AmnesTEA & Write for Rights by Leah Yohannes (A’21)

by jtijssen
Nov 11

On October 16th and 17th, Tufts Amnesty International hosted, AmnesTEA, an event organized to promote Amnesty USA’s “Write for Rights Campaign.” The idea behind AmnesTea is simple: get some people together, put the kettle on and raise money for Amnesty International’s human rights work around the world. The main purpose of the event is to promote awareness of current Human Rights Issues by having people sign petitions to their local government to initiate change.

Tufts AI members selected four cases to spotlight for the event and had visitors sign letters to send to governments accused of human rights violations. In exchange, Amnesty handed out teabags from a local teashop in Davis Square, MEMTea.

The focus of this year’s cases was youth activism. The first case was Grassy Narrows Youth, a group of young people from the Indigenous Anishinaabe community of Grassy Narrows who are demanding government action to end toxic mercury poisoning affecting their health and cultural traditions. The second case was Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, a leading Filipino youth climate activist dedicated to ensuring governments around the world confront the climate crisis. The third case was Magai Matiop Ngong, a 15-year-old schoolboy facing a death sentence for a crime he told the judge was an accident. Finally, the fourth case was that of Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder, two Greek rescue workers who are in prison charged with spying and people smuggling because they volunteered for a sea search and rescue mission in Lesvos.

The goal of Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign is to appeal to governments to release prisoners of conscience, to support human rights defenders, to stop torture, to commute death sentences and to stop other human rights violations. One of the largest human rights events, Write for Rights unites the voices of grass-roots activists from all over world. Thanks to everyone who participated this year!