30+ reasons to be happy about 2016
For Amnesty International 2016 was not as bad as many have written off the year to be. Thanks to the support received they’ve helped free more than 650 people around the world, change laws in 40 countries, bring FIFA to account and even help convict war criminals.
They are sure outrage is not enough to change the world, but that it happens when people take action together. Here are some of the ways they’ve helped change lives this year in our region:
Maria Teresa Rivera was freed in May after being sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2011 after suffering a miscarriage. “I am very grateful to every man and woman who has been following my case with that lighted candle and who hoped that I would be free,” wrote the 33-year-old after her release. Thousands of Amnesty’s activists around the world wrote letters on her behalf urging the government to stop criminalizing abortion.
Yesenia Armenta was freed from prison in June. She had been convicted for being involved in her husband’s murder, only her “confession” was obtained after being tortured and sexually abused. More than 300,000 actions were taken for her by Amnesty’s supported in the Stop Torture and Write for Rights campaigns.
Ildefonso Zamora Baldomero was released in August. He is an environmental activist and prisoner of conscience and was unfairly imprisoned for nine months. “My sincere thanks to everyone at Amnesty International around the world,” said Ildefonso. “I don’t have enough words to tell you that I thank you endlessly.”
Belén was released from pre-trial detention in August. She had been sentenced to 8 years in prison after having a miscarriage. More than 120,000 people across the globe signed AI’s petition to local authorities calling for her release. Nonetheless a final decision on her sentence is still outstanding.
A new law introduced in June may help thousands of people searching for their disappeared loved ones to finally discover what happened. The law was followed by sustained campaigning for those who were abducted or went missing at the hands of the armed forces between 1980-2000.
You can continue to act in 2017 to achieve more changes around the world and Amnesty International can definitely help you find more campaigns.
If you want to know the rest of the people whose life changed thanks to Amnesty International’s support, click here.