Global Write-a-thon 2010 – Write for riGhts

each year people across the world mark international human rights Day on December 10 by taking part in amnesty international’s Write for rights Global Write-a-thon - the world’s largest letter writing event. Join us in demanding that the rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled. help us show solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses, as we work to bring about real change in people’s lives.

this year, we will shine a light on twelve cases:
albertine – Maternal mortality / bUrKina faso
Albertine, a 25-year-old mother of two from Burkina Faso, died of childbirth complications after her treatment was delayed. Her brother-in-law had to make several long trips to and from the hospital to borrow over US $100 - significantly more than the average monthly income - to pay for medicine and blood. Albertine’s story is not unique. Every year, more than 358,000 women around the world die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths can be prevented if all women have timely access to quality maternal health care. If passed, the Global MOMS Act will be an important step towards ending preventable maternal deaths.

aung san suu Kyi and su su nway – Prisoners of conscience / bUrMa (MYanMar)
Amnesty International welcomes the release of Aung San Suu Kyi on November 13, 2010, but calls on the government of Myanmar to release all of the prisoners of conscience in the country. Su Su Nway is a labor activist who is serving a prison term of eight years and six months for raising a banner. Amnesty International considers Su Su Nway to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression. Urge the Myanmar authorities to release Su Su Nway immediately and unconditionally.

Mao hengfeng – Prisoner of conscience / China
Mao Hengfeng has been repeatedly detained, tortured and ill-treated because of her work to defend human rights. She is currently serving 18 months in China’s “re-education through labor” system for having protested in 2009 the arrest of human rights defender Liu Xiaobo. (In October 2010, Liu Xiaobo was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.) She has also campaigned against forced abortions and forced evictions in China. Despite the abuses she has endured, Mao Hengfeng continues to be heartened by messages of international support, including those from Amnesty International members.

Women in Congo – rape as a Weapon / DeMoCratiC rePUbliC of ConGo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been called the rape capital of the world. Every year, thousands of rapes are reported. Many more rapes go unreported because of the personal risk and shame associated with being attacked. A central problem is the use of rape as a weapon of war by all sides in the Congo wars. However, the frequency of rape as a weapon, and the almost total impunity for perpetrators of these atrocious crimes, have led to an increase in the incidence of rape in all corners of the country. The Congolese government, in collaboration with the UN, must develop a long-term, comprehensive action plan to end impunity for crimes committed in the country. The perpetual cycle of violence against women in the DRC must end.

femi Peters – Prisoner of conscience / GaMbia
Femi Peters is the Campaign Manager for the United Democratic Party, a political opposition party in the Gambia. In October 2009, he was arrested during a peaceful political demonstration and charged with a number of crimes including “control of use of loud speakers in public.” After months of trial, he was convicted and sentenced to a mandatory jail term. There are serious concerns for his health amid the appalling prison conditions. His family has not been allowed to visit him.

Global Write-a-thon 2010 – Write for riGhts
norma Cruz – human rights defender / GUateMala
Human rights defender Norma Cruz leads a women’s rights organization, Survivors’ Foundation, based in Guatemala City. As a result of her work documenting cases of violence against women and fighting for justice, she has been repeatedly threatened with death. Some of her relatives have also suffered threats and attacks. Norma Cruz and other defenders in Guatemala face constant danger.

filep Karma – Prisoner of conscience / inDonesia
Filep Karma is serving 15 years in prison for simply raising a flag. The former civil servant was arrested in 2004 for raising a flag symbolizing Papuan independence from Indonesia. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and seeks his immediate and unconditional release. His colleague Yusak Pakage was freed in July 2010, after campaigning by Amnesty International members. Now Indonesia must free Filep!

Majid tavakkoli – student activist, prisoner of conscience / iran
Student leader Majid Tavakkoli was arrested on December 7, 2009, for speaking at a demonstration marking Student Day in Iran. Following an unfair trial, one which his lawyer was not allowed attend, he was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. He now suffers from a serious respiratory condition that may deteriorate while he is imprisoned. He is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression.

Walid Yunis ahmad – Unlawful detention / iraQ
Walid Yunis Ahmad went missing after his arrest on February 6, 2000. For three years, his family wondered if he was alive before learning that he was detained and tortured by authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan. After more than 10 years, the security agency, Asayish, continues to hold him even though they have yet to charge him with an offense or bring him to trial. He remains in solitary confinement. Amnesty International calls on authorities in Iraq to release Walid Yunis Ahmad if he is not promptly charged and tried.

Women of atenco – Violence against women / MeXiCo
In May 2006, police detained and physically and sexually assaulted dozens of women in the town of San Salvador Atenco. Although authorities have acknowledged that abuses took place, none of the perpetrators have been held accountable for the crimes committed against these women. More than four years later, the women continue to seek justice. Amnesty International is pressing Mexican authorities to prosecute those responsible for these abuses.

roma families – forced evictions / roMania
In 2004, around 100 Roma people were forcibly evicted from their homes in Miercurea Ciuc in central Romania. Around 75 of them were relocated to metal shacks right next to a sewage plant. The conditions are unsanitary and the horrible smell is unbearable. The rest of the evicted community is living by a garbage dump two kilometers outside the town. The Roma families were told that the move would be temporary, but six years later, local authorities have no plan to relocate them to adequate housing.

reggie Clemons – Death penalty / Usa
Reggie Clemons was sentenced to death in Missouri as an accomplice in the 1991 murder of two women. Clemons has maintained his innocence, and his case illustrates many of the flaws in the U.S. death penalty system. Shortly after a 2009 execution date was stayed, the Missouri Supreme Court assigned a judge (a “Special Master”) to investigate the reliability of his conviction and proportionality of his sentence. Call on Missouri’s Governor to grant clemency in this case.