Speaking truth to power: Regina residents write to free human rights defenders
Amnesty International members in Regina writing letters for 11 cases overseas
The written word can be a powerful thing in a person's most vulnerable state.
Amnesty International members in Regina took the time to write letters in defence and support of imprisoned human rights defenders from around the world at the Artful Dodger on Sunday.
I spend 20 minutes writing a letter and I could save someone's life in another country.- Nathan Bauche, Regina resident
"Sometimes people have been wrongly imprisoned; sometimes they have been killed, and sometimes they're at risk of imprisonment because of their human rights work, so we're writing for them," said Crystal Giesbrecht, fieldworker for Amnesty International.
Letters are sent in hopes of influencing governments to release prisoners who defend human rights.
Hundreds of events took place across Canada.
This year, participants wrote letters in support of 11 cases from countries such as Turkey, China and Bangladesh.
For more than a decade, Nathan Bauche has been writing for the cause.
Bauche estimates he writes about 50 letters each year.
"For me it was an easy way to get involved," said Bauche, a Regina resident.
"I spend 20 minutes writing a letter and I could save someone's life in another country."
Last year, members of the world-wide non-governmental group sent more than four million messages. This year the organization hopes to increase that number to five million.
"It works and we know it works," said Giesbrecht.
"Every year we hear about at least one person who is let out of jail, or one person whose sentence is overturned."
Dec. 10 was also International Human Rights Day.
With files from CBC/SRC