Amnesty – It Starts With a Letter

Amnesty International was started in 1961 by a lawyer called Peter Benenson who had heard of the arrest of two Portuguese students imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom.

It has grown to an international movement – and it all started with putting a pen to paper to help another human being gain their human rights (as provided in Universal Declaration of Human Rights created after the World War II).

On a personal note – I learned to letter write a lot by this organization and have been privileged to write to many people to call for the release or fair trial of other people and  urge any person to enjoy the wonderful experience of also having the opportunity to do so by joining their local group.

The video above is entitled “Amnesty! When They Are All Free takes an unprecedented look into the world of Amnesty International as it approaches its fiftieth anniversary.  From its beginnings as a letter writing campaign to help stop international violations of human rights, Amnesty International has become one of the most powerful non-governmental organisations in the world.

With many famous supporters, and some huge successes in highlighting abuses and imprisonments of some of the worlds most heroic icons, Amnesty International continues to battle for people around the world.

Following the new Secretary General, Salil Shetty, the film exposes the daily struggles within the organisation to help as many people worldwide as possible.

The staff at Amnesty have to tackle such disparate needs as homophobia in Uganda to the revolution in Egypt. Combining these present day issues with interviews and archive footage, Amnesty! When They Are Free gives the wider picture on how the organisation has changed the world for the better while leaving the lingering question: to what extent can organisations like Amnesty be effective in tackling human rights abuses?

As Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP, says in this documentary – “If people do nothing, nothing will happen!”

Below is it’s history. Go to Amnesty

Courtesy: BBC Four/Amnesty International/AP/ITV

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