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Nigerian activist Moses Akatugba in the Netherlands

Nigerian activist Moses Akatugba in the Netherlands

Five years ago, during the Write for Rights, thousands of people all over the world took action for Moses Aktatugba from Nigeria. In 2005 the then 16-year-old student was arrested on suspicion of stealing telephones and sentenced to death. After 800.000 letters he was released. Last week Moses was in the Netherlands to share his incredible story and the power of the letter writing.   

Tortured into a confession 

In 2005 the then 16-year-old student Moses Akatugba was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and stealing three  telephones. The police heavily tortured him: he was beaten and hanged for hours during interrogations. His nails were pulled out to force him to sign a “confession.” This confession was the only basis for his death sentence eight years later. After ten years and 800.00 letters from people all over the world, he was granted pardon by the Governor of the Niger Delta State on 28 May 2015. Thanks to people’s support he can now tell his story.  

I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activists for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation. Amnesty International members and activist are my Heroes.”- Moses Akatugba 

The impact of letter writing 

Moses is the vivid example that letter writing works! Therefore, we invited him to come to the Netherlands to share his experience. Among others he visited FunX radio, Koffietijd and various schools. For example, Moses was present at the kick-off of the Write for Rights, which took place at the Nicolaasschool in Rotterdam. Together with 180 students, he celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. And the official start of the Write for Rights campaign. Moses was also present during the National Student Day in the Hague and inspired the students to take action in the Write for Rights. On this day 45 Amnesty Student Group members joined forces to take action for Iranian activist Yasaman Aryani. 

Masterclass ‘The Write for Rights’ 

Moses was released as a result of thousands of letters written during the Write for Rights. This year’s Write for Rights focuses on 10 young people, all of whom are victims of injustice. We will stand up for them! You can already sign online letters via the website. Want to do more? (yes please) Join the Masterclass ‘The Write for Rights’  and get informed about how YOU can take action.