A Rapid Response to Human Rights Threats Worldwide
Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network provides an effective and rapid response to urgent situations involving prisoners of conscience, detainees, and other individuals whose human rights are being imminently threatened. Members of the Urgent Action Network compose and send letters, e-mails, and faxes to government officials who have the power to stop the human rights violations.
Amnesty International USA receives Urgent Action cases daily from Amnesty International's London headquarters. These Urgent Actions are immediately processed and sent to the more than 12,000 individuals, Amnesty International USA chapters, schools, religious groups, and professional and special interests groups which make up the Urgent Action Network in the United States. Once the Urgent Action communications are generated and received, relevant authorities quickly realize that their actions are witnessed by an international audience deeply concerned about the case's outcome.
How the Urgent Action Network started
The first Urgent Action was issued on March 19, 1973 following the arrest of Luiz Rossi, a professor of economics at the University of Sao Paulo.