It was a busy year for Amnesty International Ireland. We’ve seen important progress in each of our three priority campaigns. Most notably, 2017 was the year we finally welcomed Ibrahim Halawa home. This young Irish citizen and Prisoner of Conscience arrived home in October after spending more than 1,500 precious days of his life languishing in prison in Egypt. Thanks to our intensive campaigning alongside his family, lawyers, and other supporters, he is safely home at last. Chelsea Manning also walked free from prison in 2017. Globally, more than a quarter of a million people wrote demanding her release as part of our Write for Rights campaign in 2015. In a letter to Amnesty, she wrote: “I support the work you do in protecting people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.”
2017 was a momentous year for our ‘It’s Time. Repeal the 8th.’ campaign. Every day, women and girls in Ireland have their human rights violated by our restrictive abortion laws. In 2013, you decided that Amnesty Ireland should campaign for a human rights compliant framework for abortion in Ireland.
In May, we launched our Brave campaign to protect civil society freedoms and the work of human rights defenders around the world. In Turkey, our colleague Idil Eser paid a high price for her human rights work. She, together with 9 other human rights defenders, spent almost four months in jail on ludicrous terror-related charges. We welcomed her release last October, though the charges against her remain. Amnesty Turkey’s Chair Taner Kilic remains in prison on similarly absurd charges. We will continue to campaign until he, and human rights defenders around the world, are free.