Three from our chapter just returned from the 600 who attended Amnesty’s Western Regional Conference. The takeaway points:
- Your letters continue to work. Six prisoners of conscience, from the US hikers held for two years and released just 46 days ago from Evin Prison in Iran, to Palden Gyatso, the Tibetan monk released after 33 years of torture inside a Chinese prison, each said “Thank you for your letters.” Every one of the six former torture victims said the letters gave them hope and helped set them free. I wish you could have heard them.
- We improved our ability to help Mao Hengfeng. We connected with other AI groups and a private business working on behalf of other Chinese Prisoners of Conscience who gave us advice.
- We improved our ability to make the December Write A Thon successful. We gained more resources and learned from others who have run successful Write A Thons.
- We improved our ability to reduce maternal mortality. AI’s International Women’s Day Event is designed to reduce maternal mortality and AI’s New York-based campaign director, Tanuka Loha, is going to throw her weight behind Oregon’s Topanien Gifts, owned by our chapter member Nadine Lefkowitz. Topanien hosts this event each year, and with greater support from AI’s campaign director, this year’s event should be the most effective yet for lowering maternal mortality.