Amnesty International


Amnesty International
   An international human-rights nongovernmental organization. Created in 1961 by Peter Benenson, an English lawyer, Amnesty International works to free “prisoners of conscience”—those detained not only for political reasons but also for race, ethnicity, religion, or language. It is especially concerned with victims of torture. It tries to be as apolitical as possible, careful not to take up the case of anyone—a member of an armed guerrilla movement, for example—who advocates violence. Its mode of operation is simple. Amnesty International members are encouraged to write courteous letters to authority figures in the prisoners’ countries—a bishop, for example, or government official. The chain of letters, combined with reports sent to the media, shines a spotlight on the offending government, which, embarrassed, is often pressured into freeing the prisoner. Amnesty International also funnels reports to intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations. The organization made site visits to Argentina (6–15 November 1976) and to Chile (1973). It published reports on both countries as well as on Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Historical Dictionary of the “Dirty Wars” . . 2010.

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  • Amnesty International — an independent worldwide organization working against human rights violations and for the release of persons imprisoned for political or religious dissent; Nobel peace prize 1977. Abbr.: AI, A.I. * * * ▪ international organization  international… …   Universalium

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