Walk raises funds for rights activities
More than 200 people took part in a charity walk around the Peak. The 'Walk 2000' was organised by Amnesty International, Hong Kong Section to raise funds for its continuing campaign against the violation of human rights worldwide.
The event also marked the official beginning of its latest programme, 'Take a Step to Stamp Out Torture'. It is a year-long campaign to highlight physical torture of individuals by law enforcement agents around the world.
'Every October over the past eight years, we organised a walkathon to raise funds for our activities. This is one of our major fund-raising activities of the year,' said Sarah Carmichael, spokesman for Amnesty International Hong Kong.
'The walk this year is special as it marks the official beginning of our 'Take A Step To Stamp Out Torture' campaign.
'For years, Amnesty Interna tional has been campaigning against torture. Shocking reports of torture have come from the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, Africa, East Timor and from many other parts of the world. The worse thing is that in most cases it could have been stopped but has been allowed to persist. We believe nobody, including people in Hong Kong, should ever turn a blind eye to this,' she said.
In some developed countries, torture or ill-treatment are often racially motivated. Many of the victims of police brutality in Europe and the United States are blacks or members of ethic minorities.
The 'Take A Step To Stamp Out Torture' campaign will continue till the end of next year. There will be exhibitions and talks on the human rights situation across the world. Petitions will also be drawn up to protest against governments which are tolerating physical torture in their countries. Using e-mail and SMS mobile phone text messaging, the organisation will also take the campaign online, enabling the public to send urgent appeals on behalf of those at immediate risk of torture.
'It is the third time I have taken part in the annual fund-raising walk,' said Yanny Yeung Ka- yang, a Grade 12 student from the Hong Kong International School. She is also the chairperson of the Amnesty International group in her school.
'My school has established strong links with the Amnesty International. I joined the organisation two years ago. As torture still exists in many parts of the world I believe what we are now doing will make a difference in the future,' she said.