Solidarity collection in tribute to Fernando Báez Sosa

Family and friends of Fernando Baez Sosa This Sunday they held a solidarity act in Rivadavia Park, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Caballito, to pay tribute to the 19-year-old who was killed by a violent attack by a group of rugby players who had formed their bond in the Arsenal Náutico de Zárate club.

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The meeting lasted from 10 am to 7 pm. The organizers they had preferred to hold this demonstration rather than a march based on the situation of social distancing due to the pandemic. In fact, those who attended were asked to do so with all the security measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus, especially with the use of masks and avoiding the concentration of people.

The image of Fernando (Maxi Failla).

The image of Fernando (Maxi Failla).

“A year later, we honor their memory and solidarity by collecting non-perishable food and school supplies for those who need it most,” was the announcement in networks. Fernando’s parents, Graciela Sosa and Silvino Báez will participate.

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“I have a great relief in my heart because I feel that Fernando is here in our midst because we are doing what he liked, which was helping people. We decided to honor Fernando like this, as he was always supportive, we believe that it is the best way to remember him“, Graciela told Télam.

The sanctuary that the people built in Villa Gesell (Fernando de la Orden).

The sanctuary that the people built in Villa Gesell (Fernando de la Orden).

All proceeds will be assigned to the NGO “December 18” and to the charitable works of the Colegio Marianista, which Fernando attended.

Meanwhile, this Monday there will be two tributes events in Villa Gesell. One will be at 7 p.m. on Avenida 3, in front of the Le Brique bowling alley, where Fernando was murdered. The other will be at 20, a mass presided over by Monsignor Gabriel Mestre in the Immaculate Conception parish, on Buenos Aires avenue and Paseo 101.


A thousand plates of ‘fricandó’ for people in need in Barcelona

Throughout the morning of this Wednesday 1,000 rations of ‘frincandó’ de veal with mushrooms in the Olympic Port of Barcelona among the most needy groups and through solidarity centers of Cáritas, the Red Cross and the Parish of Santa Anna-Hospital de Campanya. The action has been promoted by Provacuno, the interprofessional organization of beef on the occasion of the Christmas holidays. The menu has been prepared by five great chefs: Paolo Casagrande, Paco Pérez, Joel Castanyé, Juan DL. Fernández and Iván Cerdeño, all of them recognized with stars Michelin.

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The event has attended the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, ​​Jaume Collboni, the president of Provacuno, Eliseo Isla Argelich, and the director of the Olympic Port, Toni Roig. The representative of the council has assured that the Catalan capital city council is working “constantly to help ensure that no one is left behind, fighting against the crisis and social inequalities, with all kinds of resources, actions and direct support, and above all putting people at the center “. Collboni stressed that with this initiative Barcelona demonstrates once again that “it is a city full of solidarity, with a civil, business and associative fabric that must not be alien to the reality of a time as complicated as the one that many individuals and families are experiencing. living”.

Eliseo Isla, for his part, thanked the Barcelona City Council for its collaboration in carrying out the distribution of food: “Thank you for being once again facilitators of the success of this action with those most in need. The beef sector, integrated by farmers, industrialists and butchers … is always committed to offering the best product for all, and so has been done throughout the pandemic. If now, for Christmas, we also help the people who most enjoy these dates needs, we will be doubly satisfied. “


Sussex solidarity passes through Asturias

Henry of England and Meghan Markle.

Solidarity from the United States with an English and Asturian stamp. Prince Henry of England And his wife Meghan Markle they have become partners of the chef from Mieres Jose Andres. The point is that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, now settled in California after relinquishing all ties to the British Royal House a year ago, have set up a charitable foundation, ‘Archewell’. And this has been associated with the non-governmental organization “World Central Kitchen”, led by the popular José Andrés. The three are going to distribute meals to thousands of families vulnerable to the pandemic during Christmas days.

“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect with our shared humanity. When we think of José Andrés and his incredible team from ‘World Central Kitchen’, we remember that even in the toughest year ever imagined there are many incredible people wanting to support others “, expressed Enrique and Meghan, which is not the first time who are involved in helping the disadvantaged during the pandemic.

