Human Rights Day: Write a Letter on Behalf of Prisoners of Conscience

Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman

Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman

Today is Human Rights Day! This year’s theme is “20 Years Working for Your Rights”, and the Arab Spring is a perfect example of this. Even though the tipping point for the uprising was just a few years ago, the human rights issues that the protestors are addressing were 20 years in the making. Many people were working behind the scenes prior to the international headlines. There are also many people who haven’t made the headlines but should have. Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman is one of those people.

In December 2011, Suleiman was protesting with a friend in Tahrir Square when they saw a group of soldiers beating a young woman. Suleiman and her friend tried to carry the young woman to safety when the soldiers decided to turn on them instead, beating Suleiman until they knocked her unconscious. When she woke up in the hospital, her skull was fractured and her bed sheets were soaked with blood. Suleiman’s brother lodged a complain with the armed forces about the attack, but as of today, no one has been held accountable for the beating and Suleiman has not been compensated. Authorities say the investigation is still ongoing.

Sample Letter

His Excellency Adly Mahmoud Mansour
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt

Dear President,

Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman was attacked by Egyptian soldiers during a protest near Tahrir Square on Dec. 17, 2011. The soldiers brutally beat Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman, leaving her with a fractured skull and lasting memory problems. Nearly two years later she is still waiting for the culprits to be held accountable.

Please act now to bring Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman’s attackers to justice.

Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman’s case is emblematic of the abuses and injuries that protestors – particularly women – have suffered at the hands of Egyptian security forces. I call on you to open an independent, impartial and public investigation into the attack on Azza Suleiman and into all other cases where the security forces are reported to have used excessive force. All who have suffered deserve justice, including compensation, restitution, rehabilitation and public apologies.

It is critical that women and girls are able to express their views on the future of Egypt and to protest without being detained, harassed, assaulted, tortured, or subjected to degrading and discriminatory treatment. Please ensure that security forces do not target women peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Holiday Card Meeting Tonight!

It’s the last time we’re meeting for the entire year! If you miss this meeting, then you won’t see any of the wonderful people of our chapter until January. It’s also Human Rights Day, so what better way to spend the evening then with human rights activists helping those who need our help? Below are the details.

Who: Our Amnesty International chapter and those interested in human rights

What: To send holiday cards to prisoners of conscience and their families. Also to spend some time with each other before the holidays and the end of the year.

When: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Hartford Coffee Company on the corner of Roger and Hartford, one block off of Arsenal

Why: Because people need our help and we can make a difference.

How: We’ll provide the paper, pens, and pertinent information on each of the cases. For this meeting, if you can bring holiday cards (cards that don’t have written references to a specific holiday or religion), then that would be great.

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