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Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a
non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of ...
with its headquarters in the United Kingdom focused on
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
. The organization says it has more than seven 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 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
and other
international human rights instruments International human rights instruments are the treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set ...
." Amnesty International was founded in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
in 1961, following the publication of the article "
The Forgotten Prisoners "The Forgotten Prisoners" is an article by Peter Benenson published in ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper Sunday editions, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers ''The ...
" in ''
The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one ...

The Observer
'' on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer
Peter Benenson Peter Benenson (born Peter James Henry Solomon; 31 July 1921 – 25 February 2005) was a British lawyer, human rights activist and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). He refused all honours, but in his 80s, largely to p ...
. Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and it campaigns for compliance with
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
s and standards. It works to mobilize
public opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to a society. Etymology The term "public opinion" was derived from the French ', which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne Image:ArmoiriesM ...
to generate pressure on governments where abuse takes place. Amnesty considers
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

capital punishment
to be "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights." The organization was awarded the 1977
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's Will and testament, will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during t ...
for its "defence of human dignity against
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
," and the
United Nations Prize in the Field of Human RightsThe United Nations Prizes in the Field of Human Rights were instituted by United Nations General Assembly in 1966. They are intended to "honour and commend people and organizations which have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and prot ...
in 1978. In the field of international
human rights organizations :''The list is incomplete; please add known articles or create missing ones'' The following is a list of articles on the human rights organisations of the world. It does not include political parties, or academic institutions. The list includes b ...
, Amnesty has the third-longest history, after the
International Federation for Human Rights The International Federation for Human Rights (french: Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme; FIDH) is a non-governmental federation for human rights organizations. Founded in 1922, FIDH is the second oldest international hu ...
and the Anti-Slavery Society.


History


1960s

Amnesty International was founded in London in July 1961 by English barrister
Peter Benenson Peter Benenson (born Peter James Henry Solomon; 31 July 1921 – 25 February 2005) was a British lawyer, human rights activist and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). He refused all honours, but in his 80s, largely to p ...
. According to Benenson's own account, he was travelling on the
London Underground The London Underground (also known simply as the Underground, or by its nickname the Tube) is a rapid transit system serving Greater London and some parts of the adjacent ceremonial counties of England, counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and H ...

London Underground
on 19 November 1960 when he read that two Portuguese students from
Coimbra Coimbra (, also , , or ) is a city and a concelho, municipality in Portugal. The population of the municipality at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of . The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the ...

Coimbra
had been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in Portugal for allegedly "having drunk a toast to liberty". Researchers have never traced the alleged newspaper article in question. In 1960, Portugal was ruled by the Estado Novo government of
António de Oliveira Salazar António de Oliveira Salazar (, , ; 28 April 1889 – 27 July 1970) was a Portuguese people, Portuguese statesman and economist who served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He was responsible for the ("New State"), the corporati ...
. The government was authoritarian in nature and strongly
anti-communist Anti-communism is a political movement and ideology opposed to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet U ...

anti-communist
, suppressing enemies of the state as anti-Portuguese. In his significant newspaper article "The Forgotten Prisoners", Benenson later described his reaction as follows:
Open your newspaper any day of the week and you will find a story from somewhere of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government... The newspaper reader feels a sickening sense of impotence. Yet if these feelings of disgust could be united into common action, something effective could be done.
Benenson worked with his friend Eric Baker. Baker was a member of the
Religious Society of Friends Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denomination, denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements are generally united by a belief in each human' ...
who had been involved in funding the British
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is an organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament Nuclear disarmament is the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapon A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic ...
as well as becoming head of
Quaker Peace and Social Witness Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW), previously known as the Friends Service Council, and then as Quaker Peace and Service, is one of the central committees of Britain Yearly Meeting The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quake ...
, 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 Sir Louis Jacques Blom-Cooper (27 March 1926 – 19 September 2018) was an English author and lawyer specialising in public and administrative law. Early life Born in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in t ...
to
David Astor Francis David Langhorne Astor, CH (5 March 1912 – 7 December 2001) was an English newspaper publisher, editor of ''The Observer'' at the height of its circulation and influence, and member of the Astor family The Astor family achieved promin ...
, editor of ''
The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one ...

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 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
(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 Public trial or open trial is a trial (law), trial that is open to the public, as opposed to a secret trial. It should not be confused with a show trial. United States The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the right of ...
before impartial courts, and to asylum. It marked the launch of "Appeal for Amnesty, 1961", the aim of which was to mobilize public opinion, quickly and widely, in defence of these individuals, whom Benenson named "Prisoners of Conscience". The "Appeal for Amnesty" was reprinted by a large number of international newspapers. In the same year, Benenson had a book published, ''Persecution 1961'', which detailed the cases of nine
prisoners of conscience A prisoner of conscience (POC) is anyone imprisoned because of their Race (classification of human beings), race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. The term also refers to those who have been imprisoned or persecuted for the nonv ...
investigated and compiled by Benenson and Baker (Maurice Audin,
Ashton JonesAshton Bryan Jones (1896–1979) was an United States, American Quaker minister active from the 1930s to 1970s as an advocate of "human brotherhood" during the civil rights movement. Jones was arrested dozens of times throughout the American South fo ...
,
Agostinho Neto António Agostinho Neto (17 September 1922 – 10 September 1979) was an Angolan politician and poet. He served as the 1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world reco ...

Agostinho Neto
, Patrick Duncan,
Olga Ivinskaya Olga Vsevolodovna Ivinskaya (russian: Ольга Всеволодовна Ивинская; June 16, 1912, Tambov – September 8, 1995, Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capit ...
,
Luis Taruc Luis Mangalus Taruc (June 21, 1913 – May 4, 2005) was a Filipino political figure and rebel during the agrarian unrest of the 1930s until the end of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Sovi ...

Luis Taruc
,
Constantin Noica Constantin Noica (; – 4 December 1987) was a Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It shares land bor ...

Constantin Noica
, Antonio Amat and
Hu Feng Hu Feng () (1902–1985) was a Chinese writer and literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama ...
). In July 1961, the leadership had decided that the appeal would form the basis of a permanent organization, Amnesty, with the first meeting taking place in London. Benenson ensured that all three major political parties were represented, enlisting members of parliament from the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
, , and the Liberal Party. On 30 September 1962, it was officially named "Amnesty International". Between the "Appeal for Amnesty, 1961" and September 1962 the organization had been known simply as "Amnesty". What started as a short appeal soon became a permanent international movement working to protect those imprisoned for non-violent expression of their views and to secure worldwide recognition of Articles 18 and 19 of the UDHR. From the very beginning, research and campaigning were present in Amnesty International's work. A library was established for information about prisoners of conscience and a network of local groups, called "THREES" groups, was started. Each group worked on behalf of three prisoners, one from each of the then three main ideological regions of the world:
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
,
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, ...
, and developing. By the mid-1960s, Amnesty International's global presence was growing and an International Secretariat and International Executive Committee were established to manage Amnesty International's national organizations, called "Sections", which had appeared in several countries. They were secretly supported by the British government at the time. The international movement was starting to agree on its core principles and techniques. For example, the issue of whether or not to adopt prisoners who had advocated violence, like
Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born Rolihlahla Mandela ; ; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as the first president of South Africa Th ...

Nelson Mandela
, brought unanimous agreement that it could not give the name of "Prisoner of Conscience" to such prisoners. Aside from the work of the library and groups, Amnesty International's activities were expanding to helping prisoners' families, sending observers to trials, making representations to governments, and finding asylum or overseas employment for prisoners. Its activity and influence were also increasing within intergovernmental organizations; it would be awarded consultative status by the United Nations, the
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international aff ...

