Write for Rights Day

We would like to cordially invite you to our annual Write for Rights day at
St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich on Saturday 8th December,
between 10am and 3pm.

You will be able to send a message of hope to those people detained and being ill-treated around the world.
Over 5 million messages were sent last year, from all over the world – it made a real difference to those who received them.

letters and cards

If you cannot make it on the day, you can still take part online,
visit https://www.amnesty.org.uk/write-for-rights
and view this years Write for Rights Cases and see how you can take part.

Please Join Us and Together our Words can Make a Difference

Write for Rights poster

Download our Write for Rights Poster to help promote our event

The UK locks up thousands of people in immigration detention every year, including children, survivors of sexual violence and torture, and people with serious medical problems. This can have a terrible impact on their mental health.

End use of indefinite detention now

In many cases, there is no time limit on how long someone can be detained. For most, detention usually lasts no more than a few weeks, but some are held for many months and even years, with no idea if and when they’ll be allowed their freedom.

While his children were asleep upstairs, immigration officers filled Chris’ home and took him away. Despite pleas from his partner he wasn’t even given the chance to say goodbye. His daughter had nightmares and wet the bed because of being separated from her dad.

Take Action

Please sign our petition and call on the government to radically transform its detention policies so more people like Chris aren’t ripped from their families and thrown into chaos.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/end-inhumane-overuse-detention-now

Further Background

What is indefinite detention?

The UK locks up thousands of people in immigration detention every year, including survivors of sexual violence and torture, and people with serious medical problems. This can have a terrible impact on their mental health.

In most cases, there is no time limit on how long someone can be detained, meaning that they have no idea when they will leave. For most, detention usually lasts no more than a few weeks, but some are held for many months and even years.

There are three types of purpose-built facility:

  • Detention centres, officially termed ‘Immigration Removal Centres’
    Short-term holding facilities
    Pre-departure accommodation

How many people does the UK lock up?

The UK’s has one of the largest immigration detention networks in Europe.

As many as 3,500 people can be held at one time and between July 2016 and June 2017 more than 27,000 people were detained.

Nazanin is still not free

free Nazanin

She was arrested on 3 April 2016 at a Tehran airport, when she was about to board a plane home to the UK with her then one-year-old daughter, Gabriella. They had been on holiday in Iran visiting Nazanin’s parents – a trip Nazanin had made many times before, without incident.

When Nazanin was first detained, she wasn’t told why. She was put in solitary confinement, where she was held for 45 days, and could not speak to her family or a lawyer. Her family were not told the reasons for her imprisonment.

Nazanin did not have a fair trial. She was only allowed access to a lawyer three days before her trial. In September 2016, she was sentenced to five years in prison for ‘membership of an illegal group’.

Take Action

You can take part in Amnesty’s Email campaign to release Nazanin at:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/help-get-nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-home

Who is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a 39-year-old British-Iranian woman, who ordinarily lives with her husband and young daughter in London.

She works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a UK-based media charity. This has been used against her as evidence of ‘membership of an illegal group’, the charge that Nazanin was found guilty of at an unfair trial which saw her sentenced to five years in prison.

Further Background

Nazanin was recently told she could face new charges and potentially even longer in prison, separated from her young daughter and husband.

She is in poor mental and physical health.

Read more about Nazanin’s case and how to take part in this action at:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/help-get-nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-home

17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi has been called the ‘Rosa Parks of Palestine’. For years, she and her family have bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation.

Shockingly, she is now spending 8 months in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers.

URGENT: RELEASE PALESTINIAN TEEN ACTIVIST AHED TAMIMI

Action

Tell Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he must release her without delay

Background

On 15 December, Ahed Tamimi and her family were protesting Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In a horrifying turn of events, Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin, Mohammed, was shot in the head at close range by an Israeli soldier.

She posed no threat

On the same day, Ahed also came face to face with Israeli soldiers, when they entered the yard of her family’s house. A video, which has since gone viral, show the unarmed teenage girl slapping, shoving and kicking two Israeli soldiers who are wearing protective gear. It was clear she posed no actual threat to them as they lightly swatted her advances away.

Her detention cannot be justified

So far in detention, Ahed has already endured aggressive interrogations, sometimes at night, and threats made against her family. This punishment is blatantly disproportionate to her actions. Ahed, who has recently turned 17, has already spent a birthday in prison.

Read more about this Campaign at https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/urgent-release-palestinian-teen-activist-ahed-tamimi

Every day women on Twitter face a barrage of violence and abuse: from racist and sexist attacks to rape and death threats.

