© Amnesty International

Last Masterclass of the year

Saturday 1 December we had 35 students in our office for the Masterclass ‘Write for rights 2018: Who run the world?’ Together with Amnesty studentgroup members and other students, we discussed the organisation of the Write for Rights campaign and the stories of the female activists that we write for this year. It was a day full of information, interaction and inspiration!

The Write for Rights

Every year on 10 December (International Human Rights Day) we organise the Write for Rights, the former Schrijfmarathon. We’ve been doing it for 16 years and it’s the world’s biggest human rights event. Throughout the year we have several (online) writing actions, but on 10 December we write real letters & cards for specific chosen cases. A letter to the authority and a card to show your solidarity to the activist or a family member. Last year on about 600 locations in the Netherlands we wrote a record number of letters, more than 180.000. Worldwide more than 5 million letters, cards and text messages were sent.

Who run the world? Girls!

This year we write for female activists who stand up for human rights from all over the world. We introduced the impressive stories of these women to the students. For example, the story of 30-year-old Atena Daemi from Iran. Atena opposes the death penalty and has written Facebook and Twitter posts criticizing the country’s execution record. She has also taken part in a peaceful protest against the execution of a young woman. But these actions have been cited as “evidence” of her criminal activity and now she’s been sentenced to seven years in jail. Atena has suffered so much already. She’s been beaten, pepper sprayed and forced into solitary confinement, but she continues to fight for human rights. The students didn’t come to just sit and listen, we put them to work! They wrote one letter and one card to an activist that inspired them the most or that they could relate to the most. We ended the day by forming a rainbow all together, as a solidarity action for LGBTI-activist Vitaina Koval.

Meet the activist!

Writing letters actually works! You can meet four activists who are the living proof of that. Tonight, on 7 December, you can join the event ‘Letters with leverage’ and hear the stories behind 90 years of wrongful confinement. All four activists have been victims of failing judiciary systems in their countries and all four were released after we campaigned for them and wrote thousand of letters during previous Write for Rights. Want to get inspired? You can still register here You can also follow the event via a livestream.

After 18 successful Masterclasses, we are finishing up 2018. But we will be back in 2019 with a new series of Masterclasses. Curious? Check it out here.