Council of Europe
and
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
before the decade ended. In 1966, Benenson suspected that the British government in collusion with some Amnesty employees had suppressed a report on British atrocities in Aden. He began to suspect that many of his colleagues were part of a British intelligence conspiracy to subvert Amnesty, but he could not convince anybody else at AI. Later in the same year there were further allegations, when the US government reported that
Seán MacBride Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was an Irish Clann na Poblachta Clann na Poblachta ( – "Family/Children of the Republic") was an Irish republicanism, Irish republican political party founded in 1946 by Seán MacBride, a ...
, the former Irish foreign minister and Amnesty's first chairman, had been involved with a
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
funding operation. MacBride denied knowledge of the funding, but Benenson became convinced that MacBride was a member of a CIA network. Benenson resigned as Amnesty's president on the grounds that it was bugged and infiltrated by the secret services, and said that he could no longer live in a country where such activities were tolerated. ''(See Relationship with the British Government)''


1970s

During the 1970s,
Seán MacBride Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was an Irish Clann na Poblachta Clann na Poblachta ( – "Family/Children of the Republic") was an Irish republicanism, Irish republican political party founded in 1946 by Seán MacBride, a ...
and
Martin Ennals Martin Ennals (27 July 19275 October 1991) was a British human rights activist. Ennals served as the Secretary-General of Amnesty International from 1968 to 1980. He went on to help found the British human rights organisation ARTICLE 19 in ...
led Amnesty International. While continuing to work for prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International's purview widened to include "
fair trial Fair Trial (1932–1958) was a British Thoroughbred The Thoroughbred is a horse breed A horse breed is a selectively bred population of domestication, domesticated horses, often with Pedigree chart, pedigrees recorded in a breed registry. ...
" and opposition to long
detention without trial Indefinite detention is the incarceration Imprisonment (from , via French , originally from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally sp ...
(UDHR Article 9), and especially to the torture of prisoners (UDHR Article 5). Amnesty International believed that the reasons underlying torture of prisoners by governments were either to acquire and obtain information or to quell opposition by the use of terror, or both. Also of concern was the export of more sophisticated torture methods, equipment and teaching by the superpowers to "client states", for example by the United States through some activities of the CIA. Amnesty International drew together reports from countries where torture allegations seemed most persistent and organized an international conference on torture. It sought to influence public opinion to put pressure on national governments by organizing a campaign for the "Abolition of Torture", which ran for several years. Amnesty International's membership increased from 15,000 in 1969 to 200,000 by 1979. This growth in resources enabled an expansion of its program, "outside of the prison walls", to include work on "disappearances", the death penalty and the rights of refugees. A new technique, the "Urgent Action", aimed at mobilizing the membership into action rapidly was pioneered. The first was issued on 19 March 1973, on behalf of Luiz Basilio Rossi, a Brazilian academic, arrested for political reasons. At the intergovernmental level Amnesty International pressed for application of the UN's
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners ("the Mandela Rules") were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2015 after a five-year revision process. They are known as the Mandela Rules in hon ...
and of existing humanitarian conventions; to secure ratifications of the two UN Covenants on Human Rights in 1976; and was instrumental in obtaining additional instruments and provisions forbidding the practice of maltreatment. Consultative status was granted at the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR or, in the three other official languages Spanish, French, and Portuguese language, Portuguese CIDH, ''Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos'', ''Commission Interaméricaine des D ...
in 1972. In 1976, Amnesty's British Section started a series of fund-raising events that came to be known as ''
The Secret Policeman's Balls ''The Secret Policeman's Ball'' is a series of benefit shows staged initially in the United Kingdom to raise funds for the human rights Human rights are moral principles or normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. ...
'' series. They were staged in London initially as comedy galas featuring what the ''Daily Telegraph'' called "the crème de la crème of the British comedy world" including members of comedy troupe
Monty Python Monty Python (also collectively known as the Pythons) were a British who created the television show ', which first aired on the in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television ...
, and later expanded to also include performances by leading rock musicians. The series was created and developed by
Monty Python Monty Python (also collectively known as the Pythons) were a British who created the television show ', which first aired on the in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television ...
alumnus
John Cleese John Marwood Cleese ( ; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe The Edinburgh Festival ...

John Cleese
and entertainment industry executive Martin Lewis working closely with Amnesty staff members
Peter Luff Sir Peter James Luff (born 18 February 1955) is Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of the British national heritage, in memory of those who ...
(Assistant Director of Amnesty 1974–78) and subsequently with Peter Walker (Amnesty Fund-Raising Officer 1978–82). Cleese, Lewis and Luff worked together on the first two shows (1976 and 1977). Cleese, Lewis and Walker worked together on the 1979 and 1981 shows, the first to carry what the ''Daily Telegraph'' described as the "rather brilliantly re-christened" ''Secret Policeman's Ball'' title. The organization was awarded the 1977
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's Will and testament, will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during t ...
for its "defence of human dignity against
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
" and the
United Nations Prize in the Field of Human RightsThe United Nations Prizes in the Field of Human Rights were instituted by United Nations General Assembly in 1966. They are intended to "honour and commend people and organizations which have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and prot ...
in 1978.


1980s

By 1980, Amnesty International was drawing more criticism from governments. The
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
alleged that Amnesty International conducted espionage, the
Moroccan government Politics of Morocco take place in a framework of a parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the ...
denounced it as a defender of lawbreakers, and the Argentinian government banned Amnesty International's 1983 annual report. Throughout the 1980s, Amnesty International continued to campaign against torture, and on behalf of prisoners of conscience. New issues emerged, including
extrajudicial killing An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution or extralegal killing) is the homicide, killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any Judiciary, judicial proceeding or legal process. They often target ...
s, military, security and police transfers, political killings, and disappearances. Towards the end of the decade, the growing number of refugees worldwide became a focus for Amnesty International. While many of the world's refugees of the time had been displaced by war and
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
, in adherence to its mandate, Amnesty International concentrated on those forced to flee because of the human rights violations it was seeking to prevent. It argued that rather than focusing on new restrictions on entry for asylum-seekers, governments were to address the human rights violations which were forcing people into exile. Apart from a second campaign on torture during the first half of the decade, two major musical events took place to increase awareness of Amnesty and of human rights (particularly among younger generations) during the mid- to late-1980s. The 1986 Conspiracy of Hope tour, which played five concerts in the US, and culminated in a daylong show, featuring some thirty-odd acts at Giants Stadium, and the 1988
Human Rights Now! Human Rights Now! was a worldwide tour of twenty benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place over six weeks in 1988. Held not to raise funds but to increase awareness of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on i ...
world tour. Human Rights Now!, which was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the United Nations'
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
(UDHR), played a series of concerts on five continents over six weeks. Both tours featured some of the most famous musicians and bands of the day.


1990s

Throughout the 1990s, Amnesty continued to grow, to a membership of over seven million in over 150 countries and territories, led by Senegalese Secretary General . Amnesty continued to work on a wide range of issues and world events. For example, South African groups joined in 1992 and hosted a visit by Pierre Sané to meet with the
apartheid Apartheid (South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * B ...

apartheid
government to press for an investigation into allegations of police abuse, an end to arms sales to the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drai ...

African Great Lakes
region and the abolition of the death penalty. In particular, Amnesty International brought attention to violations committed on specific groups, including
refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person Forced displacement (also forced migration) is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region In geography, regions are areas that are broa ...

refugee
s, racial/ethnic/religious minorities, women and those executed or on
Death Row Death row, also known as condemned row, is a place in a prison that houses inmates awaiting Capital punishment, execution after being convicted of a capital crime and sentenced to death. The term is also used figuratively to describe the state of ...
. The death penalty report ''When the State Kills'' and the "Human Rights are Women's Rights" campaign were key actions for the latter two issues. During the 1990s, Amnesty International was forced to react to human rights violations occurring in the context of a proliferation of armed conflict in
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Angola
,
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country An island country o ...

