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Letter Writing Campaign

The WILPF UK Human Rights Campaign are undertaking a letter writing campaign to support women’s rights defenders around the world.

Through this campaign, we aim to show support for women around the world who have had their human rights violated. We are inviting members to write messages of solidarity to human rights defenders and letters to Government ministers urging them to uphold these women’s rights.


Calls to Action

Below are the women who we would like to invite you to write about. We have included some guidance on the messages you could write and templates on how you can structure the letters of appeal. 

Where to send the messages/letters:

  • Messages of solidarity to human rights defenders: Please send these to either the Membership email address ( who will forward the messages, or you can send them directly to the family member specified in the details of the nominees below. Due to safety concerns, we are requesting the messages are sent via email so the addresses of the families of the human rights defenders are not made public. If you would like to write a hand written message, please feel free to do so and scan the message so we can email it to the contact.
  • Appeal letters to Government Ministers: Please address the letters to relevant body. You can either email this directly to the relevant Government Ministry or email the letter of appeal to the Membership Secretary ( who will then send the letters on 8th February and 8th March for International Women’s Day.
Wendy Andrea Galarza

They beat us. It was a massacre… We need justice. We already went out once demanding that they do their job. We’re not asking for anything else.

Wendy Galarza is a dedicated childcare worker who speaks out against sexism and violence in her home country, Mexico, where women are often degraded, attacked and killed.

On 9 November 2020, Wendy attended a march organised by feminist collectives in Cancún to demand justice for the murder of a woman. After the protest escalated, Wendy tried to flee but police caught her. They brutally beat her, and she was shot twice. She was lucky to survive.

Wendy lodged a complaint against the police, and it took months for the State Prosecutor to accept her evidence. Today, the suspects for her shooting have still not been brought to justice. But Wendy has not given up; she set up a collective with other women who were assaulted during the protest.

Send a message of solidarity to Wendy

Send an appeal letter to a government minister

  • To the Attorney General of Quintana Roo (Óscar Montes de Oca Fiscal General de Quintana Roo Av. Adolfo López Mateos, No. 500, esquina Nápoles, Colonia Italia, C.P. 77035 Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México,
  • Templates from Amnesty available (Spanish translation will be provided shortly)

Sources of information

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

It is for my family, my colleagues, my friends and all the young people in Rwanda and around the world who recognize and hear themselves in my voice, people whose suffering have often been ignored and gone unseen, it’s for all of them that I am speaking today

Icon for the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda

Since the beginning of her political career, the RPF (The Rwandan Patriotic Front) has quickly realized the threat that her outspokenness and her ideals represented and, as a result, she suffered numerous attacks. Worst still, her family and several of her colleagues continue to be subjected to defamation, unfounded trials, and arbitrary imprisonment.

In January 2010, she made the journey home to present her candidacy to the highest office in the country. innumerable obstacles were put in her path to prevent her from registering the political party. She was arrested, detained, and finally sentenced to 15 years in prison for minimizing the genocide, inciting the population against the government, and conspiracy. After eight years unjustly spent in prison, she was released on 14 September 2018 under a presidential pardon with conditions attached to it including not being allowed to leave the country and to show up at the prosecutor’s office once a month. She thanked President Kagame for his clemency; however, DALFA-UMURINZI, the political party that she represents, continues to be refused registration. She is constantly harassed by internal security bodies such as the Rwandan Investigation Bureau and defamed by the media to the extent that some have called her a poison and that she should be killed.

Send a message of solidarity to Victoire

Send an appeal letter to a government minister

  • To the Ministry of Justice to grant her freedom of movement in and out of the country but most importantly to visit her family in The Netherlands (Minister of Justice, KG 1 Roundabout, Kigali,
  • To Rwanda Governance Board to register the opposition party DALFA – UMURINZI that she represents (KG 178 St, Kigali, Rwanda,
  • Letter structure available

Sources of information

Chantal Umwali

Chantal Umwali is the wife of Théoneste Nsengimana who owns the YouTube channel Umubavu TV online, which had over 16 million views as of November 2021 and features reporting and commentary on Rwandan politics, including interviews with opposition politicians. Security personnel in the capital, Kigali, arrested Nsengimana on October 13, 2021, according to tweets by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), a law-enforcement body, as well as an interview with his wife, Chantal Umwali, published by the YouTube channel Ishema TV. 

