26 April 2005


Although it passed almost unnoticed in the media, the death earlier this year of Peter Benenson is a reminder that 'ordinary people can bring about extraordinary change'.

Peter Benenson was outraged by a report he read in his morning paper in 1961 about the imprisonment of two students in Lisbon, Portugal who had drunk a toast to liberty. From his resolve to raise his voice against this injustice the movement now known as Amnesty International was born.

"Peter Benenson’s life was a courageous testament to his visionary commitment to fight injustice around the world," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"He brought light into the darkness of prisons, the horror of torture chambers and tragedy of death camps around the world. This was a man whose conscience shone in a cruel and terrifying world, who believed in the power of ordinary people to bring about extraordinary change and, by creating Amnesty International, he gave each of us the opportunity to make a difference."

Further information about Peter Benenson and his legacy can be found at the Amnesty International website.

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