East Timor
, the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
,
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's b ...

Rwanda
, and the former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
. Amnesty International took no position on whether to support or oppose external military interventions in these armed conflicts. It did not reject the use of force, even lethal force, or ask those engaged to lay down their arms. Instead, it questioned the motives behind external intervention and selectivity of international action in relation to the strategic interests of those who sent troops. It argued that action should be taken to prevent human-rights problems from becoming human-rights catastrophes and that both intervention and inaction represented a failure of the
international community The international community is a vague phrase used in geopolitics Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic ...
. In 1995, when AI wanted to promote how
Shell Oil Company Shell Oil Company is the United States-based wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a transnational corporation "oil major" of Anglo-Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil company, oil companies in the world. Approximately 80,00 ...
was involved with the execution of an environmental and human-rights activist
Ken Saro-Wiwa Kenule Beeson "Ken" Saro-Wiwa (10 October 1941 – 10 November 1995) was a Nigerian writer, television producer A television producer is a person who oversees one or more aspects of video production on a television program. Some producers t ...
in Nigeria, it was stopped. Newspapers and advertising companies refused to run AI's ads because Shell Oil was a customer of theirs as well. Shell's main argument was that it was drilling oil in a country that already violated human rights and had no way to enforce human-rights policies. To combat the buzz that AI was trying to create, it immediately publicized how Shell was helping to improve overall life in Nigeria. Salil Shetty, the director of Amnesty, said, "Social media re-energises the idea of the global citizen". James M. Russell notes how the drive for profit from private media sources conflicts with the stories that AI wants to be heard. Retrieved 3 March 2013. Amnesty International was proactive in pushing for recognition of the universality of human rights. The campaign 'Get Up, Sign Up' marked 50 years of the UDHR. Thirteen million pledges were collected in support, and the Decl music concert was held in Paris on 10 December 1998 (
Human Rights Day Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, ...
). At the intergovernmental level, Amnesty International argued in favour of creating a
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, commonly known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) or the United Nations Human Rights Office, is a department of the Secretariat of the United Natio ...
(established 1993) and an
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
(established 2002). After his arrest in London in 1998 by the
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
, Amnesty International became involved in the legal battle of Senator
Augusto Pinochet Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (, also , , ; 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean Army The Chilean Army ( es, Ejército de Chile) is the land arm of the Military of Chile. This 80,000-person army (9,200 of which are con ...

Augusto Pinochet
, former Chilean dictator, who sought to avoid extradition to Spain to face charges. Lord Hoffman had an indirect connection with Amnesty International, and this led to an important test for the appearance of bias in legal proceedings in UK law. There was a suit against the decision to release Senator Pinochet, taken by the then British
Home Secretary The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for all Home Office business. The ...
Jack Straw, before that decision had actually been taken, in an attempt to prevent the release of Senator Pinochet. The English
High Court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between ...
refused the application, and Senator Pinochet was released and returned to Chile.


2000s

After 2000, Amnesty International's primary focus turned to the challenges arising from
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
and the reaction to the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. The issue of globalization provoked a major shift in Amnesty International policy, as the scope of its work was widened to include economic, social and cultural rights, an area that it had declined to work on in the past. Amnesty International felt this shift was important, not just to give credence to its principle of the indivisibility of rights, but because of what it saw as the growing power of companies and the undermining of many nation-states as a result of globalization. In the aftermath of 11 September attacks, the new Amnesty International Secretary General,
Irene Khan Irene Zubaida Khan ( bn, আইরিন জোবায়দা খান; born 24 December 1956) is a Bangladeshi lawyer appointed as of August 2020 to be the United Nations Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion, the first ...
, reported that a senior government official had said to Amnesty International delegates: "Your role collapsed with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York." In the years following the attacks, some believe that the gains made by human rights organizations over previous decades had possibly been eroded. Amnesty International argued that human rights were the basis for the security of all, not a barrier to it. Criticism came directly from the Bush administration and ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
'', when Khan, in 2005, likened the US government's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a . During the first half of the new decade, Amnesty International turned its attention to
violence against women Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), are violent Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also use ...
, controls on the world arms trade, concerns surrounding the effectiveness of the UN, and ending torture. With its membership close to two million by 2005, Amnesty continued to work for prisoners of conscience. In 2007, AI's executive committee decided to support access to abortion "within reasonable gestational limits...for women in cases of rape, incest or violence, or where the pregnancy jeopardizes a mother's life or health". Amnesty International reported, concerning the
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
, on 17 March 2008, that despite claims the security situation in Iraq has improved in recent months, the human rights situation is disastrous, after the start of the war five years earlier in 2003. In 2009, Amnesty International accused Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement of committing war crimes during Israel's January offensive in Gaza, called
Operation Cast Lead Operation or Operations may refer to: Science and technology * Surgical operation or surgery, in medicine * Operation (mathematics), a calculation from zero or more input values (called operands) to an output value ** Arity, number of arguments ...
, that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. The 117-page Amnesty report charged Israeli forces with killing hundreds of civilians and wanton destruction of thousands of homes. Amnesty found evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinian civilians as human shields. A subsequent
United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, also known as the Goldstone Report, was a team established in April 2009 pursuant to Resolution A/HRC/RES/S-9/1 of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of 12 January 2009, fo ...
was carried out; Amnesty stated that its findings were consistent with those of Amnesty's own field investigation, and called on the UN to act promptly to implement the mission's recommendations.


2010s


2010

In February 2010, Gita Sahgal#Amnesty International controversy, Amnesty suspended Gita Sahgal, its gender unit head, after she criticized Amnesty for its links with Moazzam Begg, director of Cageprisoners. She said it was "a gross error of judgment" to work with "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban". Amnesty responded that Sahgal was not suspended "for raising these issues internally... [Begg] speaks about his own views ..., not Amnesty International's". Among those who spoke up for Sahgal were Salman Rushdie, Member of Parliament Denis MacShane, Joan Smith (writer), Joan Smith, Christopher Hitchens, Martin Bright, Melanie Phillips, and Nick Cohen.Smith, Joan
"Joan Smith: Amnesty shouldn't support men like Moazzam Begg; A prisoner of conscience can turn into an apologist for extremism"
''The Independent'', 11 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.


2011

In February 2011, Amnesty requested that Swiss authorities start a criminal investigation of former US President George W. Bush and arrest him. In July 2011, Amnesty International celebrated its 50 years with an animated short film directed by Carlos Lascano, produced by Eallin Motion Art and Dreamlife Studio, with music by Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer and nominee Lorne Balfe. The film shows that the fight for humanity is not yet over.


2012

In August 2012, Amnesty International's chief executive in India sought an impartial investigation, led by the United Nations, to render justice to those affected by war crimes in Sri Lanka.


2014

On 18 August 2014, in the wake of Ferguson unrest, demonstrations sparked by people protesting the Shooting of Michael Brown, fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old man, and subsequent acquittal of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot him, Amnesty International sent a 13-person contingent of human rights activists to seek meetings with officials as well as to train local activists in non-violent protest methods. This was the first time that the organization has deployed such a team to the United States. In a press release, AI USA director Steven W. Hawkins said, "The U.S. cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most."