For his part, the Asturian chef also plans to collaborate in his country, Spain. These parties will distribute 30,000 meals in Madrid under the orders of chef Pepa Muñoz, from El qüenco de Pepa. Tomorrow they will distribute to 60 aid entities. Families will receive a menu consisting of roasted turkey with pickled winter fruits, red cabbage a la Segoviana and truffled potato puree, with Christmas sweets for dessert. For all this, 3.6 tons of polvorones and mantecados from Antequera, 7 tons of turkey, 6 tons of red cabbage and 6 tons of mashed potatoes will be used.


Sussex solidarity passes through José Andrés

Henry of England and Meghan Markle. | // FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Solidarity from the United States with English and Spanish stamp. Prince Henry of England and his wife Meghan Markle have become partners with the chef José Andrés. The point is that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, now settled in California after relinquishing all ties to the British Royal House a year ago, have set up a charitable foundation, “Archewell.” And this has partnered with the non-governmental organization “World Central Kitchen”, led by the popular restaurateur José Andrés. The three are going to distribute meals to thousands of families vulnerable to the pandemic during Christmas days.

“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect with our shared humanity. When we think of José Andrés and his incredible team from ‘World Central Kitchen’, we remember that even in the hardest year ever imagined there are many incredible people wanting to support others ”, Enrique and Meghan underlined, which is not the first time who are involved in helping the disadvantaged during the pandemic.

For his part, the restaurateur also plans to collaborate in his country, Spain. These parties will distribute 30,000 meals in Madrid under the orders of the cook Pepa Muñoz, from the local El qüenco de Pepa. Tomorrow they will distribute to 60 aid entities. Families will receive a menu consisting of roasted turkey with pickled winter fruits, red cabbage a la Segoviana and truffled potato puree, with Christmas sweets for dessert. For all this, 3.6 tons of polvorones and mantecados from Antequera, 7 tons of turkey, 6 tons of red cabbage and 6 tons of mashed potatoes will be used. The solidarity, that is not lacking.


After the storm | The Herald

Hurricane Iota left a disaster of capital proportions. In a well-known national medium, a journalist commented that “hurricanes have no heart and they always tend to attack the most vulnerable.” And it is like this: disasters come and what we can do is stop, recover and learn to prepare better.

The response to a critical situation such as the one currently faced in the San Andrés archipelago has to differentiate immediate and medium-term decisions. In this column I will mention some actions that are currently being carried out and others that will soon be carried out in the area of ​​water and basic sanitation.

In San Andrés, all of the wells at the Duppy Gully plant were rehabilitated and 12 liters per second are being produced. Simultaneously, the 50 lps and 25 lps water treatment plants resumed their normal operation as of December 7. In other words, the drinking water capacity is the same as before the emergency. Additionally, the aqueduct system was rehabilitated and users already have the service as before the emergency. Regarding the sewerage system, we hope to complete the repair work of the Underwater Outfall before the end of 2020.

In Providencia the situation has been more complex due to the effects left by the Hurricane. The first big action was to establish mechanisms that would guarantee the water supply in the first three days through particular solutions. Among them, three portable water treatment plants were put into operation to resume the supply of drinking water on the island and the Agua Dulce plant was set up to pump water to the distribution network. Currently, about 90 thousand liters a day are being supplied through tank trucks and work is being done to rehabilitate the aqueduct network. The rehabilitation of the water distribution line between Providencia and Santa Catalina is underway and the intervention will be contracted shortly, as well as the repair of the Fresh Water Plant.

With the participation of various government organizations, mainly the Military Forces, progress is being made in the collection, collection and disposal of solid waste and a comprehensive waste management scheme was established that includes transportation, treatment and use. The San Andrés landfill, Magic Garden, has received 167 tons of mixed waste, of which a large percentage will later be incorporated for use in the RSU power generation plant. At the end of the emergency, it is expected to have processed more than 2,700 tons of waste.

In terms of basic sanitation, we made progress with the cleaning of identified critical points (septic tanks and networks), with the support of the Aqueduct and Sewerage Company of Bogotá, and of Empresas Públicas de Medellín.

