The local Amnesty International group are, once again, taking part in this year’s global “Write for Rights” campaign. For nearly 25 years, people on the Isle of Man have been sending cards to individuals around the world who are suffering human rights abuses. Originally, it was called “Send a Message of Hope”. Some may remember the Christmas tree with barbed wire and candles in the Strand shopping centre that we hung the cards on – and the distinctive ‘Dove’ cards that said “A Message of Hope from the Isle of Man”.
A message of solidarity shows them that they are not alone and the millions of cards that are sent can force authorities to address human rights violations, cruelty and injustice. They show presidents, judges, police chiefs and prison governors that the world is watching.
Worldwide, nearly 5 million cards were sent last year and there have already been positive outcomes in 7 out of the 12 cases. 4 have been freed, governments have changed legislation, restrictions have been lifted and the safety and security of others has been guaranteed. All this resulting from people just taking a few minutes to write a short message!
Unfortunately there has been no change with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who we wrote the most cards for at last year’s Isle of Man events. She is the British/Iranian charity worker who was sentenced to 5 years in prison on unspecified ‘national security- related charges’ in 2016 and whose current situation has been made even more uncertain by the recent careless remarks of the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.
There are 3 venues for our public card-signing sessions this year. They are:
Friday 17th Nov. (12-3pm) & Saturday 18th Nov.(10am - 3pm) at SHAKTI MAN, RAMSEY
Saturday 25th Nov. (10am - 3pm) in the Atrium cafe on the ground floor of TOWER HOUSE, DOUGLAS
Saturday, 16th Dec (10am - 3pm.) in the foyer of CASTLETOWN CIVIC CENTRE (Town Hall & Library)
We have chosen 8 of this year’s cases to highlight at these events. They are:
1. Azza Soliman - EGYPT - a women's rights lawyer facing imprisonment.
2. The Istanbul 10 - TURKEY - the Amnesty staff just released from prison but still facing trial along with 100’s of other campaigners, lawyers & journalists.
3. Shackelia Jackson - JAMAICA - who is seeking justice for her brother who was unlawfully killed by a policeman.
4. Issa Amro & Faridal Atrash - ISRAEL/PALESTINE - peaceful campaigners facing trial in an Israel military court.
5. Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam - SUDAN - an award winning activist and engineering professor repeatedly targeted by the Sudanese authorities and who remains in danger.
6. Tadjadine Mahamet Babouri - CHAD - tortured & imprisoned for criticising government’s “mismanagement” of public funds.
7. Rodrigo Mundaca - CHILE - campaigner for water rights who was attacked and is facing legal threats.
8. Clovis Razafimalala - MADAGASCAR - campaigner against illegal trade in rosewood and other natural resources. Was in prison, now under suspended sentence.
For some of these individuals Amnesty have provided us with specially designed cards that we can send freepost and they will be delivered direct to the recipients in prison. For others we have the Isle of Man Dove cards with translated messages – all you need to do is sign and pay for a postage stamp.
If you cannot make it to one of these signings, there is information about all the individuals in this year’s campaign on the Amnesty UK website so you can send a card from the comfort of your own home. If you want more details about the Isle of Man campaign please contact email@example.com or phone 334109.