Glasgow West actively supports Amnesty’s Individuals At Risk campaign and participates in the Urgent Action Network. We share Urgent Actions at our meetings (2nd Thursday of the month) and letter-writing events and also distribute them via our mailing list.

What is the Urgent Action Network?

The Urgent Action Network consists of thousands of people around the world who are outraged by injustice and prepared to act swiftly at critical moments to stop it.

For more than 40 years this network has protected people from torture and ill-treatment, obtained the release of people who were wrongly – and sometimes secretly – detained, and secured access to medical treatment or legal counsel for prisoners. Sometimes it has even saved lives.

I was beaten and verbally abused in detention. After a few days, the guards asked me, “Do you know that your name is all over the Internet?” After that, I was treated better by the guards before being released. The appeals sent by Amnesty members definitely had an effect on my case.

Urgent Action is based on a simple idea: when someone is in immediate danger of serious abuse, the government responsible for perpetrating or failing to prevent that abuse will receive thousands of airmail letters, faxes, emails and tweets from around the world. Those messages tell the authorities that the world is watching, and create pressure to stop the abuse.

How do I participate?

You can join the Urgent Action Network as an individual (over 18s only).

Check the Amnesty homepage regularly for the latest actions, look on our Actions page or browse the latest Urgent Actions.

All our actions include postal and/or email addresses and/or fax numbers of who to write to. Emails and tweets are free and quick to send but letters and faxes may have more impact. An international stamp for a letter weighing up to 10g is £1.25 (Nov. 2018). If you don’t have access to a fax machine you could try your local library, but it may be cheaper to use an online fax service (see Lifewire; prices vary).

You could also come to our monthly meetings (we supply the stamps).

Text PROTEST followed by your full name to 70505 to join Amnesty’s Pocket Protest SMS network.

How do I find out more?

See the Amnesty USA tips on how to write an effective appeal letter. You can also download these useful PDFs which are full of advice, tips and success stories:

  1. Introducing Urgent Actions: Writing Appeals Can Save Lives
  2. The Urgent Action Guide: How to Send Urgent Action Appeals
  3. Urgent Actions Q&A: Frequently Asked Questions

Watch this video about the story of Urgent Actions from Amnesty International on Vimeo:

It’s more than 40 years since the first Urgent Action was issued for Brazilian activist Professor Luiz Basilio Rossi, detained and tortured by the military Junta. Hear from Tracy Ulltveit-Moe, who came up with the original action idea in 1973, and Sara Rydkvist, our campaigner sending out actions to people today.

Read the Urgent Action blog.

Join our network to help protect people in danger!