It’s World Human Rights Day! Or was, yesterday. I stood in the street to ring this bell and yell this yell – “Oyez, oh yea, it’s Human Rights Day, so you’re invited into our house for a cup of tea and a cupcake and to strike a small blow for human rights.” And about one in six did come in out of the rain and found they had to pay, oh yea, but not much, for their tea or coffee, served by Tilly and friends, and had to write something on a postcard.
You too can find a picture postcard and write on it a short message, such as “Keep up your courage” or “We in Chicago are thinking of you,” and mail it to Johan Teterissa.
Johan is a teacher, in the part of New Guinea that is ruled by Indonesia. He was guilty of leading a peaceful 2007 protest for the rights of native Papuans, whose cultures and languages are completely different from those of Indonesia. Police punched him, made him crawl on his belly on hot asphalt, beat his ears with rifle butts, and after an unfair trial he was convicted of “rebellion,” and is nine years into a 15-year sentence in a prison thousands of miles from his family. Mail the postcard to this much-shortened version of his address:
Lapas Klas 1 Batu
And how about one more, out of the several that Amnesty International suggested for this “Write for Rights” action.
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM)
Private Bag 797
Annie Alfred, aged eleven, is one of those who have to live in constant danger because of having the genetic condition of albinism – lack of pigment in skin, hair, and eyes. Albinoes in Malawi are often abducted, mutilated, and killed; their bones are used in witchcraft. No one has been arrested for the seven such killings reported in 2016.
Postcards, with simple messages such as “I admire your courage – Jean, in Boston” (keep Christmas and religion out of it), help to make authorities aware that the world is watching them.