Help Get Them Home
At the weekend we took over Waterloo Station for Amnesty International. Thousands of rail passengers were invited to 'Help Get Them Home' as a list of prisoners of conscience – people arrested for peacefully expressing their views – appeared at Waterloo, with details of how passengers can text to help secure the prisoners’ release, displayed on the world’s biggest departure board.
On Mother’s Day weekend, Britain’s busiest rail station was busier than usual. The giant screens, which span six platforms, were given over to Amnesty. As people texted to add their support for the campaign, their names were displayed on the huge screens.
The Amnesty 'departure boards' campaign, created by Leo Burnett, with media provided by JCDecaux, show details of individuals who are imprisoned and have been subject to torture and the date of their 'departure' or when they were forcibly taken. The 'departures' include:
Dhondup Wangchen - China
Tibetan film-maker awaiting trial for 'inciting separatism'. He has been detained since 2008 for his involvement in making a documentary film about Tibetan attitudes towards the Beijing Olympics and the Dalai Lama. He was beaten in detention and is held without charge or trial.
Ebrima B. Manneh - Gambia
Journalist arrested in 2006 at the offices of his newspaper, the Daily Observer. He was detained by plain-clothes police officers thought to have been from the National Intelligence Agency, who have subsequently denied any involvement in his arrest or continued incommunicado detention.
Aster Fissehatsion - Eritrea
Has been held incommunicado without charge or trial since 2001. She was arrested while sleeping in her bed, during a round-up of political dissidents, known as the G-15/Group of 15, which included her former husband, then Vice-President of Eritrea, Mahmoud Ahmed.
Yevgeny Vitishko - Russia
Russian activist who criticised the environmental impact of the recent Sochi Winter Olympics and was jailed for three years for spray-painting a fence as part of an environmental protest.
Amnesty International’s UK Director, Kate Allen, says 'It’s great to have the world’s largest departure board to tell these stories - but we’re not keen on departures, we want to facilitate arrivals.
'The message is simple: on your way home, help get them home. These people have been missing from their homes – some of them for years.'
The public can get involved at helpgetthemhome.com
- Amnesty International