Last semester, I discovered Amnesty International’s “Write for Rights” campaign and was immediately drawn to this cause. People all over the world are unjustly arrested in a violation of their human rights. One example is the arrest of Nassima al-Sada. Nassima worked to advocate for the rights of women and minorities in Saudi Arabia and was arrested for this in 2018. She is still in prison to this day, and what Write for Rights allows us to do is write directly to those in positions of authority, demanding she be freed and charges be dropped.
I was a little unsure of what to write. In the case of Nassima, Write for Rights gives you the information to write directly to the King of Saudi Arabia, and that can seem a little intimidating! Luckily, WFR provides templates for what to say, as well as prompts if you want to add your own touch to the letter.
One thing that I especially loved about WFR was that not only do they give you the information to write to those who hold the power to make things right in each case, they also provide ways to let those who have been arrested know that you are supporting them and remembering them and their fight. Whether that be the address to their prison, their email address, or their twitter or Instagram account, WFR makes it clear that letting them know they are not forgotten is important.
This is my second semester volunteering through WFR and it has been extremely impactful on my life. Seeing these people be arrested for things I take for granted really reminds me to be grateful for the life I have been given. It also reminds me that not everyone has the opportunities I have, and that needs to change. Specifically, seeing the young people who are close to my age who have been arrested hurts my heart and fuels me to help them in any way I can, even if the most I can do is write a letter.
When I was volunteering, WFR had 10 cases to which you could write letters directly, and out of those 10, there were 7 that you could write a letter or email to the people or their families. The other 3 only had social media as outlets to show support. I wrote letters for those 10 cases as well as the 7 letters to them/their families.
I encourage you to get involved! You don’t have to write 10 letters – you can find the case that speaks to you the most and show your support! Whether it be women’s rights, environmental causes, LGBTQ+ rights, or the right to peaceful protests, you can find something to get behind and join the fight.
Georgia Richardson has completed her second year as a Luckyday Scholar. She is majoring in geography (sustainable development).