Amnesty International Is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Amnesty International, an impartial and independent human rights organization, was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its effective defense of human rights against governmental abuse.
Summary of Event
Amnesty International has been an extraordinary success story since its inception by British lawyer Peter Benenson. Benenson created Amnesty International in 1961 out of frustration after reading of the imprisonment of two Portuguese students who had dared to offer a toast “to freedom” during the Salazar regime. His idea was that if outraged citizens would band together, they could effectively demand that governments release people so unjustly imprisoned. Amnesty International grew phenomenally after its creation in 1961, becoming by 1977 an organization of 165,000 members based in more than one hundred countries. In its first sixteen years, Amnesty gained an international reputation as a unique international citizens’ lobby for human rights. Amnesty was organized around adoption groups which support prisoners of conscience (balanced between the East, the West, and Third World countries) imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of human rights. Its official mandate demands the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience, fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners, and an end to torture and the death penalty. When the Nobel Peace Prize was announced on October 10, 1977, some considered...
(The entire section is 2342 words.)
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