7/12/16: International Human Rights Day and AI UK’s Write for Rights Campaign – Parliamentary Reception at Speakers’ House

The All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG) and Amnesty International UK (AI UK) hosted a Parliamentary reception in Speaker’s House in Parliament on 7 December to mark International Human Rights Day and highlight AI UK’s annual ‘Write for Rights’ campaign.

We would like to thank PHRG Chair, Ann Clwyd MP, Mr. Speaker and AI UK for co-hosting this event.


The speakers were:

  • The Rt Hon Baroness Anelay, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ;
  • Kate Allen, Director, AI UK;
  • Richard Radcliffe, husband of British Iranian dual national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe detained in Iran;
  • Sue Turton, TV Journalist.

The main points made included the following:

  • Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign has been very successful in supporting those suffering serious rights abuses. At the reception in Speaker’s House, UK Parliamentarians and other attendees were invited to write in connection with individual cases linked to China, Iran, Egypt, Malawi and the UK.
  • A previous ‘Write for Rights’ campaign focused on the case of Albert Woodfox, who was in solitary confinement for 43 years, and who spoke of his experiences after his release at a PHRG event in November. After having received the messages of solidarity in connection with that campaign, Albert said: ‘Your messages from beyond the prison walls have become an enormous strength for me.’    
  • At a ‘Refugees welcome in the UK’ table at the event, attendees could write a message to refugees or asylum seekers telling them about a place they love in the UK, which was then placed on a large map of the country, with the aim of creating a more welcoming UK for refugees.
  • The case of prominent critic of the Chinese Government, Ilham Tohti, was also featured at the event; attendees could send a letter to the prison authorities calling for his unconditional and immediate release.
  • Another case featured was that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the dual UK-Iranian national imprisoned in Iran since April, having been accused of plotting the ‘soft overthrow of the Islamic Republic’. Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, spoke at the event. The PHRG has lobbied for months on Nazanin’s case (as well as that of detained dual UK-Iranian national Kamal Foroughi) and PHRG Ann Clwyd MP also raised the case during her speech.
  • FCO Minister Baroness Anelay discussed the FCO’s on-going work on human rights, and why International Human Rights Day is so important.

The PHRG has been a long-standing supporter of AI UK’s Write for Rights campaign and was delighted to co-host this event in parliament.

For more information on AIUK’s Write for Rights campaign, click here.