Please Help by Taking Action

Please note

Please follow our Facebook page. This posts/shares a few actions each week – mainly petitions or emails you can do in minutes.

Over the past 3 years we had focused on putting actions in our newsletter, rather than on this page. From Spring 2016 we have stopped filling our newsletter with links, as many were not getting through. Unfortunately the word “free” has different connotations for spam filters!  We are currently trying to reinstate this page as the heart of “taking action.”

Take Action on Other Sites

Most Amnesty International sites have pages that have links to all their current actions. These vary from adding your name to petitions, sending an email, writing a letter or tweeting. We list a selection below as its a good way to find out whats going on and to do something positive. Most actions are possible wherever you are in the world.


In the UK you may also consider joining the Urgent Action Network

Amnesty International (general, non country specific site)

Amnesty Ireland

Amnesty USA

Amnesty Australia

Amnesty New Zealand

Amnesty Canada

Case File 1

A case file is an AI action that focuses on one individual or situation. This narrow focus from those who sign up ensures a constant pressure on authorities to take action. We have the following case files:

Jorge Lázaro Samba Nunes dos Santos


Jorge Lazaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

Jorge Lazaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

Jorge Lázaro, 51 years old, had two of his seven children murdered and has been fighting for justice since 2008.

** To add to the tragedy of two murdered sons, on July 10th 2016 Jorge’s youngest son, Denilson was shot whilst walking home.  Luckily Denilson survived and has  recovered. **

Ricardo Mattos dos Santos, his son, was a talented circus acrobat who was working in a well-known circus company in Brazil. He was spending his vacation with his family in Boca do Rio, a poor neighborhood in Salvador, and went out to play football with friends on 22 January 2008. He was in a field with the other young men when a car came by with four men in it. Three of the men started shooting at the young men playing football. The fourth man stayed in the car. They were looking for two young men who were suspected of stealing a bike from the son of a retired military police officer. Ricardo and another young man, Robson de Souza Pinho, were killed.

After an investigation, in March 2011 the public prosecutors charged three military police officers with the crime. But three years after they were charged and six years after the extrajudicial execution took place, the case still has not gone to trial and no one has been brought to justice.

Jorge Lázaro Nunes do Santos Filho, one of Ricardo’s brothers, was there and witnessed the killing. Soon afterwards, he was moved out of the city for his own safety by family friends. Despite being away from the city of Salvador, he received threats from an individual on a motorcycle. Shortly afterwards, on 31 January 2008, the whole family was entered into the Program for Protection of Victims and Witnesses (PROVITA). However, on 18 November 2008, Jorge Lázaro (the father) was excluded from the program for not respecting some security measures such as staying in hiding. Subsequently on 18 December 2008, the entire family was removed from the protection program.

After the death of Ricardo in 2008, Jorge Lázaro initiated a personal quest for justice. The killing has had a huge impact on the whole family, as have the conditions of the protection program, which took the family out their original home and social circle. After they were taken out of the protection program, they were not able to resume their lives as before.

On 10 March 2013, Enio Mattos dos Santos, another son of Jorge Lázaro, was abducted from his home and shot by unknown people. He was 19 years old. The context of his death is still unknown and there is little information about the perpetrators and the circumstances of the case. Jorge Lázaro had applied in 2011 for Enio to be included in the National Program for Children and Adolescents Threaten by Death (PPCAM), but the program refused to include him, arguing that he was not threatened.

The family have lived in precarious conditions since 2008 when Ricardo was murdered. In 2013, after the killing of Jorge Lázaro’s second son, the accommodation provided by the authorities of Bahia State resulted in the separation of the family for a period, with Jorge and his other son Denilson in a shelter for homeless people, and his wife and two daughters in a shelter for women who had suffered sexual and domestic violence. The children have been out of school for five years. The pressure on Jorge Lázaro is tremendous: seeking justice for the killings of his sons, trying to keep himself and his family safe, and providing necessary minimum living conditions such as a home and food.

Amnesty International requests the Brazilian authorities to:

  1. To conduct a thorough and timely investigation into the killings of Jorge Lázaro’s sons, Ricardo dos Santos and Enio dos Santos, with the perpetrators brought to justice, helping to bring a measure of justice to Jorge Lázaro and his family.
  1. The relevant public and other bodies, including the social assistance state secretariat, to ensure that the family is able to obtain social, psychological and economic support that they need.

We have sample letters, below, to appropriate authorities you can adapt (please personalise wherever possible). The UK Ambassador is:-

His Excellency Eduardo dos Santos, Ambassador of Brazil to the United Kingdom, 14-16 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5BL

please note, Jorge Lázaro  has changed his name (April 2016) to Jorge Lázaro Samba Nunes dos Santos

State Governor;         Minister of Justice;         Attorney General;     President of the National Council of Justice

There is currently a link on the A.I.U.K. blog to send  Jorge Lázaro a message of support – click here

Case File 2

updated 6th May 2018 – Leopoldo López has been transferred out of Ramo Verde prison to his house, where he will continue to serve his sentence. The postal service in Venezuela has collapsed, as the country continues to implode. So unless you use Twitter there are no actions you can take anyway. A good update on the human rights crisis in Venezuela is from Human Rights Watch

Please read Amnesty’s statement here.  We understand the campaign will go on whilst he remains detained, but are waiting for updates before changing the letters below.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, has made this statement

“Seeing Leopoldo López out of prison is good news but changing one prison for another is not good enough. Being subjected to house arrest means that Leopoldo is still being deprived of his freedom. Opposing the government is not a crime so all charges against him should be dropped and he should be released immediately and unconditionally. It is high time for the Maduro administration to stop punishing people for thinking differently. Instead, President Maduro should focus his energy in finding workable ways to resolve the deep crisis his country is immersed in.”

Leopoldo López

Leopoldo López

Leopoldo López

He is leader of the Venezuelan opposition party Popular Will (Voluntad Popular) and has been in detention since February 2014, accused of inciting violence during the anti-government protests.  After a year and a half in pre-trial detention he was sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison, without any evidence provided by the prosecution that he had committed a crime.  AI considers him to be a prisoner of conscience as his detention is politically motivated and he was sentenced with no evidence to substantiate the charges against him. Read more about him on this BBC page.


To secure the immediate and unconditional release of Leopoldo López from prison immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience.

We have sample letters to appropriate authorities you can adapt (please personalise wherever possible). The UK Ambassador is:-
His Excellency Rocio Maneiro,
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
1 Cromwell Road,  London SW7 2HW

Letter to President       Letter to Vice President   Letter to Interior Minister   Letter to Ombudsman      Letter to Defence Minister

Shine a Light – from Amnesty USA