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.
Each month, Amnesty International USA selects one Urgent Action case to feature for the Freedom Writers Network. Since the creation of the network in 1986, the Freedom Writers Network provides its members with pre-written letters on key human rights cases and concerns. Members send letters, based on sample correspondence provided to the network, as well all the information needed to send messages to relevant authorities. For the greatest impact, letters should be polite in tone and mailed within the month. International airmail postage from the U.S. is 98 cents for most standard letters.
Letters can make a tremendous difference in the fate of these individuals. Check out this month's Freedom Writers case.
For questions and comments about Freedom Writers or the Urgent Action Network, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org