When members of the local Amnesty International group gather next Tuesday to write letters, they are hoping to add to the pressure to free a Canadian imprisoned in China.
JL Groux, of the local Amnesty group says there are about one million Muslim Uighurs in China’s western province of Xinjiang. Huseyin Celil, a former activist, is a Canadian citizen from Ontario who has been a prisoner of conscience in a Chinese prison for 13 years, he says.
“Amnesty Canada members know that when we come together we can achieve change. And the more people that come along to these kind of events, the more our movement will grow,” says Groux.
There are other cases Amnesty International Niagara Group 137 will highlight, and sign letters to help put pressure on foreign governments to release prisoners of conscience.
The Dec. 10 event is called Write for Rights in Niagara, and will focus on 10 cases worldwide, including young people.
Grassy Narrows, a First Nations reserve in northern Ontario, is one of the situations they will protest, although in this case, their letters will go to the Province.
Given the harm that has already been done to the people of Grassy Narrows, and the situation in which they now live — their health seriously affected by an environmental disaster that dumped mercury into their water, their land clear-cut by loggers, and a commercial fishery that provided employment closed — for more than a decade Amnesty International has been campaigning for justice, protection of their rights and an improved standard of living.
They would be happy to have a good turn-out of supporters and letter-writers, says Groux.
Write for Rights in Niagara takes place Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Meridian Credit Union Arena.