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A Guide to Letter Writing
Letter Writing Campaigns
Why Write a Letter?
To make a difference by ...
Writing Letters Makes a Difference!
Basic Format of a Letter
Date the Letter
-Briefly introduce yourself and state how you heard about the issue
-Briefly introduce your understanding of the issue
-State your purpose for writing and call for action
-Thank the person you are writing to and let them know you look forward to a response
Print your Name
Who to Write a Letter to:
-Public Officials (Politicians)
-Heads of State
-POCs / people you are in solidarity with!
Why Write a Letter?
Calling for Action
Holding Governments Accountable
Bringing Attention to a Certain Cause
Calling for the Release of POC . . .
What to Write in a Letter?
Write about an issue that concerns you
Stick to one issue per letter
Keep it concise and focused
Get ideas from current world issues
Go to www.amnesty.ca to find out about current letter writing campaigns
Use Correct Titles and Salutations
-to Queens, Kings and Monarchs
YOUR EXCELLENCY - to Heads of State, Ministers, Prime Ministers, Governors and Ambassadors
- to Judges
DEAR MR/MRS PRESIDENT
DEAR ADMIRAL / GENERAL / CAPTAIN
-for military officials
DEAR SIR/MADAM - for local authorities, prison commanders, police chiefs.
AI Write For Rights Campaign
Annual letter writing campaign in which Amnesty International members and supporters around the world write letters for human rights cases.
On Human Rights day on December 10th 2012, tens of thousands of people from 80 different countries wrote 1.9 million letters in support of human rights cases.
Gao Zhisheng is a Chinese human rights activist and attorney who is known for defending activists, religious minorities and documenting human rights violations in China. Imprisoned numerous times for his human rights activism.
Girifna is a Sudanese youth group calling for non-violent resistance to the government in Sudan. It is composed mainly of university students and was founded in October 2009. Since then, its members have been targeted by the authorities, including by being arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured and sexually assaulted.
Amnesty's Urgent Actions
Visit Amnesty International's
Take Action Now
Page to get ideas on who to send letters to!
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Head of the Judiciary
Islamic Republic of Iran
My name is Sara and I am a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia. I am writing to express my deep concern for Canadian Citizen Hamid Ghassemi-Shall who awaits execution in Iran after an unfair trial. I heard about Hamid's case from a leadership camp that I attended.
Hamid is a Canadian citizen who was arrested in late May 2008 while visiting his mother in Iran. In November 2009 Hamid and his brother, who was arrested 2 weeks prior to Hamid, were convicted of espionage and were sentences to death. The legal proceedings were unfair and neither Hamid nor his brother had a meaningful opportunity to defend themselves.
Being a Canadian Citizen myself I recognize the importance of fair trials on recognizable criminal charges in legal proceedings that fully conform to international fair trial standards. The death penalty violates the right to life and is inhumane punishment which does not deter crime.
I urge you to guarantee that Canadian Citizen Hamid Ghassemi-Shall will not be executed and call on you to release Mr.Shall immediately to ensure a fair trial for a recognizable criminal offense and to investigate Hamid's imprisonment conditions to ensure he is not subject to torture.