Write for Rights (WFR) is a flagship event of Amnesty International where millions of people from around the world come together through writing to protect the rights of others, in the hopes of freeing them from torture, harassment or unjust imprisonment.
Amnesty BAC is a subsidiary club of Amnesty International Malaysia, and actively partakes in advocating campaigns such as WFR.
WFR Volume 1, held on 17th January 2022 via Zoom featured key speaker Lily Jamaluddin, of Amnesty International Malaysia who executes campaigns on death penalty abolition, freedom of expression, police reform, and rights of migrants and refugees.
Amnesty BAC decided that it was time to host a physical event, adhering to all SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). On 28th January 2022, WFR Volume 2 was held at the BAC Performing Arts Centre (BACPac) at the PJ Campus. The session proved to be interactive and engaging.
This entire event, was spearheaded by Siti Nazatul Nadia (Director of Internal Affairs) and Jacinta Cruz, (Executive, External Affairs and Representative of Amnesty BAC, Amnesty International Malaysia’s Youth Committee). The success and smooth-flow of this event was solely due to the support and effortless contributions from 25 other Committee Members, who took charge of registration, designing posters, marketing, and promotion, and prepping the venue for the event.
Kicking off the event, Emcees cum Project Leads Jacinta and Nadia briefed the audience with an introduction about WFR. Following this were impactful speeches, one by Honorary Guest Raja Singham, Managing Director of Brickfields Asia College, and the other two by Amnesty International Malaysia representatives Ms. Katrina and Ms. Lily.
In this WFR campaign, the four cases below were highlighted:
Zhang Zan (China) – A citizen journalist who was locked up for reporting on Covid-19
Janna Jihad (Israel) – A young journalist who was harassed for exposing Israeli violence
Wendy Galarza (Mexico) – Who was shot in a protest for violence against women
Michael Imoleayo (Nigeria) – Who is facing trumped-up charges for marching against police violence, extortion, and killings
All the above were presented by case representatives – Ong Jia Liang, Nicholas Preston, Ashleshaa and Divyabharti, who then attended to guests at their individual booths.
Project Lead Jacinta said, “It was truly fulfilling to see everything that was planned fall nicely into place.” Again, she gave due credit to her team at Amnesty international and BAC. Echoing her sentiment was Nadia.
When asked what was the biggest take away from an event such as this, Jacinta concluded, “As much as virtual events are convenient, it cannot compare to the ambience and experience a physical event provides. It was very heartwarming to see participants making the time and effort to participate in an event for a worthy cause.”
This physical event was also an opportunity for Committee Members to meet each other for the very first time in real-life, since holding office since September 2021.
Amnesty BAC expresses its relief that things are gradually returning to normalcy, where more impactful events such as this can be planned, and meaningful memories and friendships can be forged.