The Winter 2017 edition of Amnesty Magazine, (pp 15 – 23) explains how a few minutes of your time can make a difference to peaceful people arrested or tortured, activists fighting against forced evictions, or refugees left in limbo rather than offered a place of safety. Your few minutes can provide people with some of the strength they need to carry on.
This winter Amnesty supporters around the world will send millions of messages of Solidarity as part of “Write for Rights.”
Don’t let them shut off innocent voices.
Since 1967, Israeli authorities have arrested and detained hundreds of thousands of Palestinians under military order 101, which punishes West Bank Palestinians for peaceful political expression.
In the city of Hebron, 200,000 Palestinians are effectively held hostage by 800 Israeli settlers who invade houses with the military, attack the children of Palestinians, throw Molotov cocktails at houses. . . Ambulances are not allowed in without special permits. There are roadblocks and checkpoints everywhere, there are water shortages and municipal services are restricted. Seventy-seven per cent of the shopping area (1800 shops) is closed. There are 1000 empty Palestinian apartments because the Israeli’s force people to leave through their ‘quiet transfer’ policy. Yet, Israeli’s and tourists are allowed to wander Hebron freely.
People who resist are guilty until proven innocent and face up to 10 years and / or, a hefty fine. Virtually all cases end in conviction. Amnesty International is also being penalized by the Israeli ministry of finance through the controversial anti-boycott law.
What can you do?
Write to the ambassador for Israel in your country or the Israeli Prime Minister.
Israel is not the only nation on earth persecuting innocent people.
Violence and death threats are used against Honduran’s, Chilean’s and Madagascan’s.
Write to the ambassadors in your country or, the heads of state.
Lethal Force is used by police in Jamaica where public safety is threatened by those who are supposed to uphold it.
Truth and Justice have become strangers in Turkey where human rights defenders face “Trumped up terror charges” and face possible 15 year sentences.
In the UK prolonged separation of refugee families is having devastating effects on peoples lives. A second reading of a parliamentary bill will be read on 16 March 2018. What you can do? Urge your MP to attend the reading and let Amnesty know what response you get.
Failing that, reblog, repost, Tweet links to this article and urge people in your networks to take action. Together we can be a force for change.
This is our planet, it is about all of us.
Your words are powerful
‘Letters from Amnesty supporters…were really powerful and helped me to stay strong. They protected us because the authorities knew thousands of people were watching.’
(Fred Bauma, pro-democracy activist in Democratic Republic of Congo)
It only takes a few minutes to write a letter or postcard but for someone enduring prison and torture just for protesting peacefully; or someone fighting forced eviction, or for refugees left in limbo it can provide the strength to carry on.
A message of solidarity tells someone like Fred, they’re not alone. It lets their abusers know the world is watching.
Following release of my next novel (details out soon), the subsequent novel follows a traveller through hostile terretories as he tries to right the wrongs suffered by innocent people. Watch this blog for forthcoming news.