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Student Clubs & Associations, Student Life

Amnesty International provides hope for the hopeless

A leader of anti-government movement, an abused rape victim and a convicted murderer have one thing in common: Amnesty International will not give up on them.

Amnesty International is a global organization dedicated to fighting for the basic rights of every human being.

Amnesty gives a voice to those who have been silenced and an identity to those who have become another statistic.

It provides hope for the people who have lost the strength to hold on to the promise of it.

“Amnesty represents the fact that people are capable of getting past apathy and truly believing that they can peacefully make a difference,” said Valerie Garcia, Amnesty at USF’s Financial Officer.

A primary goal for Amnesty International is for the privileged individuals, whose basic human rights are rarely challenged, to be aware of the extreme injustice happening around the globe.

In the country of Cameroon, which is located in Africa, it is illegal for a person to have sexual relations with another person of the same sex. