UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
This issue was debated at length at the 1964 congress in Canterbury England, and it was decided there in favor of the second position -- that is, not to make an exception for Mr Mandela. I would recommend that readers interested in the details and in the early history of Amnesty International should get ahold of a copy of Egon Larsen's --A Flame in Barbed Wire -- (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979). By the way, Amnesty International takes no official position on the justification of the use of violence. It only makes a distinction between those political prisoners who do and do not use or advocate its use as concerns its internal program of action on their behalfs.
President Mandela has long since acknowledged that Amnesty made its decision in good faith, and has thanked the organization for its work on behalf of thousands of other South African prisoners and detainees. On his first visit to America following his release he met with a group of AI members in Detroit who presented him with an Amnesty International T-shirt. I have a picture of him wearing this T-shirt and waving on the wall of my study.
So those of you who would like to raise this old chestnut again would do better to think twice about doing so. Wouldn't it be wiser to devote our attention to the world's current spate of human rights violations?
Morton Winston Amnesty International USA, Board of Directors/South Africa Coordination Group Message-Id: <199409242005.QAA16180@ipe.cc.vt.edu> Date: Sat, 24 Sep 1994 13:03:07 -0700 From: "Arthur R. McGee"
Subject: Amnesty & Mandela (fwd)
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