A different Christmas wish

Justin Crann
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Amnesty International collects Write for Rights signatures

There are few good deeds to be done around the holidays that cost only a signature, but Amnesty International's Moose Jaw chapter opened the door to one Tuesday.

Janet Kilgannon, a spokesperson for the local chapter of Amnesty International, poses for a photo at the organization's Write for Rights event at Java Express Tuesday.

With their annual Write for Rights day at Java Express, the organization's local wing was seeking Friendly City denizens willing to put their signature on letters in support of the oppressed around the world.

"Rather than feel helpless about situations we read in the newspaper, (people) can actually participate and bring about a chance to ameliorate a bad situation for those people affected," said Janet Kilgannon, a spokesperson for the group in Moose Jaw. "We're reminding the world we're still needed to bring candlelight to the darkness."

Among the cases Amnesty International was targeting with this year's Write for Rights campaign is that of the Bolotnaya Three: three men arrested and detained by Russian officials during a peaceful protest in May, 2012.

The mens' health is ailing, said Kilgannon, and the organization "would like to see them released, because they have done nothing to violate any laws."

The issue is especially important on the eve of the Sochi Olympics, she added.

"We want to continue to remind the world that Russia does not always treat its citizens in accordance with the rights given to them under international law," she said. "We want the world to know that, and we want to respond in a way that's practical to help keep these prisoners safe."

Kilgannon said Amnesty International chapter is relying on the "entirely grassroots" support of Moose Javians and other "ordinary people in countries all around the world."

"We have a strong group in Moose Jaw, with a wide range of supporters across the community," said Kilgannon. "This is one of the best places where voices can be raised to help other people with their situations throughout the world."

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Organizations: Amnesty International

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly, Russia

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