Twitter claims to be a champion of free expression, but women are routinely leaving the platform as the unchecked violence and abuse they receive becomes too much to bear.

Toxic-twitter

Amnesty have launched a campaign to get Twitter to clean up its act.

Please email Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and tell him to make Twitter a safe space for women by enforcing it’s rules on hateful conduct and abuse.

Take Action

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/toxic-twitter-violence-abuse-women

Further Information

Although violence and abuse on Twitter happens online, it has real life consequences.

In a 2017 poll we found that 55% of women who received harassment and abuse online said that they experienced anxiety, stress or panic attacks as a result. What’s more, over a third felt their physical safety was at threat due to the harassment and abuse they received.

Women have told us about the precautionary measures they have taken to protect their family from this abuse. One woman told us that she changed her child’s last name at school. Another said she turned down media appearances once her pregnancy became visible because she was terrified of any abuse or violence online targeting the baby.

Violence and abuse are an attempt to scare women into silence. Twitter must not allow this to go unchecked.

Read more about the women who suffer online and the Amnesty Campaign

Because Mahadine bravely spoke out against the Chadian government, he is in prison right now.

Everyone has the right to question the decisions made by their own government without being put in danger. Mahadine criticised the Chadian government on Facebook – but now he’s in prison and living in dire conditions.

Mahadine is a father of seven and an online activist. He told us that after he posted videos online criticizing the government, he was arrested and detained. He was beaten, electrocuted and starved of food and water for days. His health is deteriorating and if he does not receive treatment soon, it will only get worse and put his life at risk.

We need to put international pressure on the Chadian government – urgently.

More and more people are being punished for speaking out against the government in Chad. If we do not protect those that are being punished, the situation could get worse.

Take Action

Sign the petition and demand the Chadian government; Release Mahadine immediately and let him have the medical attention he desperately needs.

Make a Will Month is our free will-writing service taking place in March 2018.
Over 150 solicitors across the UK have pledged to give up their time for free to help you write or update your will.

Having a will is the only way to make sure your estate is passed on to the people and charities of your choice. Without a will the legal system decides who gets what.

Our free will writing service makes writing or changing your will simple and convenient.

Supporting us in your will

Most people who use our free will writing service choose to leave us a gift. It’s one of the most valuable ways you can help protect people wherever freedom, peace and justice are denied. Your gift could genuinely change lives by helping us tackle human rights abuses for decades to come.

Read more details

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/free-will-writing-service

The national conference and Annual General Meeting is a fantastic opportunity for members to come together to share knowledge and skills, hear from amazing speakers and feel energised ready to campaign effectively in the months ahead.

7 & 8 April 2018, Swansea University Bay Campus

The event is also an opportunity to get involved in debate and decision-making – a chance to engage in the democracy of Amnesty International UK and vote on the resolutions that will shape our work in the coming year.

Booking closes 1 March.

More Details

https://www.eventsforce.net/blueprint/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=40431&eventID=99&redirecting=1&traceRedir=2

Amnesty has a beautiful new travelling exhibition that celebrates our right to freedom of expression.

There are  21 x A2 (420 x 594 mm) foamboards, including an Intro panel. To borrow this exhibition please contact Community Organising Team.

This exhibition showcases artwork from Amnesty International’s recent book Freedom to Express Yourself: an inspiration notebook, on sale in all good bookshops.

About the book

Top artists have partnered with Amnesty to create a beautifully illustrated notebook that celebrates our right to freedom of expression.

Full of inspiring quotes and pictures, the notebook has plenty of empty space for you to express yourself with your own drawings, musings, to-do lists and doodles. It’s a great gift for anyone and everyone.

Artists who have created work for this book include previous Children’s Laureates Sir Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell, Turner Prize-winner David Shrigley, Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee, social activist and street artist Stik and best-selling journal author Meera Lee Patel.

They have based their art on pivotal quotes from some of the most important thinkers, writers and activists ever, including Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, Bob Marley and Harper Lee. Full list of contributors below.

With an afterword by fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood.

Published by Michael O’Mara Books, 14 September 2017. All royalties to Amnesty.

More Details

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/win-freedom-notebook

Azza Soliman – Women’s rights lawyer faces imprisonment

Azza Soliman is a lawyer and long-standing women’s human rights defender who has been persecuted by the Egyptian government for almost 30 years.

Her crime is simply fighting for the basic human rights of Egyptian women. She faces years in prison on dubious charges.

Her freedom is severely limited by an asset freeze and travel ban. Tell President al-Sisi that he must drop these charges and restore Azza’s freedom immediately.

Take Action

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/azza-soliman