Amnesty International

Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization with its headquarters in the United Kingdom focused on human rights. The organization says it has more than eight million members and supporters around the world. The stated mission of the organization is to campaign for ‘a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.’ Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article ‘The Forgotten Prisoners‘ in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer-Peter Benenson. Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilize public opinion to generate pressure on governments where abuse takes place. Amnesty considers capital punishment to be ‘the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights.’ The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its ‘defence of human dignity against torture,’ and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978. In the field of international human rights organizations, Amnesty has the third-longest history, after the International Federation for Human Rights, and the Anti-Slavery Society. Amnesty International was founded in London in July 1961 by English barrister Peter Benenson. … Benenson worked with friend Eric Baker. Baker was a member of the Religious Society of Friends who had been involved in funding the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as well as becoming head of Quaker Peace and Social Witness, and in his memoirs Benenson described him as ‘a partner in the launching of the project’. In consultation with other writers, academics and lawyers and, in particular, Alec Digges, they wrote via Louis Blom-Cooper to David Astor, editor of The Observer newspaper, who, on 28 May 1961, published Benenson’s article ‘The Forgotten Prisoners’. The article brought the reader’s attention to those ‘imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government’ or, put another way, to violations, by governments, of articles 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The article described these violations occurring, on a global scale, in the context of restrictions to press freedom, to political oppositions, to timely public trial before impartial courts, and to asylum. …”
Amnesty International: Who We Are
Guardian: Amnesty International, Aljazeera: Amnesty International
YouTube: Amnesty International

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Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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