Amnesty International has lent its weight to an initiative by teachers at the IES Marratxi school and the Balearic Society of Mathematics which will see watchtowers in Majorca being illuminated in order to draw attention to the rights of refugees.
The lighting-up will take place on Saturday, Amnesty International stressing that it is a move to raise the awareness of the situation of refugees among local authorities and the general public. A statement reads: "The lack of response to this humanitarian tragedy has made us all passive witnesses, if not directly complicit in the deaths of thousands of people at sea."
The watchtowers, built for defensive purposes, will now serve "to light the way for those people, who fleeing war, violence and misery, aspire to a better life". A further objective of the initiative is to remember the legacy of Joan Binimelis: it is the four hundredth anniversary of the death of this Manacor historian, doctor, astronomer and mathematician.
Amensty International has also launched its "I Welcome" campaign, which demands that governments provide protection to refugees and guarantee the respect of their human rights. It wants the Spanish government to "immediately" meet commitments made in respect of the relocation and resettlement of refugees. The organisation is, moreover, urging local authorities to increase the number of reception places, especially for women, children and people who are particularly vulnerable.
There are two parts to the Saturday event. At 13.00 there will be smoke and at 18.15 there will be fire. Numerous watchtowers are involved. Information is available on the Facebook page - Talaies de Mallorca: Torres de defensa pels Drets Humans.