Write for Rights GOOD NEWS
“...your colleagues have lighted up my life. Pass them all my regards and thanks.” Magai Matiop Ngong, Write for Rights 2019
On July 29, 2020, Magai was removed from death row after an appeal’s decision to quash the death sentence due to the fact that Magai was a child at the time of the crime.
“To everyone who sent me countless letters from around the world I want to express my deep gratitude. While in prison, these actions lifted my spirit.” - Taner Kılıç, Write for Rights 2017
Taner Kılıç is the chair of Amnesty International Turkey and was arrested in Turkey in 2017. He spent over a year in prison for his peaceful human rights activism. He is now free and reunited with his family.
"International support is the most powerful tool that women like me can get. Every single signature for the petition to get me free, made a difference. Now I'm free. I'm no fairy tale, I am a true story." -Teodora Vasquez, Write for Rights 2016
Teodora Vasquez hugs her family and friends shortly after being released from the womens Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador on February 15, 2018, where she was serving a sentence since 2008, handed down under draconian anti-abortion laws after suffering a miscarriage.
“I am very honored to be among the cases that you have selected for your Write for Rights campaign. I am honored to know people like you who denounce the injustices committed by the authorities and governments. You have brought joy into my heart. Thank you.” - Mahadine, Write for Rights 2017
Mahadine, an online activist in Chad, was released on April 5th, 2018 after spending more than 18 months in prison on fabricated charges. He had been facing a life sentence for a Facebook post critical of the government.
“Receiving your letters really comforted me when I was in prison. Thank you!” - Muhammad Bekzhanov, Write for Rights 2015
Muhammad Bekzhanov, a journalist in Uzbekistan, languished in jail for 17 long years until his release in 2017. His prison sentence was handed down after an unfair trial and severe torture, and arbitrarily extended by the authorities for Bekzhanov’s political activism. At the time of his release, Bekzhanov was one of the world’s longest prison-held journalists.
“Thank you very much each and every one of you. Not just for campaigning for my release, but for helping to keep our hope and our beliefs alive.” - Phyoe Phyoe Aung, Write for Rights 2015
Phyoe Phyoe Aung is a human rights defender and Secretary General of one of Myanmar’s largest student unions. On March 10, 2015, she and 50 other students were arrested by police for their peaceful protests against an education law that limits freedom of education. She was freed in April 2016.
“I am happy to finally be free after more than 17 months of imprisonment. I thank Amnesty International and all those who fought in one way or another for my release. I look forward to seeing my family and friends to continue the fight for democracy and freedom in my country.” - Fred Bauma, Write for Rights 2015
Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala are human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were imprisoned for their peaceful human rights activism and were considered prisoners of conscience. They were freed on August 30, 2016
“I feel joy, and so much emotion. To everyone who has stood by me, I give my heartfelt thanks. Without this support, my freedom would have been almost impossible.” - Yecenia Armenta Graciano, Write for Rights 2015
In July 2012, Yecenia Armenta was taken into police custody in Mexico and brutally tortured. The police beat her for hours, raped her and threatened to kill her children. In spite of medical evidence that torture took place, the ‘confession’ was used to charge Yecenia. She was released in 2016.
"I’d like to thank our friends at Amnesty International and Amnesty USA for their remarkable support these last years, culminating just recently in the Write for Rights Campaign." - Albert Woodfox, Write for Rights 2015
On his 69th birthday, February 19, 2016, he walked free – 44 years after he was first put into solitary confinement in Louisiana. He was the USA’s longest serving prisoner held in isolation. For the first time in more than four decades, Albert Woodfox was able to walk outside and look up into the sky in 2016.
“I am alive today, after 33 arrests (it's now far more), because members of Amnesty International spoke out for me." - Jenni Williams, Write for Rights 2011
Activist Jenni Williams, is a founder of the social justice movement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), who has endured dozens of arrests and beatings for leading peaceful protests. In 2003, Williams co-founded WOZA with the late Sheba Dube to demand social and political reforms in Zimbabwe under the brutal rule of Robert Mugabe.
“I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activist for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation. Amnesty International members and activist are my Heroes." - Moses Akatugba, Write for Rights 2014
Moses Akatugba was sixteen years old when he was arrested under suspicion of armed robbery in 2005. Moses spent more than three months in police detention, where he says that police officers repeatedly beat him with machetes and batons. Moses was forced to sign two pre-written confessions, and was sentenced to death in 2013. He was released in 2015.
"Thank you to Amnesty International’s supporters! Your campaign has been successful, as my release shows. We can achieve the most success when we all work together.” - Yorm Bopha, Write for Rights 2013
Yorm Bopha is a Cambodian housing rights activist, previously imprisoned for defending her community’s rights at the former Boeung Kak Lake in the capital Phnom Penh, where thousands of people had been forcibly evicted since 2007. She was released in 2013.