Politics and Amnesty International
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is an independent human-rights organization which issues regular reports on violations of human rights throughout the world and works for the release of what it calls Prisoners of Conscience (political prisoners who have neither used nor advocated violence). The organization, which boasts an overall membership of 168,000, is based in London but has national sections in 33 countries and individual members in 107. In this country, Amnesty International USA has chapters in 32 states and last year had a budget of $750,000.
According to AI, in the sixteen years of its existence it has helped secure the release of more than 13,000 prisoners. But it is only in the last few years that the organization has itself attained in- ternational prominence, culminating in the award to it of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1977. As the Nobel Committee said in its citation: “In a world of increasing brutality, internationalization of violence, terrorism, and torture, Amnesty Internaional used its forces for the protection of human values.” No doubt the luster of a Nobel Prize will enable AI to increase its membership and to increase as well the amount of money it raises.
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