Thank you for your support
â€œW hen you think of the huge economic interest and the political power in play for the big arms producers and exporters, this treaty is a tribute to both civil society who championed the idea to save lives and reduce human suffering as well as the governments who heeded that call.â€? Widney Brown, Amnesty International Senior Director of International Law and Policy
From all the staff at Amnesty International NZ, a huge thanks for helping us secure our robust Arms Trade Treaty - WE DID IT!
Thank you for your INF LUENCE Your efforts to create a robust Arms Trade Treaty as part of a It was your gifts, perhaps the most rewarding and effective global push gave us the power and influence to ensure that investment you have ever made, that enabled our team of experts human rights were at the heart of the United Nations discussion. to be there in New York, representing us all, including victims. On 2 April, 155 governments voted in agreement to regulate the $100bn arms trade, preventing for the first time the transfer of guns, bombs, tanks and bullets to countries where we know or suspect they would be used to commit abuses.
It was the letters you wrote, the demonstrations and meetings you attended throughout our 20 years of campaigning â€“ and the emails and tweets you sent right into the last 48 hours of negotiations, which helped strengthen the final Treaty text.
Finally putting peopleâ€™s rights above profits. The rights of women not to be raped at gunpoint, of families in Syria not to be blown up in their homes, and of children not to be armed and forced to shoot at other children.
It was also thanks to our partners in the Control Arms coalition and to the NZ Government who answered your call and fought for a treaty we can all be proud of. A truly historic celebration.
And it was all thanks to you. The world now has a treaty!
Thank you for using your influence to help bring about a powerful milestone that will save lives for many generations.
Thank you for your COMPASSION Mao Hengfeng, a mother of three daughters and former prisoner of conscience, has relentlessly campaigned for reproductive rights and against forced evictions in China.
Since 2004, Mao Hengfeng has been detained and tortured several times for defending human rights in China. In November 2012, Hengfeng was again sentenced to ‘re-education through labour’ for ‘disturbing social order’. However in February we received the fantastic news that she had been released from Yangpu police detention centre in Shanghai. On 8 February, the Chinese authorities gave Hengfeng permission to serve the rest of her sentence at home and she was finally reunited with her children. Thank you for your part in ensuring Mao Hengfeng’s return home. She has sent her thanks to everyone who campaigned on her behalf.
Gao Zhisheng, one of China’s most respected human rights lawyers, has also been in and out of prison since 2006 on charges of “inciting subversion”. In April 2010, after giving an interview, Zhisheng disappeared again. He is currently being held in Shaya county prison in northwest China and remains a prisoner of conscience. In January we heard the news that his family were granted visitation rights - a small but important improvement as his wife and two children had not been allowed to see him in nine months. Thank you for helping to make this possible. Zhisheng’s wife sent this message to Amnesty on 14 February.
Zhisheng’s case was a key focus of our Write for Rights campaign last year that saw 1.6 million letters written worldwide by Amnesty supporters such as yourself.
“Following a letter writing marathon organised by Amnesty International at the end of last year and actions from the international community, the family of Zhisheng was granted a second prison visit on January 12 of this year. It is a small improvement, but it could not be achieved wit hout the international community’s concerns and the efforts and support of Amnesty International members, for which my family and I feel most grateful. I hope that Amnesty International will continue to promote this activity, allowing more people to come to know my husband’s sit uation, until he gains his release.”
Thank you for your SOLIDARI T Y When the people of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) raised their voices in protest, you were right there beside them. The popular protests have changed the political landscape to an extent that few could have foreseen. From Tunisia to Libya, Egypt and Yemen, we have seen some positive results, yet the processes and change are far from over. Your support has enabled us to conduct research missions to gather critical testimonies and eyewitness accounts from the field and publish for the world to know of the abuse carried out on both sides of the conflict. Last year, we lobbied the Russian Government to end the atrocities in Syria and made strong calls for the international
community to take action. We also repeatedly called for the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court. Thank you for standing alongside them with your actions and gifts. Your solidarity brings courage to those who are suffering and reminds them that they are not forgotten. Although the violent conflict rages on it is important Amnesty International continues to investigate human rights abuses in the region and for you to continue to speak out on this issue. Thank you for standing up with people in crisis.
Nowhere has the human cost of the â€˜Arab Springâ€™ been higher than in Syria, where the bloodshed has only intensified.
Thank you for your HOPE & DETERMINAT ION As you read this, ordinary people are in prison being beaten, tortured, even killed, for exercising their human rights. Your support shows these people that someone, somewhere, knows they exist and cares what happens to them. Thank you for giving hope to those who risk everything for their freedom like Azza Hilal Suleiman. Azza was beaten mercilessly by soldiers during protests in Egypt for defending another woman whose underwear was exposed as soldiers dragged and beat her. Supporters like you wrote thousands of letters to her and to the Egyptian authorities calling for justice. Azza responded with:
â€œI only have faith in people, whether in Egypt or abroad, to achieve change... We have suffered a lot in the past two years and faced a lot: teargas, shotgun pellets, beatings, sleeping in the cold outside.. O ne thing that gives us hope is support and solidarity from regular people. People are the only impetus for change. Government will not improve or do anything unless there is pressure. The amount of messages I received gives me a lot of hope despite the challenges.â€?
After being behind bars for 29 months, prisoner of conscience Kartam Joga was released from Jagdalpur jail in India. Mr Joga had been detained solely for peacefully expressing his views. Amnesty International has always maintained these were politically motivated charges.
© Warren Buckland Hawkes Bay Today
Amnesty members in Hawkes Bay showed great determination as they continued to send letter after letter to the Indian Government asking for Kartam Joga’s release. They also wrote letters directly to Mr Joga himself. After his release Mr Joga said these messages were “one of the key factors” which kept up his hopes for release. Thank you for using your freedom to help defend the rights of thousands of individuals at risk worldwide. Your determination is saving lives and bringing freedom to many.
Mr Joga is just one of 44,000 individuals who have been freed from prison, saved from torture and protected from death threats in the past 50 years - Thank you.
Thank you for your VOICE Thank you for speaking out. It’s amazing to see what we were part of as 42,000 Cambodians united to call for an end to forced evictions on International Human Rights Day 2012. Activists danced ‘Gangnam style’ as they presented to the Cambodian authorities 40,000 signatures collected by Amnesty International NZ, France, Germany and South Korea. Your support has played a vital role in empowering local communities to understand their rights under Cambodian and international law and is sending an important message to the authorities that the world is watching their actions. Thank you for amplifying the voice of the Cambodian people.
Last June, your support contributed to the global pressure that helped free 13 peaceful protesters who were sentenced to two a half years imprisonment.
Thank you for your UNIT Y All over the world, more people are joining together to demand their rights and holding more governments to account than ever before. As a part of Amnesty, you link arms with them, encourage them and give them a stronger voice. In the year ahead, we will continue to work hard in tackling major human rights issues youâ€™ve just read about as well as addressing child poverty in New Zealand by making sure economic, social and cultural rights are real for all Kiwis. We thank you in advance for your much needed support and for being a defender of human rights in the Pacific and beyond. Your actions and gifts make all these incredible moments possible. Thank you for being the heart and soul of Amnesty International.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to seeing freedom, dignity and justice available to all.
When a freed prisoner of conscience reunites with their family; when an oppressive dictator is brought to justice; when people march in peace to demand their rights - you are right there at the heart of the action - Thank you!