Additionally, in coordination with the UNGRD, a scheme is developed to meet the sanitary needs of the resident and floating population, including cleaning equipment and sanitary units.

For the medium and long term, important investments have been secured for San Andrés y Providencia in the area of ​​aqueduct, sewerage and cleaning. In San Andrés, resources exceed 238 billion pesos in important works such as storm sewers, expansion of aqueduct networks, construction of the reservoir and optimization of the Magic Garden Urban Solid Waste Selection Plant (MSW). Additionally, within the framework of the ‘Commitment to Colombia’ strategy, strategic works will be carried out such as optimizing the desalination plant, increasing the efficiency of the waste plant, and purchasing vehicle-containers and selective collection equipment.

The great news this week is that, from the Ministry of Housing, we approved the storm sewer project for San Andrés and the approximate cost of the work, $ 50 billion, will be financed 100% by the National Government.

Investments in Providencia for the medium and long term in the field of aqueduct, sewerage and cleaning, will exceed 73,400 million in works such as the Master Plan of Aqueduct and Sewerage, the dredging of the Fresh Water reservoir, the rehabilitation of plants, the optimization of the landfill Blue Lizard sanitary, tank construction and the purchase of vehicles, equipment and machinery.

After the storm the sun rises, after the storm we will find stronger islands, better prepared, with reinforced infrastructure and with a population that managed to overcome this difficult moment thanks to the determined work of the actors involved and of course, thanks to the solidarity of all Colombians.

* José Luis Acero – Vice Minister of Water and Basic Sanitation.


Spain and France agree to ask for more European solidarity and cooperation with third countries for migration

They defend the European fund against Poland and Hungary but disagree on Turkey and do not advance proposals for the EU-Mercosur agreement


The Secretary of State for the EU, Juan González-Barba, and his French counterpart, Clément Beaune, agreed this Monday on the need for greater European solidarity to manage migration and curb illegal migration, as well as the need to work and involve more the countries of origin and transit.

They have stated this at a press conference after meeting in Madrid in which, however, they have not gone down to the details. Beaune has not elaborated his proposal that he has mentioned in interviews about the possibility of restricting visas to personalities from countries that do not accept the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

Thus, he has limited himself to saying that a discussion and an approach is necessary between the European partners on the “levers” and “incentives” that European countries can develop towards the countries that are the origin and transit of migrants and also have their own challenges. “We want to cooperate so that there is European support for these countries but that there is also a commitment on their part to help us,” he said.

The two have agreed on the need to reinforce the external dimension of the migratory pact. According to González-Barba, “the Spanish experience shows that cooperation with countries of origin and transit, operational cooperation and the opening of legal channels are the main instruments to control irregular immigration.”

Beaune, for his part, also pointed out that France has shown solidarity with its European partners every time it has been necessary to welcome immigrants, but that a permanent mechanism is “indispensable”. However, it has not commented on the working document that Spain handed over to the EU last week with other partners from the south of the EU, all of them first-entry countries (Italy, Malta and Greece).


The two officials have also closed ranks regarding the European post-Covid recovery fund and its conditionality to respect the rule of law despite the blockade maintained by Poland and Hungary. Beaune has been convinced that it will be possible to find solutions in a few weeks, but “if the blockade persists, other options can be considered.”

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González-Barba, who will travel to Poland this Tuesday, insisted that, for Spain, the text negotiated by the German presidency of the EU and the European Parliament “is the only one that can generate the necessary consensus.” Spain, he said, does not conceive that on January 1 the recovery fund may not be in force.


At the bilateral level, Beaune has ensured that there are no misgivings between Spain and France regarding the different entry control measures in the framework of the pandemic. Spain requires negative PCR for travelers entering by boat or plane, but France does not.

González-Barba has pointed out that it is a demand of the autonomous governments – “co-governance in the Spanish case, as you well know, is more complicated, he said – and has influenced that, in any case, it is about minimizing the effects on mobility.

From the outset, he pointed out that the French PCR certificates are being accepted, making a “flexible interpretation so as not to create more difficulties.” He also recalled that those who enter by land are not required, so that the inhabitants of cross-border areas are exempt.

