The Manchester Amnesty Group is part of Amnesty International, the worldwide human rights organisation. Amnesty works within the following mandate:
The local group does a wide variety of campaign work and fundraising activities. Over the past year we have focused on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been described as the most important document in the history of human rights, establishing basic principles such as the right to life, the right to a fair trial, the right not to be tortured, to have freedom of expression and so on (see p4). Under the banner "Get Up, Sign Up!", we have asked people to sign their name to a pledge of support for the Declaration. Over 100,000 signatures have been collected in the UK which will be presented to the United Nations on December 8. To commemorate the anniversary there will be a candlelit vigil in the Peace Gardens, St Peter's Square from 6pm.
- To seek the release of all prisoners of conscience as long as they have not used or encouraged violence. These are people who are held because of their political, religious or other beliefs, or because of their ethnic origin, sex, colour, language, economic status, birth or other circumstances.
- To work for a fair and prompt trial of all political prisoners.
- To campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
- To end extrajudicial executions and "disappearences".
The group is currently campaigning on the USA, working to end police brutality, cruel prison conditions and the use of the death penalty. We are also launching a Children's Campaign early next year.
Manchester Amnesty Group (Julia Wickett 0161 434 3570)