2016

In February 2016, Amnesty International launched its annual report of human rights around the world titled "The State of the World's Human Rights". It warns from the consequences of "us vs them" speech which divided human beings into two camps. It states that this speech enhances a global pushback against human rights and makes the world more divided and more dangerous. It also states that in 2016, governments turned a blind eye to war crimes and passed laws that violate Free Expression Policy Project, free expression. Elsewhere, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Thailand and Turkey carried out massive crackdowns, while authorities in other countries continued to implement security measures represent an infringement on rights. In June 2016, Amnesty International has called on the United Nations General Assembly to "immediately suspend" Saudi Arabia from the United Nations Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights Council. Richard Bennett, head of Amnesty's UN Office, said: "The credibility of the U.N. Human Rights Council is at stake. Since joining the council, Saudi Arabia's dire human rights record at home has continued to deteriorate and the coalition it leads has unlawfully killed and injured thousands of civilians in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, conflict in Yemen." In December 2016, Amnesty International revealed that Voiceless Victims, a fake non-profit organization which claims to raise awareness for migrant workers who are victims of Human rights in Qatar, human rights abuses in Qatar, had been trying to spy on their staff.


2017

Amnesty International published its annual report for the year 2016–2017 on 21 February 2017. Secretary General Salil Shetty's opening statement in the report highlighted many ongoing international cases of abuse as well as emerging threats. Shetty drew attention, among many issues, to the Syrian Civil War, the use of chemical weapons in the War in Darfur, outgoing United States President Barack Obama's expansion of drone warfare, and the successful 2016 presidential election campaign of Obama's successor Donald Trump. Shetty stated that the Trump election campaign was characterized by "poisonous" discourse in which "he frequently made deeply divisive statements marked by misogyny and xenophobia, and pledged to roll back established civil liberties and introduce policies which would be profoundly inimical to human rights." In his opening summary, Shetty stated that "the world in 2016 became a darker and more unstable place." In July 2017, Turkey, Turkish police detained 10 human rights activists during a workshop on digital security at a hotel near Istanbul. Eight people, including Idil Eser, Amnesty International director in Turkey, as well as German Peter Steudtner and Swede Ali Gharavi, were arrested. Two others were detained but released pending trial. They were accused of aiding armed terror organizations in alleged communications with suspects linked to Kurdish and left-wing militants, as well as the movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Amnesty International supported the UN treaty on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. James Lynch, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said: "This historic treaty brings us a step closer to a world free from the horrors of nuclear weapons, the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created."


2018

Amnesty International published its 2017/2018 report in February 2018. In October 2018, an Amnesty International researcher was abducted and beaten while observing demonstrations in Magas, the capital of Ingushetia, Russia. On 25 October, federal officers raided the Bengaluru office for 10 hours on a suspicion that the organization had violated foreign direct investment guidelines on the orders of the Enforcement Directorate. Employees and supporters of Amnesty International say this is an act to Culture of fear, intimidate organizations and people who question the authority and capabilities of government leaders. Aakar Patel, the Executive Director of the Indian branch claimed, "The Enforcement Directorate's raid on our office today shows how the authorities are now treating human rights organizations like criminal enterprises, using heavy-handed methods. On Sep 29, the Ministry of Home Affairs said Amnesty International using "glossy statements" about humanitarian work etc as a "ploy to divert attention" from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws. Amnesty International received permission only once in Dec 2000, since then it had been denied Foreign Contribution permission under the Foreign Contribution Act by successive Governments. However, in order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has been criticized by foreign medias for harming civil society in India, specifically by targeting advocacy groups. India has cancelled the registration of about 15,000 nongovernmental organisations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA); the U.N. has issued statements against the policies that allow these cancellations to occur. Though nothing was found to confirm these accusations, the government plans on continuing the investigation and has frozen the bank accounts of all the offices in India. A spokesperson for the Enforcement Directorate has said the investigation could take three months to complete. On 30 October 2018, Amnesty called for the arrest and prosecution of Nigerian security forces claiming that they used excessive force against Shi'a protesters during a peaceful religious procession around Abuja, Nigeria. At least 45 were killed and 122 were injured during the event . In November 2018, Amnesty reported the arrest of 19 or more rights activists and lawyers in Egypt. The arrests were made by the Egyptian authorities as part of the regime's ongoing crackdown on dissent. One of the arrested was Hoda Abdel-Monaim, a 60-year-old human rights lawyer and former member of the National Council for Human Rights. Amnesty reported that following the arrests Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) decided to suspend its activities due to the hostile environment towards civil society in the country. On 5 December 2018, Amnesty International strongly condemned the execution of Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy in Belarus. They were shot despite UN Human Rights Committee request for a delay.


2019

In February 2019, Amnesty International's management team offered to resign after an Criticism of Amnesty International#2019 Bullying Report, independent report found what it called a "toxic culture" of workplace bullying, and found evidence of bullying, harassment, sexism and racism, after being asked to investigate the suicides of 30-year Amnesty veteran Gaetan Mootoo in Paris in May 2018 (who left a Suicide note, note citing work pressures), and 28-year-old intern Rosalind McGregor in Geneva in July 2018. In April 2019, Amnesty International's deputy director for research in Europe, Massimo Moratti, warned that if extradited to the United States, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would face the "risk of serious human rights violations, namely detention conditions, which could violate the prohibition of torture". On 24 April 2019 protestors occupied the reception of Amnesty's London offices, to protest against what they saw as Amnesty's inaction in on human rights abuses against Kurds in Turkey, including the incarceration and isolation of a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Öcalan. A hunger strike was declared by the occupiers. There were claims that Amnesty's inaction had been driven by undue deference to the Turkey, Turkish and Qatari regimes. On 26 April Amnesty called on the Police forcibly to eject the demonstrators, and the offices were cleared. On 14 May 2019, Amnesty International filed a petition with the District Court of Tel Aviv, Israel, seeking a revocation of the export licence of surveillance technology firm NSO Group. The filing states that "staff of Amnesty International have an ongoing and well-founded fear they may continue to be targeted and ultimately surveilled" by NSO technology. Other lawsuits have also been filed against NSO in Israeli courts over alleged human-rights abuses, including a December 2018 filing by Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, who claimed NSO's software targeted his phone during a period in which he was in regular contact with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Jamal Kashoggi. In August 2019, the Global Assembly elected five new Members to the International Board - Tiumalu Peter Fa'afiu (New Zealand), Dr Anjhula Singh Bais (Malaysia), Ritz Lee Santos III (The Philippines), Lulu Barera (Mexico) and Aniket Shah (USA) as Treasurer. Given Fa'afiu received the most votes, his term will be for four years and others three years. Bais and Santos become the first Malaysian and Filipino elected. Fa'afiu the first of Pacific descent. They join at a significant time in the organisation's history - financial challenges, organisational restructure, development of a new global strategy, ever-shrinking civil society space, and demand from its younger members and partners to move into non-traditional areas such as climate change. In September 2019, European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen created the new position of "Vice President for Von der Leyen Commission, Protecting our European Way of Life", who will be responsible for upholding the rule-of-law, internal security and migration. Amnesty International accused the European Union of "using the framing of the far right" by linking migration with security. At its Board Meeting in October 2019, International Board members appointed Sarah Beamish (Canada) as Chairperson. She has been on the Board since 2015 and at age 34 is the youngest IB Chair in its history. She is a human rights lawyer in her homeland. On 24 November 2019 Anil Raj, a former Amnesty International board member, was killed by a car bomb while working with the United Nations Development Project. U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced Raj's death at a briefing 26 Nov, during which he discussed other acts of terrorism. On 5 December 2019 Kumi Naidoo, the organization's Secretary General, has made the decision to step down from his position due to health-related reasons.


2020s

In August 2020, Amnesty International expressed concern about what it called the "widespread torture of peaceful protesters" and treatment of detainees in Belarus. The organization also said that more than 1,100 people were killed by bandits in rural communities in northern Nigeria during the first six months of 2020. Amnesty International investigated what it called "excessive" and "unlawful" killings of teenagers by Angolan police who were enforcing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the organization raised concerns about security flaws in a COVID-19 contact tracing app mandated in Qatar. In September 2020, Amnesty shut down its India operations after the government froze its bank accounts due to alleged financial irregularities. On 29 October 2020, Amnesty International launched a
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
learning application called "Amnesty Academy". On 2 November 2020, Amnesty International reported that 54 people – mostly the Amhara people, Amhara women and children and elderly people – were 2020 Oromo schoolyard massacre, killed by the OLF in the village of Gawa Qanqa, Ethiopia.


