Amnesty International gears up for 50th anniversary

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Amnesty International will celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend with events around the world and the launch of a "global call to action" aimed at boosting human rights.

Events will take place on Saturday in more than 60 countries from Argentina to New Zealand, half a century after British lawyer Peter Benenson founded the London-based rights group on May 28, 1961.

He decided to start Amnesty, which has become one of the world's leading human rights organisations, after reading an article about two Portuguese students imprisoned for raising their glasses in a "toast to freedom".

"Amnesty International is marking its 50th anniversary on 28th May with the launch of a global call to action designed to help tip the scales against repression and injustice," the group said in a statement.

Salil Shetty, Amnesty secretary general, added: "50 years of standing up to tyranny and injustice has shown that change is possible and that people united in common action across borders and beliefs can achieve extraordinary things."

© 2011 AFP

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