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Colours of the rainbow offer a ray of hope to prisoners abroad; Schools report.


PRISONERS of conscience locked up in a Syrian jail are to receive a colourful gift of hope from pupils in South Wales.

Members of the Amnesty International Youth Group in Cathays High School, Cardiff, organised a non-uniform day with a difference for the seven Syrian prisoners who were jailed illegally under international human rights laws.

Pupils were asked to wear the colours of the rainbow to school and were then arranged into blocks for a special photo-shoot.

The photograph of the rainbow-coloured crowd is going to be turned into a banner and a copy will be sent to each of the seven men with a message of support from pupils.

Prisoners of conscience are held by governments in all regions of the world. Some, according to Amnesty International, are held because they have spoken out against their government, while others have been imprisoned for their beliefs or peaceful activities.

Amnesty is clear that the detention of any prisoner of conscience violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and campaigns against such action by government.

Leader of the school's Amnesty group Eirian Thomas said: "The group felt this would be a great way to bring attention to the fact that people are being imprisoned for their political beliefs.

"We were really impressed by the number of pupils who dressed in rainbow colours for the last day of term.

"As well as offering a great source of hope, this will send a powerful message to the authorities: that the eyes of the world are upon them, and we will not sit by while someone's rights are abused."

Year 7 pupil Sharif Nadeem said afterwards: "We had a lovely day.

Everyone was very enthusiastic and it all went to plan. It was very good fun and a positive experience."

And Charlotte Greenfield, of Year 11, added: "I thought the rainbow was awesome.

"It was a great way to let people in the school know about human rights and the way that they are abused in different countries."


SUPPORT: The Cathays pupils in their rainbow colours
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 11, 2009
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