Structure

Amnesty International is largely made up of voluntary members but retains a small number of paid professionals. In countries in which Amnesty International has a strong presence, members are organized as "sections". Sections co-ordinate basic Amnesty International activities normally with a significant number of members, some of whom will form into "groups", and a professional staff. Each has a board of directors. In 2019 there were 63 sections worldwide. "Structures" are aspiring sections. They also co-ordinate basic activities but have a smaller membership and a limited staff. In countries where no section or structure exists, people can become "international members". Two other organizational models exist: "international networks", which promote specific themes or have a specific identity, and "affiliated groups", which do the same work as section groups but in isolation. The highest governing body is the Global Assembly which meets annually. Each Section sends its Chair and Executive Director to the GA. The GA process is governed and managed by the PrepCom (Preparatory Committee). The International Board (formerly known as the International Executive Committee [IEC]), led by the International Board Chairperson (Sarah Beamish) consists of nine members and the International Treasurer. Two members are co-opted. The IB is elected by, and accountable to, the Global Assembly. The International Board meets at least two times during any one year and in practice meets face to face at least four times a year. Other board and subcommittee meetings are undertaken via video conferencing. The role of the International Board is to take decisions on behalf of Amnesty International, govern the International Secretariat including regional offices, implement the strategy laid out by the Global Assembly and ensure compliance with the organization's statutes. The International Secretariat (IS) is responsible for the conduct and daily affairs of Amnesty International under direction from the International Board. It is run by approximately 500 professional staff members and is headed by a Secretary General. The Secretariat operates several work programmes; International Law and Organizations; Research; Campaigns; Mobilization; and Communications. Its offices have been located in London since its establishment in the mid-1960s. * ''Amnesty International Sections, 2005''
Algeria; Argentina; Amnesty International Australia, Australia; Austria; Belgium (Dutch-speaking); Belgium (French-speaking); Benin; Bermuda; Canada (English-speaking); Canada (French-speaking); Chile; Côte d'Ivoire; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Guyana; Hong Kong; Iceland; Amnesty International Ireland, Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Korea (Republic of); Luxembourg; Mauritius; Mexico; Morocco; Nepal; Netherlands; Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Amnesty International Philippines, Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Togo; Tunisia; United Kingdom; Amnesty International USA, United States of America; Uruguay; Venezuela * ''Amnesty International Structures, 2005''
Belarus; Bolivia; Burkina Faso; Croatia; Curaçao; Czech Republic; Gambia; Hungary; Malaysia; Mali; Moldova; Mongolia; Pakistan; Paraguay; Slovakia; Amnesty International South Africa, South Africa; Thailand; Turkey; Ukraine; Zambia; Zimbabwe * ''International Board (formerly known as "IEC") Chairpersons''
Seán MacBride Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was an Irish Clann na Poblachta Clann na Poblachta ( – "Family/Children of the Republic") was an Irish republicanism, Irish republican political party founded in 1946 by Seán MacBride, a ...
, 1965–74; Dirk Börner, 1974–17; Thomas Hammarberg, 1977–79; José Zalaquett, 1979–82; Suriya Wickremasinghe, 1982–85; Wolfgang Heinz, 1985–96; Franca Sciuto, 1986–89; Peter Duffy, 1989–91; Anette Fischer, 1991–92; Ross Daniels, 1993–19; Susan Waltz, 1996–98; Mahmoud Ben Romdhane, 1999–2000; Colm O Cuanachain, 2001–02; Paul Hoffman, 2003–04; Jaap Jacobson, 2005; Hanna Roberts, 2005–06; Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, 2006–07; Peter Pack, 2007–11; Pietro Antonioli, 2011–13; and Nicole Bieske, 2013–2018, Sarah Beamish (2019 to current). * ''Secretaries General''


National sections


Charitable status

In the UK Amnesty International has two principal arms, Amnesty International UK and Amnesty International Charity Ltd. Both are UK-based organizations but only the latter is a charity.


Principles

The core principle of Amnesty International is a focus on prisoners of conscience, those persons imprisoned or prevented from expressing an opinion by means of violence. Along with this commitment to opposing repression of freedom of expression, Amnesty International's founding principles included non-intervention on political questions, a robust commitment to gathering facts about the various cases and promoting human rights. One key issue in the principles is in regards to those individuals who may advocate or tacitly support resorting to violence in struggles against repression. AI does not judge whether recourse to violence is justified or not. However, AI does not oppose the political use of violence in itself since The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in its preamble, foresees situations in which people could "be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression". If a prisoner is serving a sentence imposed, after a fair trial, for activities involving violence, AI will not ask the government to release the prisoner. AI neither supports nor condemns the resort to violence by political opposition groups in itself, just as AI neither supports nor condemns a government policy of using military force in fighting against armed opposition movements. However, AI supports minimum humane standards that should be respected by governments and armed opposition groups alike. When an opposition group tortures or kills its captives, takes hostages, or commits deliberate and arbitrary killings, AI condemns these abuses. Amnesty International opposes capital punishment in all cases, regardless of the crime committed, the circumstances surrounding the individual or the method of execution.


Objectives

Amnesty International primarily targets governments, but also reports on non-governmental bodies and private individuals ("non-state actors"). There are six key areas which Amnesty deals with: *Women's rights, Women's, Children's rights, children's, Minority rights, minorities' and indigenous rights *Ending
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
*Abolition of the death penalty *Rights of
refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person Forced displacement (also forced migration) is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region In geography, regions are areas that are broa ...

refugee
s *Rights of Prisoner of conscience, prisoners of conscience *Protection of human dignity. Some specific aims are to: abolish the death penalty, end extrajudicial punishment, extra judicial executions and "forced disappearance, disappearances", ensure prison conditions meet international human rights standards, ensure prompt and fair trial for all political prisoners, ensure free education to all children worldwide
decriminalize abortion
fight impunity from systems of justice, end the recruitment and use of military use of children, child soldiers, free all
prisoners of conscience A prisoner of conscience (POC) is anyone imprisoned because of their Race (classification of human beings), race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. The term also refers to those who have been imprisoned or persecuted for the nonv ...

promote economic, social and cultural rights
for marginalized communities, protect human rights defenders, promote religious tolerance, protect LGBT rights
stop torture and ill-treatment
sto
unlawful killings in armed conflict
uphold th
rights of refugees
immigrant, migrants, and asylum seekers, and protect human dignity. It also supports worldwide Decriminalizing sex work, decriminalisation of prostitution. Additionally, Amnesty International has developed ways to publicize information and mobilize public opinion. The organization considers the publication of impartial and accurate reports as one of its strengths. Reports are researched by interviewing victims and officials, observing trials, working with local human rights activists, and monitoring the media. It aims to issue timely press releases and publishes information in newsletters and on web sites. It also sends official missions to countries to make courteous but insistent inquiries. Campaigns to mobilize public opinion can take the form of individual, country, or thematic campaigns. Many techniques are deployed, such as direct appeals (for example, letter writing), media and publicity work, and public demonstrations. Often, fund-raising is integrated with campaigning. In 2018, the organization started to adopt a new communications strategy based o
a message of shared humanity and a hope-based communications approach
In situations requiring immediate attention, Amnesty International calls on existing urgent action networks or crisis response networks; for all other matters, it calls on its membership. It considers the large size of its human resources to be another of its key strengths. The role of Amnesty International has a significant impact on getting citizens on board with focusing on human rights issues. These groups influence countries and governments to give their people justice with pressure and in human resources. An example of Amnesty International's work is writing letters to free imprisoned people that were put there for non-violent expressions. The group now has power, attends sessions, and became a source of information for the UN. The increase in participation of non-governmental organizations changes how we live today. Felix Dodds states in a recent document: "In 1972 there were 39 democratic countries in the world; by 2002, there were 139." This shows that non-governmental organizations make enormous leaps within a short period of time for human rights. Amnesty International launched a free human rights learning mobile application called Amnesty Academy in October 2020. It offered learners across the globe access to courses both, online and offline. All courses are downloadable within the application, which is available for both iOS and Android (operating system), Android devices.


