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The Telegram
  • HCCC students take a stand for human rights

  • The fourth annual J’Amnesty for Human Rights took place at Herkimer County Community College on Thursday afternoon.

    The letter-writing event brought students together to make a difference in the lives of prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders, victims of torture and at-risk individuals.

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  • The fourth annual J’Amnesty for Human Rights took place at Herkimer County Community College on Thursday afternoon.
    The letter-writing event brought students together to make a difference in the lives of prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders, victims of torture and at-risk individuals.
    “By writing letters we’re helping those affected by human right violations,” said Brittany Landry, a member of the college’s Amnesty International Club and a senior. “For example, an individual could be arrested for speaking aloud non-violently about their political views and the letters written by Amnesty International are sent to the leaders seeking justice for the individuals wrongly accused.”
    Freshman Jessie Hilts is not a member of the club, but said he was intrigued by the letter-writing taking place during the event.
    “I really believe in peace and human rights and many things such as this could be done a lot differently in the world to help those affected by unjust laws,” he said.
    Former Amnesty International Club member Samantha Haines still tries to support the club after graduating. “I enjoy knowing I am helping someone that doesn’t have the ability to speak and it’s nice to speak out for them and help make a difference. People should be able to speak out and not have to worry about what will happen if they do,” she said.
    The J’Amnesty writing-letter event has helped to free several people throughout the world wrongly convicted of an unjustified crime.
    Amnesty International Club co-advisor Pat Gressler said during previous J’Amnesty events students and the entire Amnesty International organization wrote letters that eventually led to the release of prominent political ex-prisoner of conscience and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
    Suu Kyi was elected as the democratic leader of Burma in 1990, but at the time she had been detained under house arrest. She remained under house arrest until 2011, when she was finally released.
    “Aung San Suu Kyi was wrongfully imprisoned and the Amnesty International organization was a big part of making a difference by making her cause known to the world,” said Gressler.
    Monkey & The Crowbar provided musical entertainment at the event.
    For more information on Amnesty International, visit www.amnestyusa.org.
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