In any case, they have agreed to stay in contact to see if improvements in the sensitivity of the cheaper and less laborious antigen tests are announced in the coming weeks, and they can start using them.

The two European officials have highlighted the close cooperation of both countries against terrorism and have jointly committed to strengthening European instruments. At the bilateral level, they are working to hold a Summit of the two governments in the first months of 2021 in France – the last one was held in Malaga in 2017.

However, Madrid and Paris continue to have different positions on how to deal with the tensions between Greece and Cyprus with Turkey. González-Barba has reiterated his solidarity with the European partners and has insisted on asking for a “negotiated solution between the parties avoiding incidents” that could prevent it. Beaune, however, has insisted on making “decisions that translate into collective firmness.”

Another matter of discrepancies is the EU-Mercosur agreement, discussed at the meeting but only to make an “assessment of the status of ratification” of the agreement. González-Barba has insisted on defending that it would be beneficial not only for Spain but also for the EU and to strengthen the European presence on the continent.

France is one of the countries that insist on demanding environmental guarantees from Ibero-American countries, while Spain recently signed a letter together with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden to ask the European Commissioner for Trade , Valdis Dombrovskis, the signing and ratification of the Agreement.


Neighborhood support networks expand throughout Barcelona in the face of the crisis

The neighborhood support networks that guarantee food, material, school support and job counseling have expanded into Barcelona since the beginning of the pandemic to what they describe as lack of protection and lack of support from the City Council as a result of the covid-19 crisis.

The Xarxes de Suport Mutu were born in March by the hand of neighborhood entities, facilities and individuals, and currently they already add more than 40 networks distributed among the 10 districts of the city.

The activists have explained that they take on tasks of social services, such as distribution of food and school supplies, tutorials, labor and legal advice, as well as accompaniment and support for those who cannot leave home.

The City Council approved in July a € 90 million fund to face the social needs and economic reactivation due to the coronavirus crisis, of which 35 million have been allocated to guarantee basic rights, attend the housing emergency, promote labor insertion, confront sexist violence and accompany the community network of the city, among others.

Municipal sources have recalled that the consistory has allocated more than 600,000 euros to 57 social entities neighborhood and neighborhood support networks and that, through the specific fund of 18 million that they activated for vulnerable families, aid of 200 to 475 euros per month (depending on income and number of family members) have been offered through the card Barcelona Solidaria purse.

“We can not cover more”

The member of the Raval Mutual Support Network (in the Ciutat Vella district) Joana Sales has declared that these aid do not cover all the needs of the neighbors and that they are having difficulties; above all, to guarantee food to the neighbors, “because the Food Bank he no longer gives food as he did during confinement. “

Many hands are needed, because mouths we can no longer cover more. If the Banc dels Aliments began to distribute it would be great: we could offer help to people who need it, “and he has assured that they are reaching where social services have not.

The member of the Clot Mutual Support Network (Sant Martí) Dani Celma explained that they were organized through the Federation of Neighborhood Entities (which brings together about 50) and that they offered school reinforcement and a computer center from where neighbors with internet connection problems could ask for help.

Has highlighted the labor and legal advice to people with a temporary employment regulation file (erte): “At first we assisted a lot of people, in the summer it went down and now it has risen again. About 30 people pass by here a month and we follow up on their case.”

Access to aid

The member of the Sant Genís i Montbau Mutual Support Network (Horta-Guinardó) Neus Moyano has complained that in recent months they have had problems accessing aid from the City Council: “We are the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona, the digital divide is very big and we find sick and elderly people who have difficulty applying for aid “.

“The City Council tries to act, but acts late. Quick reaction has been lacking, to realize the problem and find a way to intervene directly through the neighborhood associations “, he added.


Covid: After the State and the Market, it’s Community time

Pope Francis is sure of this and repeats it to everyone: we came out better or worse from the pandemic. The world crisis requires a rethinking of the parameters of human coexistence in solidarity. The “Covid Project – building a better future” is based on this idea, created in collaboration by the Dicasteries for Communication and Integral Human Development, which seeks to offer a path that from the end of the pandemic leads to the beginning of a new fraternity.