Country focus

Amnesty reports disproportionately on relatively more democratic and open countries,"Colombia: Amnesty International response to Andrés Ballesteros et al."
, ''AMR 23/006/2007'', 21 February 2007. Retrieved on 20 January 2012.
arguing that its intention is not to produce a range of reports which statistically represents the world's human rights abuses, but rather to apply the pressure of public opinion to encourage improvements. The demonstration effect of the behaviour of both key Western governments and major non-Western states is an important factor: as one former Amnesty Secretary-General pointed out, "for many countries and a large number of people, the United States is a model," and according to one Amnesty manager, "large countries influence small countries." In addition, with the end of the Cold War, Amnesty felt that a greater emphasis on human rights in the North was needed to improve its credibility with its Southern critics by demonstrating its willingness to report on human rights issues in a truly global manner. According to one academic study, as a result of these considerations, the frequency of Amnesty's reports is influenced by a number of factors, besides the frequency and severity of human rights abuses. For example, Amnesty reports significantly more (than predicted by human rights abuses) on more economically powerful states; and on countries that receive US military aid, on the basis that this Western complicity in abuses increases the likelihood of public pressure being able to make a difference. In addition, around 1993–94, Amnesty consciously developed its media relations, producing fewer background reports and more press releases, to increase the impact of its reports. Press releases are partly driven by news coverage, to use existing news coverage as leverage to discuss Amnesty's human rights concerns. This increases Amnesty's focus on the countries the media is more interested in. In 2012, Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty UK's campaign manager whose main focus is Syria, listed several countries as "regimes who abuse peoples' basic universal rights": Burma, Iran, Israel, North Korea and Sudan. Benedict was criticized for including Israel in this short list on the basis that his opinion was garnered solely from "his own visits", with no other objective sources. Amnesty's country focus is similar to that of some other comparable NGOs, notably Human Rights Watch: between 1991 and 2000, Amnesty and HRW shared eight of ten countries in their "top ten" (by Amnesty press releases; 7 for Amnesty reports). In addition, six of the 10 countries most reported on by Human Rights Watch in the 1990s also made ''The Economist'''s and ''Newsweek'''s "most covered" lists during that time.


Funding

Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It says that it does not accept donations from governments or governmental organizations. According to the AI website,
"these personal and unaffiliated donations allow AI to maintain full independence from any and all governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions. We neither seek nor accept any funds for human rights research from governments or political parties and we accept support only from businesses that have been carefully vetted. By way of ethical fundraising leading to donations from individuals, we are able to stand firm and unwavering in our defence of universal and indivisible human rights."
However, AI has received grants over the past ten years from the UK Department for International Development,Amnesty International Charity Limited Report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2011
p. 8, Paragraph 10.
the European Commission, the United States State Department and other governments. AI (USA) has received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, but these funds are only used "in support of its human rights education work." It has also received many grants from the Ford Foundation over the years.


Criticism and controversies

Criticism of Amnesty International includes claims of excessive pay for management, underprotection of overseas staff, associating with organizations with a dubious record on human rights protection, selection bias, ideology, ideological and foreign policy bias against either non-Western world, Western countries or Western world, Western-supported countries, or bias for terrorist groups. A 2019 report also shows an internal toxic work environment. Amnesty International supports women's access to abortion services as basic healthcare, and the Vatican has levied criticism on Amnesty International for this. Numerous governments and their supporters have criticized Amnesty's criticism of their policies, including those of Australia, Czech Republic, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Russia, Nigeria and the United States, for what they assert is one-sided reporting or a failure to treat threats to security as a mitigating factor. The actions of these governments, and of other governments critical of Amnesty International, have been the subject of human rights concerns voiced by Amnesty. The ''Sudan Vision Daily'', a daily newspaper in Sudan, compared Amnesty to the US National Endowment for Democracy, and claimed "it is, in essence, a British intelligence organization which is a part of the Government decision making system."


Relationship with the British Government

During the early history of Amnesty International, as it is now proven by various documents, it was secretly supported by the Foreign Office. In 1963, the FO instructed its operatives abroad to provide "discreet support" for Amnesty's campaigns. In the same year, Benenson wrote to Colonial Office Minister Lord Lansdowne a proposal to prop up a "refugee counsellor" on the border of what now is Botswana and apartheid South Africa. Amnesty intended to assist people fleeing across the border from neighboring South Africa, but not those who were actively engaged in the struggle against apartheid. Benenson wrote:
I would like to reiterate our view that these [British] territories should not be used for offensive political action by the opponents of the South African Government (...) Communist influence should not be allowed to spread in this part of Africa, and in the present delicate situation, Amnesty International would wish to support Her Majesty's Government in any such policy.
The year after, the AI dropped
Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born Rolihlahla Mandela ; ; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as the first president of South Africa Th ...

Nelson Mandela
as a "prisoner of conscience", because he was convicted of violence by the South African Government. Nelson Mandela, Mandela had also been a member of the South African Communist Party. In a trip to Haiti, the British FO had also assisted Benenson in his mission to Haiti, where he was disguised because of fear of the Haitians finding out that the British government sponsored his visit. When his disguise was revealed, Benenson was severely criticized by the media. In the British colony of Aden, a province in Yemen, a Swedish amnesty employee wrote a report on torture in a British prison. The report wasn't published by Amnesty. There were different allegations as to why it didn't get published. According to Benenson, Amnesty general secretary Robert Swann had suppressed it in deference to the Foreign Office. According to co-founder Eric Baker, both Benenson and Swann had met Foreign Secretary George Brown, Baron George-Brown, George Brown in September and told him that they were willing to hold up publication if the Foreign Office promised this wouldn't occur again. A memo by Lord Chancellor Gerald Gardiner, Baron Gardiner, Gerald Gardiner, a labour politician, states that:
Amnesty held the Swedish complaint as long as they could simply because Peter Benenson did not want to do anything to hurt a Labour government.
Benenson then travelled to Aden and reported that he had never seen an "uglier situation" in his life. He then said that British agents had infiltrated Amnesty and repressed the report. Later, documents surfaced implicating Benenson had connections to the British government, which started the Harry letters affair. He then resigned, claiming that British and American intelligence had infiltrated Amnesty and subverted its values. After this set of events, which were dubbed by some the "Amnesty Crisis of 1966-67", the relationship between Amnesty and the British Government was suspended. AI vowed that in future, it "must not only be independent and impartial but must not be put into a position where anything else could even be alleged" and the Foreign Office cautioned that "for the time being our attitude to Amnesty International must be one of reserve".


Approval of Iraq Incubator falsities

In 1990, when the United States government was deciding whether or not to invade Iraq, a Kuwaiti woman, known to Congress by her first name only, Nayirah, told the congress that when Iraq invaded Kuwait, she stayed behind after some of her family left the country. She said she was volunteering in a local hospital when Iraqi soldiers stole the Incubator (neonatal), incubators with children in them and left them to freeze to death. Amnesty International, which had human rights investigators in Kuwait, confirmed the story and helped spread it. The organization also inflated the number of children who were killed by the robbery to over 300, more than the number of incubators available in the city hospitals of the country. It was often cited by people, including the Member of Congress, members of Congress who voted to approve the Gulf War, as one of the reasons to fight. After the war, it was found that the woman was lying, the story was made up, and her last name was not given because her father was a delegate for Kuwait's government at the same congressional hearing.


