Amnesty International Write for Rights in Verdun

January 7, 2019
Amnesty Writes

As part of the Amnesty Write for Rights campaign in Verdun last December, I wrote an encouraging postcard to Geraldine. Geraldine founded an Amnesty International youth network in Venezuela. The authorities then arrested her and she spent four months in prison. They released her with conditions. She can’t leave the country and could be arrested again at any time.

I also wrote to Amal Fathy. The Egyptian authorities jailed this young mother for posting a video about sexual harassment online.

Iranian activist Atena Daemi got a postcard from me too. So far, Daemi served five of her seven-year sentence. Her crime consisted of distributing anti-death penalty leaflets.

I also filled out a postcard to South African anti-mining activist Nonhle Mbuthuma. Mbuthuma runs a campaign to keep mining companies off the land that’s been in her family for three generations. She wants to pass it on to her children.

Will one of the women send me a letter back?

It’s possible, says co-organizer Micheline Vermette, but certainly not expected. Our goal is to support the women while making sure that local authorities know that the international community cares about these women

My postcard writing formed part of a local group participating in the annual Write for Rights Amnesty International campaign.

Many of us stopped by Baobab Café in Verdun last December to join in on the annual letter writing campaign co-organized by Vermette, Serge Ouellette and Jocelyn Talbot. Lorraine Bouchard handed me information about each of the women as I arrived.

“It’s inspiring because a lot of these women get released after they’ve been featured in the letter-writing campaign,” said Vermette, who was thrilled that the community supported the group in their efforts. “Serge and I did it along last year, so this year, we decided to invite the community to join in too.”

The group says that they’ll definitely organize another Write for Rights campaign in Verdun next December.

I definitely plan to participate again.

You can participate too, by going to the Amnesty website and adding your name to the list of people supporting each woman.

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Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.

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