AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SECTION) religion REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (Speakers notes provided.) 5 Offer

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  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (BRITISH SECTION)

    Movement for freedom of opinion and religion

    SECOND ANNUAL REPORT

    1st June 1962 — 3Ist May 1963

    I MITRE COURT BUILDINGS TEMPLE, LONDON E.C.4 CENtral 7867 it

  • E BRITISH SECTION OF

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

    AIR

    OFFICERS

    AN: Lionel Elvin (Director, Institute of Education, [Thum

    of London)

    VICE- AI N: Eric Baker Henry Warner

    rum. SEC TARIM: Peter Benenson and Neville Vinccnt

    (Barristers-at-Law)

    OBJEC ITS OF AMNESTY

    INTERNATIONAL

    The A %IN Y movement is composed of peoples of all natioutlities,

    politics, religions and social views wlm are determined Pi work

    together in defence of freedom of the mind.

    'Ulm spread Of dictatorship, the tensions that lmve resulted liom

    the Cold War, and thc increasing cleavage between races of dillerent

    colour, have combined to make state persecution of the individual

    the gravest social problem Of the I olio's.

    •he principal Object of A M N EST V is to mobilise public opinion in

    defence of those men and women who are imprisoned because their

    ideas are unacceptable to their governtnents. It has been formed so

    that there should lie some central, international organisation capable

    of concentrating efforts to secure the release of these 'Prisoners of

    Conscience', and to secure world wide recognition of Articles 18 and

    o of the Universal Declaration of I Inman Rights. Essentially an

    impartial organisation as regards religion and politics, it aims at

    uniting gintips in different countries working towards the same end

    the freedom and dignity of the human mind.

    HON. TREASURER : DIITICall Guthrie (Director, Polio Research Fund)

    TRUSTEES OF 'THE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE FOND'

    The Rt. Rev. The Bishop of Birmingham (Anglican)

    Professor Ritchie Calder (Humanist)

    Ian Gilmour, M.P. (Conservative)

    The Rev. Dr. I. Grunfelcl (Jewish)

    F. Elwyn Jones, Q.C., M.P.

    (Labour) Sean MacBride, S.C.

    (Ireland) Dr. Ernest Payne

    (Baptist) The Most Rev. Archbishop Roberts,

    (Roman Catholic) Jeremy Thorpe, M.P.

    (Liberal)

    HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS

    SECRETARY : Albert Lodge Library : Mrs. Christel Manh Local Groups : Mrs. Marlys Deeds Membership : Mrs. Marna Glyn Relief : Mrs. Edith Singer Administration Miss Christine Chattin

  • THE BRITISH SECTION OF .

    AMNESTY INTE.RNATIONAL

    of Education, University

    OFFICERS

    Lionel Elvin (Director, Institute of London)

    CE-CHAIRMEN:

    RETARIES:

    OBJECTS OF AMNESTY

    INTERNATIONAL Eric Baker Henry Warner Peter Benenson and Neville Vincent (Barristers-at-Law)

    HON. TREASURER Duncan Guthrie (Director, Polio Research Fund)

    TRUSTEES OF 'THE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENC CND'

    The Rt. Rev. The Bishop of Birmingham (Anglican)

    Professor Ritchie Calder (Humanist)

    Ian Gihnour, MAP, (Conservative)

    The Rev. Dr. L Grunfeld (Jewish)

    F. Elwyn Jones, Q.C. (Labour)

    Sean MacBride, s.c. (Ireland)

    Dr. Ernest Payne (Baptist)

    The Most Rev. Archbishop Roberts (Roman Catholic)

    Jeremy Thorpe, my. (Liberal)

    HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS

    SEC ETARY : Albert. Lodge Library : Mrs. Christel Manh Local Groups : Mn. Marlys Deeds Membership : Mrs. Marna Glyn Relief : Mrs. Edith Singer Administration Miss Christine Chattin

    The AMNESTYmovement is composed of peoples of all Iationalities,

    politics, religions and social views who arc deterniinect to work

    together in defence of freedom of the mind.

    The spread of dictatorship, the tensions that have resulted from

    the Cold War, and the increasing cleavage between races of different

    colour, have combined to make state persecution of the individual

    the grayest social pmhlein of the 1960's.