CAGE controversy

Amnesty International suspended Gita Sahgal, its gender unit head, after she criticized Amnesty in February 2010 for its high-profile associations with Moazzam Begg, the director of Cageprisoners, representing men in extrajudicial detention. "To be appearing on platforms with Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban, Begg, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment," she said. Sahgal argued that by associating with Begg and Cageprisoners, Amnesty was risking its reputation on human rights. "As a former Guantanamo detainee, it was legitimate to hear his experiences, but as a supporter of the Taliban it was absolutely wrong to legitimise him as a partner," Sahgal said. She said she repeatedly brought the matter up with Amnesty for two years, to no avail. A few hours after the article was published, Sahgal was suspended from her position. Amnesty's Senior Director of Law and Policy, Widney Brown, later said Sahgal raised concerns about Begg and Cageprisoners to her personally for the first time a few days before sharing them with the ''Sunday Times''. Sahgal issued a statement saying she felt that Amnesty was risking its reputation by associating with and thereby politically legitimizing Begg, because Cageprisoners "actively promotes Islamic Right ideas and individuals". She said the issue was not about Begg's "freedom of opinion, nor about his right to propound his views: he already exercises these rights fully as he should. The issue is ... the importance of the human rights movement maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination and fundamentally undermine the universality of human rights." The controversy prompted responses by politicians, the writer Salman Rushdie, and journalist Christopher Hitchens, among others who criticized Amnesty's association with Begg. After her suspension and the controversy, Sahgal was interviewed by numerous media and attracted international supporters. She was interviewed on the US National Public Radio (NPR) on 27 February 2010, where she discussed the activities of Cageprisoners and why she deemed it inappropriate for Amnesty to associate with Begg. She said that Cageprisoners' Asim Qureshi spoke supporting global ''jihad'' at a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally. She stated that a best-seller at Begg's bookshop was a book by Abdullah Azzam, a mentor of Osama bin Laden and a founder of the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba. In a separate interview for the Indian ''Daily News & Analysis'', Sahgal said that, as Quereshi affirmed Begg's support for global ''jihad'' on a'' BBC World Service'' programme, "these things could have been stated in his [Begg's] introduction" with Amnesty. She said that Begg's bookshop had published ''The Army of Madinah'', which she characterized as a ''jihad'' manual by Dhiren Barot.


Irene Khan payout controversy

In February 2011, newspaper stories in the UK revealed that
Irene Khan Irene Zubaida Khan ( bn, আইরিন জোবায়দা খান; born 24 December 1956) is a Bangladeshi lawyer appointed as of August 2020 to be the United Nations Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion, the first ...
had received a payment of £533,103 from Amnesty International following her resignation from the organization on 31 December 2009, a fact pointed to from Amnesty's records for the 2009–2010 financial year. The sum paid to her was more than four times her annual salary (£132,490).Mason, Tania
"Charity Commission has 'no jurisdiction' over board member's payment from Amnesty"
civilsociety.co.uk, 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
The deputy secretary general, Kate Gilmore (UN official), Kate Gilmore, who also resigned in December 2009, received an ex-gratia payment of £320,000.Chapman, John
"Amnesty boss gets secret £500,000 payout"
''Daily Express'', 19 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
Peter Pack, the chairman of Amnesty's International Executive Committee (IEC), initially stated on 19 February 2011: "The payments to outgoing secretary general Irene Khan shown in the accounts of AI (Amnesty International) Ltd for the year ending 31 March 2010 include payments made as part of a confidential agreement between AI Ltd and Irene Khan" and that "It is a term of this agreement that no further comment on it will be made by either party." The payment and AI's initial response to its leakage to the press led to a considerable outcry. Philip Davies, the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative MP for Shipley (UK Parliament constituency), Shipley, criticized the payments, telling the ''Daily Express'': "I am sure people making donations to Amnesty, in the belief they are alleviating poverty, never dreamed they were subsidising a fat cat payout. This will disillusion many benefactors." On 21 February 2011, Peter Pack issued a further statement, in which he said that the payment was a "unique situation" that was "in the best interest of Amnesty's work" and that there would be no repetition of it. He stated that "the new secretary general, with the full support of the IEC, has initiated a process to review our employment policies and procedures to ensure that such a situation does not happen again." Pack also stated that Amnesty was "fully committed to applying all the resources that we receive from our millions of supporters to the fight for human rights". On 25 February 2011, Pack sent a letter to Amnesty members and staff. In 2008, it stated, the IEC decided not to prolong Khan's contract for a third term. In the following months, IEC discovered that due to British employment law, it had to choose between three options: offering Khan a third term; discontinuing her post and, in their judgement, risking legal consequences; or signing a confidential agreement and issuing a pay compensation.


2019 Report on workplace bullying within Amnesty International

In February 2019, Amnesty International's management team offered to resign after an independent report found what it called a "toxic culture" of workplace bullying. Evidence of bullying, harassment, sexism and racism was uncovered after two 2018 suicides were investigated: that of 30-year Amnesty veteran Gaëtan Mootoo in Paris in May 2018 (who left a Suicide note, note citing work pressures); and that of 28-year-old intern Rosalind McGregor in Geneva in July 2018. An internal survey by the Konterra group with a team of psychologists was conducted in January 2019, after the 2 employees had killed themselves in 2018. The report stated that Amnesty had a toxic work culture and that workers frequently cited mental and physical health issues as a result of their work for the organization. The report found that: "39 per cent of Amnesty International staff reported that they developed mental or physical health issues as the direct result of working at Amnesty". The report concluded, "organisational culture and management failures are the root cause of most staff wellbeing issues." Elaborating on this the report mentioned that bullying, public humiliation and other abuses of power are commonplace and routine practice by the management. It also claimed the us versus them culture among employees and the severe lack of trust in the senior management at Amnesty. By October 2019 five of the seven members of the senior leadership team at Amnesty's international secretariat left the organization with "generous" redundancy packages. Among them, Anna Neistat, who was Gaëtan Mootoo's senior manager directly implicated in the independent report on Mootoo's death. According to Mootoo's former collaborator, Salvatore Saguès, "Gaëtan's case is merely the tip of the iceberg at Amnesty. A huge amount of suffering is caused to employees. Since the days of Salil Shetty, when top management were being paid fabulous salaries, Amnesty has become a multinational where the staff are seen as dispensable. Human resources management is a disaster and nobody is prepared to stand up and be counted. The level of impunity granted to Amnesty's bosses is simply unacceptable." After none of the managers responsible of bullying at Amnesty were held accountable a group of workers petitioned for Amnesty's chief Kumi Naidoo to resign. On 5 December 2019 Naidoo resigned from his post of Amnesty's Secretary General citing ill health and appointing Julie Verhaar as an interim Secretary General. In their petition, workers demanded her immediate resignation as well.


Kurdish Hunger Strike occupation

In April 2019, 30 Kurdish people, Kurdish activists, some of whom are on an indefinite hunger strike, occupied Amnesty International's building in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
in a peaceful protest, in order to speak out against Amnesty's silence on the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan in a Turkish prison. The hunger strikers have also spoken out about "delaying tactics" by Amnesty, and being denied access to toilets during the occupation, despite this being a human right. Two of the hunger strikers, Nahide Zengin and Mehmet Sait Zengin, received paramedic treatment and were taken to hospital during the occupation. Late in the evening of 26 April 2019, the Metropolitan Police Service, London Met police arrested 21 remaining occupiers.