Théoneste Nsengimana remained in detention awaiting trial on anti-state incitement, and false news charges. The day before his arrest, Nsengimana published a video on his YouTube channel announcing plans to air programming on October 14 as part of an event to commemorate the plight of political prisoners in Rwanda. 

When Chantal’s husband was arrested all his electronic equipment, that includes laptops and cameras, were confiscated including the mobile phones used by his wife and others in his household. RIB also confiscated Theo’s bank card from his wife. By confiscating this bank card, this meant that Chantal was unable to pay for the house rent, to buy food for the children and also to pay for their school fees.

When Chantal asked RIB officers to return her husband’s card, they replied that by her not being able to pay rent, feed the children and when the children are thrown out of school due to lack of school fees that is when she will understand that they shouldn’t work together with the opposition.

Send a message of solidarity to Chantal

Send an appeal letter to a government minister

  • To the Rwanda Investigation Bureau to return her husband’s bank card so that she can support her family
  • To Rwanda Ministry of Justice to give true justice to Mrs Umwali’s husband
  • Letter structure available

Sources of information

Miriam Hagos

Their Voice is ours…. Their suffering too!

Miriam was the type of person who speaks her mind. She would criticize openly and suggest changes. Between the years 1979 and 1981, she was put in prison for two years. Having served her sentence, she was asked (by one of the superiors) how she found her revolutionary training. She replied back by saying that she was in prison and not in training. He said that she has not learned a lesson yet, and he returned her to prison for some more months.

When she was released and asked the same old question, she replied back by saying, “I was in training.” She was then released and moved to the news department. There she met and married a fellow fighter who also joined the movement from North America.

On the 26th of September 2001, three Eritrean ex-ambassadors organised a meeting that aimed to criticise the Eritrean government. Miriam’s husband was living in the United States since 1996, and it is reported that he was one of those people who disrupted the meeting, and verbally abused the three ex-ambassadors. He was now in support of the PFDJ, the ruling party. Not only that, but in 2001, Miriam’s husband wanted to disassociate himself from his wife and the mother of his child due to Miriam’s firm stand on the current Eritrean affairs, and he divorced her through his power of attorney.

What was contained within their private lives came out in the open. People who know say that Miriam was reported by her ex-husband and was put in prison on 6th of October 2001, because she showed (however indirectly) her support for those who asked for change.

Send a message of solidarity to Miriam

Send an appeal letter to a government minister

  • To the ministry of Justice to give her whereabouts and to grant her freedom (PO Box 241 Asmara Eritrea,
  • Letter structure available

Sources of information

Senait Debessai

She was very popular with the song that had the following words: “All of me to you”.  Fired by her words, the fighters used to add: “All of me is yours; my blood and my bones are yours; for you my nation; for you my people“.

Senait was a humble and hard-working woman and freedom fighter.  She loved playing the guitar and singing.  In 1987, Senait married a fellow fighter and had three daughters. In 1994, she was elected as a member of central committee of the National Union of Eritrean Women.

When she was taken to prison for unknown reasons, she was with her brother Erimias Debessai (papayo). During that period, she had started evening classes and was in her 2nd year at university. Those who know Senait say that her husband is a violent person and she suffered a great deal of domestic violence. Her husband did not also want her to progress with her education. 

When she filed for divorce, her husband missed three appointments, and finally, the matter was referred to court. Five days before the hearing, on the 15th of November 2003, Senait and her brother Ermias (who was released from prison some months back) were put in prison. For lack of the rule of law, what Senait fought with her sweat, blood and her youth for so many years came back to haunt her and that is why she finds herself locked up in a dungeon.

Send a message of solidarity to Senait

Send an appeal letter to a government minister

  • To the ministry of Justice to give her whereabouts and to grant her freedom (PO Box 241 Asmara Eritrea,
  • Letter structure available

Sources of information

Thank you for your support for these human rights defenders in showing solidarity to them and writing letters of appeal to government ministers.