    The principal object of AMNESTY IS to mobilise public opinion in

    defence of those men and women who are imprisoned because their

    ideas are unacceptable to their governments. It has been formed so

    that there should be sonw central, international organisation capable

    of concentrating efforts to secure tlw release of these 'Prisoners of

    Conscience', and to secure world wide recognition of Articles id and

    19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essentially an

    impartial organisation as regards religion and politics, it aims at

    uniting groups in different countries working towards the same end

    — the freedom and dignity of the human mind.

  • CHAIRMAN'S INTRODUCTION

    cuts right across normal divisions in politics and religion; and that is our strength. There are other organisations that are working within some more limited ideological framework for aid to those of their own particular persuasion. Our strength is that in such matters we take no sides at all. We base ourselves on a broad and basic human principle: that everyone, if he will concede the same to others, has the right to non-violent expression of his beliefs. We have been amazed at the answering chord this has struck in so many people who, as this Report shows, have been willing not only to join but to work for such a cause.

    AMNESTY is still a small, and financially a struggling, movement. But we stand for something of crucial importance, and our voice is beginning to be heard, in the press, on the radio, in public, discussion, and above all in the coin tioom and the jail. We are beginning to become what we wish to be, the Ombudsman of the imprisoned con scie ice everywhere.

    LIONEL ELVIN

    This is the second Annual Report of AMNESTY, an organisation that began as an almost quixotic personal protest and in a very short space of time has become an international movement. The Report shows something of this development. It shows the growth of the organisation, with the great increase of the local groups, each helping three people imprisoned for exercising the right of free men to speak their mind in matters of politics and religion. It indicates the need now to devise a national structure for our work that is part of the larger international whole, for which until now we in Britain have been largely responsible. It shows how we have reached the point where we have to define rather more clearly the areas in which we want to work: it describes our attempts to draft a Code of Conduct for the treatment of 'Prisoners of Conscience' by their governments, it indicates our relations with other organisations. But most important it tells something of what WC have clone to help those who have been penalised for the non-violent expression of their views.

    As the Report says, it is difficult to evaluate the degree of our success. Sometimes, where we seem clearly to have failed, the long- term consequence of a demonstration that some people care about essential human freedoms may nevertheless be real Sometimes, when action by AMNESTY has been followed by the release of a prisoner of conscience, it is always open to argument that the release would have come any way, whether we had intervened or not. But by and large the importance of our role is clear. The decisive test is what the victims of repression themselves think and say. We know that our action gives them new courage and practical help, and they say so.

    If success or failure in any particular case is difficult to evaluate, the measure of our appeal is not. Like others, I joined AMNESTY for a very simple reason: because in spite of many other commitments I felt I must. Some of our members have experienced persecution directly, in their own persons or in their immediate circles. Others, among the more fortunate, have not done so, but precisely because they are conscious of their good fortune feel that they must do something, ho•ever little it may seem, to help those who are paying the penalty of bearing witness to what they believe. The appeal

  • THE INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT

    radio stations. The full text has been translated into most of the

    principal languages of the world, and is available at the London office.

    The Code, which acts as a bridge between the Universal Declara- tion of Human Rights (valid in peacetime but rarely honoured) and the Geneva Red Cross Conventions (valid in wartime and

    usually respected), has attracted wide attention. Copies were for-

    warded to all governments. It is perhaps significant of the times

    that a number of assurances have been received that the Code is

    being applied from countries where it is not; while those nations

    which might be expected to honour it are making a serious study

    without committing themselves. The Code, which involves the principle of International Red

    Cross inspection of prisons and detention camps, is being published in the I.R.C. Magazine in four languages.

    The constitution of the movement was approved at the Second

    International Meeting held at the Chateau de Male, near Bruges,

    Belgium, on 29th and 30th September, 1962. This constitution provides that the policy is to be laid down at an annual Inter-

    national Meeting at •hich each National Section shall have two

    votes. The name of the movement was altered at the Bruges meeting

    from 'Amnesty' to A MNESTY I NTER NATIONA L. The RUEIJOSC of

    the change was to emphasise the world-wide basis of the movement's work and to dillerentiate it from the various 'amnesty campaigns' organised in respect of individual countries, usually by supporters of a po