Blog Action Day is a yearly event in which bloggers promote awareness for a particular theme. This year the theme for Blog Action Day is human rights. To demonstrate the power of letter writing I will share some success stories of this year.
- Jalila Khamis Koko, a teacher and human rights defender, was released in Sudan in January. She spent ten months in detention for “crimes against the state”.
- In March, journalist Abdiziz Abdnur Ibrahim had charges against him dropped in Mogadishu. He had been arrested for “making a false interview” during his research on sexual violence in Somalia.
- On July 26th, Raisa Radchenko was released from a psychiatric hospital in the Ukraine. This forced psychiatric incarceration was believed to be in retribution for her human rights work.
- In August, political activist Zmitser Dashkevich, was released in Belarus having spent two years in prison for fabricated assault and disobedience crimes.
- On September 24th, Hamid Ghassemi-Shall was released having spent five years in an Iranian prison. Charged with espionage, Ghassemi-Shall has spent the last four years on death row.
- Yolanda Oqueli, a human rights activist in Guatemala, is now receiving police protection. She was attacked and shot in June for protesting the development of a mine.
- Most recently Tarek Loubani and John Greyson were released from prison in Egypt on October 7th. The two Canadians were detained in August for “inciting violence”, “carrying weapons”, and “destroying public property”.
It only takes fifteen minutes to make a difference or save a life. For more information on letter writing visit Amnesty International.