Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has urged people around the world to remain vigilant for human rights abuse on the 50th anniversary of civil rights group, Amnesty International.
Amnesty International was founded in 1961 by British lawyer, Peter Benenson, with the launch of the international campaign ‘Appeal for Amnesty 1961′ which called for the release of two Portuguese students who had been jailed by the dictatorial Salazar government for publically raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. Today, Amnesty has more than 3 million members, donors and supporters in over 150 countries and has been instrumental in the defence of human rights worldwide.
Jean, a substitute member of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee, said: “For fifty years, Amnesty has tirelessly fought to protect individuals wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied. The success of Amnesty in tackling serious human rights abuse across the world is living proof that people are stronger when they act together.
“Whilst today is a cause for celebration, it’s important to remember that the fight is not over. Human rights are universal – they are not divisible, they are not negotiable and they are not applicable only to certain groups. We all have a role to play in creating a society where all are free to exercise their rights and are not excluded on the basis of their race, religion or sexuality. I urge all to remain vigilant for human rights abuse wherever they might appear so that true liberty and democracy can be realised.”
Notes to Editors
For further information about the work of Amnesty International, please visit: amnesty.org.uk