The long months of the pandemic triggered a rethinking of social models. Pope Francis was one of the first leaders to establish a working group, the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, to produce a “vision” of the future different and distant from the current one, which proved fragile especially in the protection of social groups. more fragile. Among the leading experts is undoubtedly the economist Stefano Zamagni, which is President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences since 2019. The pandemic, says Zamagni, “had been anticipated for years”, but above all – he observes – pandemics in general are “closely linked” to the economic model produced by globalization and the digital revolution. He says that now is the time to “review the rules”, a task in which all those responsible for the institutions and civil society should participate.

You are part of the Vatican COVID 19 Commission, the response mechanism instituted by Pope Francis to deal with an unprecedented pandemic. What do you personally hope to learn from this experience? How do you think society as a whole can draw inspiration from the work of the Commission?

A. – The “Covid19 Commission” is the first case, in the recent history of the Catholic Church, of an initiative that moves in frontier territory between the affirmation of universal principles and the direct commitment in the field by ecclesiastical institutions . Indeed, the specific function of the Commission is to stimulate public entities and civil society agents to act quickly, suggesting structured lines of action – therefore, not mere proposals – that come from a third party, that is, by above the parties, they should not find hostility or mistrust. I am of the opinion that it will.

Pope Francis asked the COVID 19 Commission prepare the future instead of prepare for the future. In this endeavor, what should be the role of the Catholic Church as an institution?

R. – “Preparing the future”, more than “preparing for the future” is a typical expression of the “frame of mind” of Pope Francis, whose philosophical structure is that of historical realism. “Preparing the future” means distancing our societies of the tyranny of determinism or of the “returning past.” The attitude of adaptation to what exists belongs to those who do not love freedom. The Church’s 2,000-year history is the most convincing testimony of what it means to “prepare the future Consider, for example, what the launch by Benedict de Norcia of the famous “ora et labora” meant and the model of organization of monasteries that later became an essential point of reference for the incipient civil economy market.

What personal lessons (if any) have you learned from the experience of this pandemic? What concrete changes do you hope to see after this crisis, both personally and globally?

A. – There are three main lessons I learned from the pandemic: Ta pathemata mathemata (Herodotus, suffering teaches). First, the lack of prudence of governments and other institutions – Aquino’s “charioteer virtutum.” The pandemic had been predicted for years. The latest WHO report of September 2019, The world at risk, concluded with specific recommendations for interventions directed at governments. Nobody took for granted! Second, the lack of humility of the so-called experts. Thus we have learned that science is not capable of guaranteeing us liberation from evil that many, considering that they could not ask for it from religions, hoped that it could come from them. Third, pandemics are closely linked to the economic model that has been imposed worldwide since the 1970s, when globalization and the digital revolution radically changed the economic and social scenario.

How is this pandemic different from previous crises in terms of its effects on the future of humanity? How can economics and ecology work together to ensure a better future, and what goals should they aspire to? This crisis is an unprecedented opportunity to build a regenerative economy and achieve a true “ecological conversion”. However, in the world of business and the public sector, there is an urgency to quickly return to the normal way of doing business. How can the political will to rebuild the system be stimulated? Will business and political leaders resist the temptation of a rapid and unsustainable economic recovery?

R. – It is true that the pandemic offers more than one opportunity to review the rules of the economic and financial game. But you have to love it. Who doesn’t want it? First of all, business leaders; second, the political forces; finally, most of the common people. The reasons are different, but the result is the same. The business world is refractory to heading down a transversal path, of which it knows certain costs and uncertain benefits. (See green economy). Political forces, linked as they are to the short term, are reluctant to apply long-term policies whose benefits would accrue to other actors. Finally, civil society itself is experiencing a situation of endemic intergenerational conflict. Young age cohorts are calling for radical change, because they know that their own destiny is at stake; not so the other generations, who are a numerical majority. (See demographic transition). For this reason, in a situation of stagnation, an entity such as the Church, with the authority that everyone recognizes, could play a decisive role.

