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Amnesty International and Human Rights

This paper will discuss the organization Amnesty International and its efforts toward the establishment of human rights around the world. Amnesty International has three basic goals as its agenda. Its first goal is to seek the release of "prisoners of conscience" around the world. Prisoners of conscience are defined as individuals who have been "imprisoned or otherwise detained by reason of their political, religious or other conscientiously-held beliefs, or on the grounds of their ethnic origin, race, sex or cultural background" (Garling 7). In addition, Amnesty International defines prisoners of conscience as those who have been imprisoned for such beliefs without having "used or advocated violence" (Amnesty International Report 2). The second goal of the Amnesty International organization is the encouragement of "fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners" (Wiseberg and Sirett 35). The third goal of Amnesty International is to oppose "the death penalty and torture and any other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners, without reservation" (35). Related to its goal for the release of all prisoners of conscience around the world, Amnesty International is also involved in working "for the release of people imprisoned because of their refusal, on conscientious grounds, to perform military service" (Voices for Freedom 196). As a result of these humanitarian efforts in the global community, the Amnesty International organization became a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 (Wiseberg and Sirett 35).

The origins of Amnesty International can be traced to 1961 and the activities of British lawyer Peter Benenson. During the 1950s, Benenson had already become interested in the fight against "government repression of dissent" (Voices 8). However, Benenson soon learned that the efforts of one person against the policies of an entire government did not amount to much. In 1961, Benenson's i...

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Amnesty International and Human Rights. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:22, August 15, 2020, from