GTA Amnesty International Newsletter – July 2021

Nassima al-Sada and Samar Badawi released from prison in Saudi Arabia
The prominent women human rights defenders Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada were detained in 2018, instead of being appreciated for leading change and women’s rights campaigns in Saudi Arabia. These brave women should have never been detained in the first place and, while out of prison now, they are still on conditional release and travel bans of 5 years. We continue our campaign to ask King Salman to remove their travel ban and to ensure all peaceful activists are released.
Huge thanks to all of you for your tireless campaign for Samar and Nassima’s freedom!  SAVE THE DATE: July 6th!AI Toronto Group 164/123 meeting with Guest Speaker Steven ZhouOn Tuesday July 6th Amnesty International Group 164/123 (East Toronto) is hosting Steven Zhou, a Toronto-based investigative journalist, who will speak about discrimination in India.

Zhou’s presentation, “Minority Discrimination in India and Imported Conflict,” will focus on India’s BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That government has come under international criticism for its treatment of minorities since coming to power in 2014. These criticisms highlight the BJP’s political background in seeing India as a Hindu state—an ideological position called “Hindutva.” Zhou will explore how this governing framework has worsened ethnic and religious tensions in India, a dynamic that has globalized through the country’s sizable diaspora.

Amnesty members and other guests are welcome to attend the Zoom session. Please contact Brian Deming ( for Zoom contact information.The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Zhou, who focuses on national security, politics, and discrimination issues, has a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and has worked in just about every sector in Canadian media. He was a city reporter for The Ottawa Citizen and a producer for both CBC Radio and Television news. He also was a senior writer for CBC Online. He covered the 2019 federal election for VICE and has worked there as a general reporter. He is currently working on a podcast about terrorism for a nongovernmental organization (NGO) and is a regular contributor to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. How work has appeared in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the LA Review of BooksForeign PolicyThe NationBuzzfeed, and other outlets. Take Action for Women Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Latin AmericaJoin the AI Canada Gender Rights Team on Wednesday June 30th at 7pm EST for a letter writing event and solidarity action with women environmental defenders in Chile, Honduras and Colombia.

Perhaps the greatest cross border priority we all face is protecting the environment on which our human rights and shared future depends. Environment defenders in Latin America risk their very lives to respond to this challenge with hope and enormous courage. Indeed, Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world to defend human rights and the environment. Women environment defenders face the added risk of sexual violence against them or their children because their outspoken efforts challenge traditional gender roles as well as economic interests.

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.The event is being organized by AI Canada’s Gender Rights Specialized Team – the Women Environmental Defenders in Latin America sub group.

 AI Canada (ES) National Organizers Program is Recruiting!AI Canada (ES) National Organizers are youth (25 years old and under) activist leaders who are excited to take action on human rights issues in creative and critical ways in their community. 

The National Organizer position is an excellent opportunity for young people to take on an entry level leadership role within AICS (ES), to learn about issues that matter to them and what they can do to make a difference.Please see HERE the application form. Deadline for applications is July 10th, 2021.
For any questions and clarifications please contact edumitru@amnesty.caAI Canada National Youth Action & Advisory Committee (NYAAC) is Recruiting!The National Youth Action and Advisory Committee (NYAAC) is currently recruiting new members for the AI Canada NYAAC Team 2021 – 2023! If you are a young activist, 16 – 23 years old as of June 1st 2021, you are encouraged to put forth an application to join NYAAC’s dynamic and diverse team!

Please check for more details and the application form HERE.  Deadline is Friday July 2nd. If you have any questions about recruitment or the work of the NYAAC, please contact

  This newsletter is produced by
Elena Dumitru, National Leadership Development Coordinator, AICS (ES)

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