The greatest burden of the pandemic will fall on developing and poor countries. What proposals would you present to address the situation of those in need, to prevent them from exposing themselves or being exposed to unhealthy and exploitative living conditions?

A. – It is well documented that the economic, social and human costs of pandemics fall mainly on the weakest segments of the population of developed countries. It follows that inequalities, which are already scandalously high, will increase further in the near future. Therefore, it is necessary to have the courage to say, “apertis verbis”, that in such situations the reformist strategy is of little use; rather, it is necessary to implement a transformative strategy as Pope Francis never tires of repeating. Specifically, it is necessary to insist, at the UN, that a New Bretton Woods be organized. That old woman from 1944 was designed and articulated to lift and launch the Western world. The New Bretton Woods must target everyone. This is now a technically possible goal.

How do you think it will be possible to involve large companies (some of them on the verge of bankruptcy due to the pandemic) in this regeneration process?

R. – Large companies are decisive to carry out the transformation strategy. Therefore, they should be pressured to follow up on what the 181 CEOs of America’s largest and most influential corporations signed in their 8/19/2019 statement. It is read that the intention is to rewrite the rules of the economic game and, in particular, to review the “Capital Code”. We know how this could happen, so why not do it? This could be the prosecution of the “Economy of Francis” next November in Assisi.

What should be the role of politics in this process of change? What is the role of citizens, families, communities and civil society?

A. – The family, the community and organized civil society are fundamental entities to initiate and support the regenerative process. However, it is necessary to decide, once and for all, on the conception of the nature of these subjects to which it is intended to adhere. On the one hand, the additivist conception, according to which the activities carried out by these entities are added to those carried out by the State and the Market, entities that are useful, but not indispensable for the progress of the Society. On the other hand, the emergentist conception, according to which the mission proper to these entities is, in the first place, to make visible what the introduction of the principle of brotherhood in economic action entails. Therefore, these subjects, before being worth for what they do, are worth for what they are and for what they testify. There are still too many who are content with the additive conception.

The Pope asked the Vatican COVID 19 Commission to “Prepare the future.” In economic and ecological terms, what future do you imagine?

A. – The future that we hope will come true is that the triadic model of social order is definitively established: State, Market, Community, which will replace the current dyadic model of State-Market. Second, I hope that the prospect of inclusive prosperity will become the concrete historical ideal in our society. Third, I hope that the concept of integral human development, as defined in Laudato si ‘, will replace the now obsolete concept of growth. In the name of growth, too many injustices and too many ruin have been committed against nature.


Write for Rights: An opportunity for governments to defend a sense of humanity

Amnesty International today launches the world’s largest human rights campaign, Write for Rights, in which it calls on governments to rectify injustices against people who are detained or persecuted in countries around the globe, and to lead by example to build a fairer post-COVID-19 world.

“As devastating as it has been, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought out the best in people. We have witnessed countless acts of compassion and solidarity as people come together in their communities to help those who need it most. Unfortunately, many governments have gone the wrong way, arresting and persecuting human rights defenders, ”said Julie Verhaar, Acting Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“We are at a crossroads: we can choose to build a future that has goodness, solidarity, tolerance and human rights at its core. Governments must seize this moment to demonstrate that they can rectify injustices by releasing prisoners of conscience, ending the persecution of human rights defenders, and respecting and protecting the right of all people to freedom of expression. . “

Write for Rights: The World’s Largest Human Rights Campaign

Every December, people around the world write millions of letters, emails, tweets, Facebook messages and postcards on behalf of others whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the largest rights event humans of the world. The ten cases selected for Write for Rights 2020 refer to private individuals and human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Malta, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.

Gustavo Gatica is a psychology student in Santiago, Chile. On November 8, 2019, he attended a protest against rising inequality, part of a series of mass demonstrations that made headlines around the world for his inspiring example of popular power. The police violently suppressed this protest, and repeatedly fired at protesters with rubber-coated pellets.

Gustavo was hit in both eyes and left permanently blind. Amnesty International is calling for a full investigation into the events that led to Gustavo’s injuries, and for the commanding officers to be held to account.

