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Electronic Activism An Outstanding Success

Torture Campaign: Electronic Activism An Outstanding Success

Over 10,000 people from 146 countries visited Amnesty International's www.stoptorture website in the first three days after it was launched with the Campaign Against Torture on Wednesday 18 October.

The first Amnesty International "Urgent Action" case posted on to the site concerned asylum seekers in Lebanon. Visitors to the site were asked to sign a petition to help the asylum seekers and within minutes, it was being signed at a rate of 2/3 emails per minute. Many others sent personal messages to the government directly.

"We had an outstanding success: within 24 hours the Lebanese IT Department of the Presidential Palace contacted us saying they were being bombarded with emails and could we please stop. Over 2000 users have signed the petition, sending emails to the Lebanese government telling them that another person is concerned and aware of the situation," said an Amnesty International spokesperson.

After nearly 40 years of campaigning via letter-writing the organization is now making more and more use of cyberspace. Internet users can become online human rights activists working on behalf of victims of torture electronically. Those who register at the site receive the latest torture cases by email or mobile phone text messaging, anywhere in the world.

Users can then reply via email or mobile phone to be included in an 'on-line petition', which will instantaneously send a pre-written email telling the relevant authorities that another person is concerned that someone is in fear of torture.

To help Stamp Out Torture sign on at www.amnesty.org.nz


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