© Pierre Crom

Kicking off the Write for Rights with Zunar!

Kicking off the Write for Rights with Zunar!

The biggest Amnesty action has to be the Write for Rights. Every year the Write for Rights starts on 20 November; International Children’s Day. From that day on, people from all over the world write millions of letters and cards for 10 specific activists. Some activists have been tortured, discriminated, were forced to marry someone or were imprisoned simply for expressing their opinion. We write letters to authorities to ask for justice and we send cards to the activists to encourage them. One of the activists we wrote for in 2015 helped us with the kick-off this week. His name is Zunar!

The story of Zunar
The well-known Malaysian cartoonist Zunar was charged with nine sedition charges on 3 April 2015 for allegedly insulting the judiciary in tweets relating to then opposition leader and former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Anwar Ibrahim, after he was jailed on sodomy charges. Amnesty has campaigned for the last three years to withdraw the charges against Zunar. His story was one of the Write for Rights cases in 2015. In July 2018 he was finally acquitted of all charges, thanks to all the letters that were written during the Write for Rights!

Let’s kick things off
Because the Write for Rights meant a lot to Zunar, he visited the Netherlands on the 20th of November to kick-off the campaign. And where can a cartoonist do this better than at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam? But Zunar wasn’t the only cartoonist at the school, Tjeerd Royaards, the ‘Inkspot Prize’ winner of this year, was there as well to battle against Zunar. During the cartoon battle, Tjeerd and Zunar fought neck-to-neck. It was very exciting, but eventually the winner is… Well you can see for yourself, check out the video.

Write for Rights 2018:‘Who run the world? Girls!’
The case of Zunar proves that the Write for Rights really does help! This year during the Write for Rights we are campaigning for female human rights defenders from all over the world. Women who demonstrate for equal opportunities, criticize their government and stand up for human rights! Unfortunately, many women who dare to stick out their necks have to deal with (sexual) intimidation, smear campaigns and rape more often than men. But the good news is, you can take action for them! On 10 December you can write letters and/or cards in our office in Amsterdam, but all over the country students organise their own Write for Rights events. For more info click here or send an email to writeforrights@amnesty.nl

Write a letter, change a live!