Words for Freedom: Voices for the Unjustly Imprisoned

Janthe Van schaik


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As the Development Officer for the Syrian Emergency Task Force and student in security I am partaking in this call for action by being locked up for 10-hour in the former prison De Lik to advocate for individuals around the world who are unjustly imprisoned. This act is more than symbolic; it's a direct effort to amplify the voices of those silenced by oppressive regimes. During this time, I will write to ten specific individuals, whose stories embody the struggle against injustice:

  1. Marfa Rabkova (Belarus): Serving an unjust 15-year sentence for her human rights work.
  2. Yahaya Sharif-Aminu (Nigeria): Facing the death penalty over a song.
  3. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (Bahrain): Imprisoned and mistreated for peaceful protesting.
  4. Floriane Irangabiye (Burundi): Jailed for speaking critically about the government.
  5. Ilham Tohti (China): Sentenced to life for advocating for the Uighurs.
  6. Leonard Peltier (United States): Serving a life sentence after an unfair trial.
  7. Hoda Abdelmoniem (Egypt): Detained without just cause for over four years.
  8. Virginia Laparra (Guatemala): Imprisoned for fighting corruption.
  9. Alexandra Skochilenko (Russia): Jailed for anti-war activism.
  10. Maykel Osorbo (Cuba): Facing nine years for a protest song.

By writing to these activists and to the relevant authorities, we put pressure on those in power to release them. This event is a testament to our collective power to bring about change and a reminder that we must not rest until every unjustly detained individual is free.

Through this act of solidarity, I aim to draw attention to these specific cases and the broader issue of wrongful imprisonment worldwide. It is a reminder that our freedom is intertwined with the freedom of others, and we must continue to fight for a world where human rights are respected universally.

This initiative is not just a demonstration of empathy, but a call to action. I aim to draw attention to the urgent need for international intervention and support. My role in the Syrian Emergency Task Force has shown me the power of collective action and the importance of giving a voice to those who have been forcibly silenced.

Through this act, I hope to inspire others to recognize the severity of this humanitarian crisis and join in our efforts to bring about change. It's a reminder that freedom is a right, not a privilege, and that we must tirelessly work towards upholding human dignity and justice for all