Write a letter to save lives this summer

A close-up image of a person's hands while they write letters


15 January 2024

Write a letter to save lives this summer

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand is launching the annual human rights letter-writing campaign, Write for Rights.

Write for Rights is a global campaign run by Amnesty International teams around the world. Every year, supporters come together to write letters of solidarity to people whose rights have been restricted or denied, and to call on the people in power who are accountable for these violations.

“Each and every person in our Write for Rights campaign has suffered injustice. They have faced huge risks, imprisonment and, in some cases, they have been killed.

“We refuse to let their stories go untold or be forgotten. We are calling on New Zealanders to share their compassion and help change lives,” said David Vega, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand.

Taking just a little bit of time to get involved, through writing letters and signing petitions, really does make a world of difference. Since Write for Rights started in 2001, millions of people have changed the lives of those whose human rights had been stripped from them. Over the years, more than 50 million actions have been taken and over 100 people featured in the campaign have seen a positive change in their situation.

This year, Amnesty International’s campaign features eleven people, including:

  • Rocky Myers, a Black man with an intellectual disability, is under sentence of death for murder in Alabama, USA, despite no evidence directly linking him to the crime scene and serious flaws in his legal case. The judge imposed a death sentence against the jury’s recommendation, a practice now outlawed in Alabama.
  • Rita Karasartova, a mother and environmental activist, is currently under house arrest for peacefully protesting in support of the protection of a freshwater reservoir in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Thapelo Mohapi, a leader of the grassroots movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), is living in hiding due to threats to his life, simply because he is fighting for a better future for people in South Africa.

Every year, the Write for Rights campaign has powerful impacts – helping to release activists, secure justice for those whose rights have been wronged and protect people from further harm. Time and time again, we prove that small actions can achieve enormous things.

To find out more and to get involved, use the following link: https://amnesty.org.nz/write-for-rights