In Malta, three teenagers from Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea are incarcerated awaiting trial on unfounded terrorism charges after acting as interpreters for the captain and crew of a Maltese tanker that rescued them – themselves and more than 100 others. migrants – from their sinking inflatable boat.

Initially, the captain wanted to take the 114 people, including 20 women and at least 15 children, back in Garabulli, Libya, where they would have been in danger of suffering abuses such as detention under inhumane conditions, extortion and torture.However, after discussing it with the migrants, the captain and crew agreed to take them to Malta.

But when they got there, the three teenagers, who had acted as interpreters, were arrested for allegedly hijacking the ship and for forcing the captain to take them to Malta. They are now charged with very serious crimes that could carry life sentences, simply for refusing to be illegally returned to a place of torture. Amnesty International demands justice for “the three from El Hiblu” and calls for the charges against the young men (now 21, 18 and 16 years old) to be dropped.

Other cases include the following:

  • Germain Rukuki, Burundian human rights defender and prisoner of conscience serving a 32-year prison sentence. He was found guilty because of his human rights work. Amnesty International is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
  • Jani Silva, an environmental defender who represents hundreds of peasant people in the Putumayo region, Colombia, constantly threatened by illegal groups, the army, drug traffickers and multinational companies. In Colombia, human rights defenders face numerous acts of persecution, repression, threats, criminalization, and even homicides. Amnesty International is calling for the protection of Jani Silva and others who, like her, defend human rights.
  • The METU LGBTI Solidarity Group, whose members they face a prison sentence for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Turkey. LGBTI students at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara have been organizing an annual Pride march on campus without restriction for years. In 2019, the peaceful event was dissolved by the police. Students and a teacher were arrested and beaten, and the case is now in court. Amnesty International is calling for all those accused to be acquitted, for the excessive use of force by the police to be investigated, and for students to be free to hold peaceful marches on campus.
  • Idris Khattak of Pakistan, an enforced disappearance researcher for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, was – in a cruel twist of fate – enforced disappearance himself on November 13, 2019, and can now be charged with espionage. Amnesty International calls for his immediate release.

Campaign successes

As seen in previous years, letter writing can really make a difference for people whose cases are featured in Write for Rights, and it often offers tremendous emotional support and encouragement to these individuals and their families.

Nigerian teenager Moses Akatugba was arrested and sentenced to death when he was 15 years old, after being accused of stealing three phones. In 2019 he was released after 800,000 Amnesty International supporters showed their support.

“They sentenced me to death because the police claimed that I had stolen three phones,” says Moses. “But now I am free, because people like you wrote letters to support me. After eight years in jail, and 800,000 letters from Amnesty International supporters around the world, I was released. Those letters kept me spirited. Today I am alive thanks to them. Your letters can save a life. “

In July 2020, the death sentence of a South Sudanese was overturned, thanks in part to Write for Rights. According to his court testimony, Magai Matiop Ngong fired his father’s gun at the ground as a warning to his cousin, who was trying to stop him from fighting another boy in their neighborhood. The bullet ricocheted and hit his cousin, who later died in hospital. Magai, then 15 years old, was tried for murder without a lawyer. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Our research shows that the death penalty is used disproportionately against poor and disadvantaged people. According to international law, and the laws of South Sudan, sentencing a child to death is illegal.

More than 765,000 people took action and wrote to the government of South Sudan to express their solidarity with Magai. The South Sudan Court of Appeal eventually overturned Magai’s death sentence because he was a child at the time of the crime, and sent his case back to the High Court for a proper sentence..

“The power of individual actions to save lives and hold governments to account should never be underestimated. Year after year, we see the enormous impact that something as simple as writing a letter or an email can have, ”said Julie Verhaar.

“Write for Rights is about people who help others, and this way of expressing our shared humanity has never been more important and relevant. Governments must respond to this widespread desire for change by administering justice to those whose human rights are under attack. ”

Additional information

Write for Rights mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people around the world to, through action, change the lives of people at risk. Last year, more than six and a half million actions were taken – an annual increase for the eighteenth year in a row. The Yasaman Aryani case, in Iran, alone, received more than a million shares.

The Write for Rights campaign will run from November 20 to December 31, 2020.