The first blog is reserved for our first AISG activity: the DAF writing session! It took place on the 31th of October in the cozy coffee place MASMAS.
I’M NEW SO WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT…?
For the Amnesty newbies under us, let’s see what DAF actually is. The writing sessions are one of the main activities of every Amnesty organisation and they serve two goals. Firstly, as we are writing as many letters as we can, by sending them to governments, leaders and decision-makers who put human rights into question, we put pressure to make them change their actions, decisions and laws. Secondly, the letters will go to the victims themselves, to support and give them a heart. To achieve the highest impact possible the letters are sent away in parts. Quite impressive right?
WHO DID WE WRITE FOR? / WRITING FOR WHO?
This time the writing session combined two different cases. The first case was quite urgent. It is about Ruben Cárdenas Ramírez, a 47-year-old Mexican whose consular rights have been denied, is due to be executed in Texas on 8 November 2017 in Texas, USA. He was convicted in 1998 of a murder in 1997. The death penalty is in violation of international human rights.
The other case is about a new law in Brazil that transfers the ability to try human rights violations and crimes against life, such as killings and extrajudicial executions, carried out by military personnel against civilians. This contradicts the fundamental principles of fair trial, judicial independence and impartiality of the decisions. However, the Attorney General in Brazil can still appeal to the Supreme Court to stop the law from entering into force.
Amnesty International has prepared letters, but to make them more accessible and easier to write about, the committee made some nice and short example letters. With a Club Mate drink in one hand and a pen in the other, the letters came around smoothly. The chill music made it easy to chat about the cases and to get to know each other better. A perfect combination I would say.
WAS IT A SUCCESS?
It is always a success, since the victims feel supported in their actions for human rights. The revenue of this particular evening? 60 letters! Unfortunately much to our regret, the Mexican man has not escaped the death penalty and was executed.
WHAT IS UP NEXT?
This was the first of many to follow, since the writing sessions will take place every month.
The biggest one of all will already be on December 10th – the International Day of Human Rights, when the International Writing Marathon will take place. Bring your friends and see how much you can write!
text: www.amnesty.org photos: board 2017-2018