Our Top 10 Wins of 2008

December 19, 2008

Thank you Amnesty International activists for all of your important work this year!

Your activism has led to some major advances in human rights in our battles against torture, violence against women, the conflict in Darfur, ending the death penalty and protecting prisoners of conscience and other individuals and at risk around the world.

Check out our top 10 wins below and watch our year-in-review video Top 10 Words of 2008.

Here are just a few wins you can take credit for:

  1. 1.5 million letters: online and hand written letters delivered to governments worldwide and Congress here at home.
  2. 116 people protected from persecution and danger: from China to Turkey to Myanmar (Burma) to the United States, your letters worked! And helped free innocent human rights activists and political prisoners.
  3. Death penalty executions averted: 18 stays or commutations worldwide (8 in the U.S., 2 in Texas). And tens of thousands of letters and numerous vigils for Troy Davis mean he’s still alive today, fighting for justice in the state of Georgia.
  4. 500+ groups or individuals met face to face with lawmakers: Amnesty International supporters met with their Members of Congress on Darfur, Guantánamo and violence against women.
  5. Guantánamo Bay replica cell tours the U.S.: Amnesty brought a two-ton, bright orange replica of a Guantánamo Bay cell to 11 cities, including both national political conventions. More than 12,000 people toured the cell, and 10-15 million either read about it in their local or national newspaper or saw the cell on TV.
  6. President-elect promises to close Guantánamo: since it opened, Amnesty has been on the frontlines pushing for its closure. This past year’s heightened campaigning helped support President-elect Obama’s decision to close Guantánamo.
  7. Local groups make a big impact: Group #133 mobilized its annual “Get on the Bus” event. More than 1,200 activists traveled to Manhattan for a day of demonstrations at the U.N. missions of Sudan, Sri Lanka, Libya, Myanmar and India.
  8. Pretty Bird Woman House: secures a shelter house in March 2008. We wrote letters to the town of McLaughlin, SD urging their assistance in opening the shelter. This follows the original hard-hitting research Amnesty conducted last year on violence against Native American and Alaska Native women.
  9. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: for its 60th anniversary, Amnesty releases several videos online, including an exclusive music video track available on iTunes. Total viewership worldwide reached over 500,000.
  10. Progress made on legislation: your in-person visits, together with all your letters, petitions and online actions meant that our Government Relations team had the backup and grassroots support needed to secure some important legislative victories:
  • Growing number of Republicans and Democrats co-sponsored the International Violence Against Women Act
  • Millions of dollars set aside for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Darfur.
  • Habeas corpus gains affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court survived proposed rollbacks in Congress.
  • Senate passed a resolution calling on the United Nations to stop the flow of weapons into Darfur by expanding the current arms embargo to all of Sudan.
  • Progress made to include funding to stop violence against Native American and Alaska Native women in the 2009 appropriations bill
  • Funding package to Mexico included important human rights safeguards

On behalf of all of those lives that have been changed because of you, we just wanted to say thank you!