2019 Budgetary crisis controversy

In May 2019 Amnesty International's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo admitted to a hole in the organization's budget of up to £17m in donor money to the end of 2020. In order to deal with the budgetary crisis, Naidoo announced to staff that the organization's headquarters would have cut almost 100 jobs as a part of urgent restructuring. Unite the Union, the UK's biggest trade union, said the redundancies were a direct result of "overspending by the organisation's senior leadership team" and have occurred "despite an increase in income". Unite, which represents Amnesty's staff, feared that cuts would fall heaviest on lower-income staff. It said that in the previous year the top 23 highest earners at Amnesty International were paid a total of £2.6m– an average of £113,000 per year. Unite demanded a review of whether it is necessary to have so many managers in the organisation. Amnesty's budgetary crisis became public after the two staff suicides in 2019. A subsequent independent review of workplace culture found a "state of emergency" at the organization after a restructuring process. Following several reports that labelled Amnesty a toxic workplace, in October 2019 five of the seven high-paid senior directors at Amnesty's international secretariat in London left the organization with "generous" redundancy packages. This included Anna Neistat, who was a senior manager directly implicated in the independent report on the suicide of Amnesty's West Africa researcher Gaëtan Mootoo in the organization's Paris office. The size of exit packages granted to former senior management caused anger among other staff and an outcry among Amnesty's members. After the resignation of Amnesty International's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo in December 2019, a new International Board was elected. In addition to leading the recovery period of the international secretariat, the Board also has to recruit a new Secretary General, manage costs, develop a new global strategy, and ensure delivery of Amnesty's activities. A new senior director, Chief Financial Officer Nigel Armitt, was appointed to the International Secretariat, to manage the budgetary crisis. The company stated that Armitt "oversees financial management at the International Secretariat and is responsible for supporting and fostering the organisation's financial literacy and capability".


2020 Secret payout controversy

In September 2020 ''The Times'' reported that Amnesty International paid £800,000 in compensation over the workplace suicide of Gaëtan Mootoo and demanded his family keep the deal secret. The pre-trial agreement between London-based Amnesty's International Secretariat and Motoo's wife was reached on the condition that she keeps the deal secret by signing NDA. This was done particularly to prevent discussing the settlement with the press or on social media. The arrangement led to criticism on social media, with people asking why an organisation such as Amnesty would condone the use of non-disclosure agreements. Shaista Aziz, a co-founder of the feminist advocacy group NGO Safe Space, questioned on Twitter why the "world's leading human rights organisation" was employing such contracts. The source of the money was unknown. Amnesty stated that the payout to Motoo's family "will not be made from donations or membership fees".


Removal of Alexei Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status

Amnesty International's decision in February 2021 to strip Alexei Navalny's status as a prisoner of conscience due to comments made about migrants 14 years beforehand regarded as hate speech provoked criticism and resignations from supporters. Amnesty stated that a person who has "''advocated violence or hatred''" is excluded from their current definition of a prisoner of conscience and that the use of the term was intended to 'emphasize the unjust nature of his detention and our opposition to his unfounded prosecution', but upon reviewing the case, the use of the term POC was found to be a mistake. Amnesty apologised for 'poor timing' which had allowed the Kremlin to 'weaponise' the controversy against Navalny's supporters. An anonymous Amnesty employee stated he believed a propaganda campaign was allegedly organized against Navalny, by making his previous controversial comments more prominent. Amnesty's decision was described by western media as "a huge victory for Russian state propaganda" which undermined Amnesty's support of Navalny's release. Following those accusations, Amnesty International answered: "''Reports that Amnesty’s decision was influenced by the Russian state’s smear campaign against Navalny are untrue. At no point were statements falsely attributed to Navalny, or information solely intended to discredit him, taken into consideration. Propaganda by the Russian authorities is recognizable as such.''" A few days later Pro-Kremlin pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov (Vovan) and Alexey Stolyarov (Lexus) pretended to be Navalny's campaigns chief Leonid Volkov while talking to Amnesty's Acting Secretary General Julie Verhaar. In the Zoom video call published on Youtube Amnesty's management expressed their regret at stripping Mr Navalny of his status and pleaded to help Navalny's supporters steer the media narrative back onto Navalny's plight and away from his Amnesty status. Amnesty's management told the pranksters they were keen to start a 'short, clear and powerful' social media campaign to promote Navalny's cause to demand his release and to 'steer the conversation away from "prisoner of conscience."' Leonid Volkov expressed his disbelief and disappointment at Amnesty, having watched the prank call. Amnesty "was fed with shit and she liked it", said Volkov on Twitter.


Awards and honours

In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world". In 1984, Amnesty International received the Four Freedoms Award in the category of Freedom of Speech. In 1991, Amnesty International was awarded the journalistic prize ''Golden Doves for Peace'' by the "Archivio Disarmo" Research Center in Italy.


Cultural impact


Human rights concerts

''A Conspiracy of Hope'' was a short tour of six benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place in the United States during June 1986. The purpose of the tour was not to raise funds but rather to increase awareness of human rights and of Amnesty's work on its 25th anniversary. The shows were headlined by U2, Sting (musician), Sting and Bryan Adams and also featured Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, and The Neville Brothers. The last three shows featured a reunion of The Police. At a press conference in each city, at related media events, and through their music at the concerts themselves, the artists engaged with the public on themes of human rights and human dignity. The six concerts were the first of what subsequently became known collectively as the Human Rights Concerts – a series of music events and tours staged by Amnesty International USA between 1986 and 1998. ''
Human Rights Now! Human Rights Now! was a worldwide tour of twenty benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place over six weeks in 1988. Held not to raise funds but to increase awareness of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on i ...
'' was a worldwide tour of twenty benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place over six weeks in 1988. Held not to raise funds but to increase awareness of both the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
on its 40th anniversary and the work of Amnesty International, the shows featured Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting (musician), Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N'Dour, plus guest artists from each of the countries where concerts were held.


Artists for Amnesty

Amnesty International, through its "Artists for Amnesty" programme, has also endorsed various cultural media works for what its leadership often consider accurate or educational treatments of real-world topics that fall within the range of Amnesty's concern: * ''A is for Auschwitz'' * ''At the Death House Door'' * ''Blood Diamond (film), Blood Diamond'' * ''Bordertown (2006 film), Bordertown'' * ''Catch a Fire (film), Catch a Fire'' * ''In Prison My Whole Life'' * ''Invictus (film), Invictus'' * ''Lord of War'' * ''Rendition (film), Rendition'' * ''The Constant Gardener (film), The Constant Gardener'' * ''Tibet: Beyond Fear'' * ''Trouble the Water'' * ''12 Years a Slave'' * ''Django Unchained'' * ''The Help''


See also

*Ambassador of Conscience Award *100 Days Campaign *Amnesty International UK Media Awards *List of Amnesty International UK Media Awards winners *List of peace activists *World Coalition Against the Death Penalty *Nayirah testimony *Scholars at Risk


Notes


References


Further reading

*Srivastava, Swati. 2021. "doi:10.1093/isq/sqab009, Navigating NGO–Government Relations in Human Rights: New Archival Evidence from Amnesty International, 1961–1986." ''International Studies Quarterly.'' * * * * *


External links


Amnesty International official site
2002 discussion by Dennis Bernstein and Dr. Francis Boyle
Catalogue of the Amnesty International archives
held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
Amnesty International Head Irene Khan on The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights
– video by ''Democracy Now!''
Amnesty International Promotion to Eliminate the Death Penalty
– video by TBWA/Paris and Pleix for Amnesty International France
Amnesty International Poster Collection
at the International Institute of Social History * {{Authority control Amnesty International, 1961 establishments in England Imprisonment and detention Olof Palme Prize laureates Organizations awarded Nobel Peace Prizes Organisations based in the London Borough of Islington Organizations established in 1961 Non-profit organisations based in London Recipients of the Four Freedoms Award