Amnesty’s Write for Rights

Wickham Pack, Shirley Murray, Clare Barrett and Margaret O'Born
Wickham Pack, Shirley Murray, Clare Barrett and Margaret O’Born

Kapiti Coasters writing letters to aid human rights victims

By Alan Tristram

Kapiti Coast Amnesty members will soon join others from some 80 countries to help human rights victims by the simple act of writing a letter.

The campaign’s called ‘Write for Rights.’

And the writers will name and shame offending governments — and make specific appeals to

support these victims.who are suffering human rights abuses.

On Tuesday, 10 December 10, the  Amnesty International Kapiti group will meet at the Olive Grove Cafe in Waikanae to write and take action for several people overseas who are at risk and in prison.

Write for Rights has become an annual Amnesty event and last year alone 1.9 million letters were written around the Globe.

“The world needs your help, and this Write For Rights event is a great opportunity to do good, fast!” says Wickham Pack, Amnesty’s Kapiti’s leader.

She adds:“So come along, bring a friend, share the love and sign letters with us.”

This year people around New Zealand will be writing on behalf of Cambodian housing rights activist Yorm Bopha

Yorm Bopha
Yorm Bopha; imprisoned Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega; Belarusian gay rights activist Ihar Tsikhanyuk and imprisoned community leader from Myanmar Dr Tun Aung.

The campaign has already had one success this year as Cambodian Yorm Bopha, was released from prison on bail on 22 November, however the charges against her remain.

Just days after being reunited with her family and community, she told Amnesty International: “Thank you to Amnesty International’s supporters!

“Your campaign has been successful, as my release shows! But my case is not over yet.”

Please keep pushing the Cambodian government to end the case against me. And please keep supporting me, my community and others in Cambodia! We can achieve the most success when we all work together!”

And for those still in jail, and their families, the messages of support

are invaluable:

“These letters gave me hope that someone in this world feels for me and my husband, who has been detained for seven years without charge or trial,” says Tahani, wife of Sudanese national Hamad al-Neyl Abu Kassawy, one of thousands detained in Saudi Arabia as part of the ‘war on terror.’