Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecillia Chimbiri who were abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted after leading an anti-government protest in Zimbabwe. They now face jail for their peaceful actions. As well, Chow Hang-tung, a young human rights lawyer, is currently imprisoned in Hong Kong for holding vigils to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

A full list with more information about the 13 cases featured in this year’s Write for Rights campaign is available at www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/write-for-rights/.

All materials will be provided, as well as information packages should people want to do their writing from home.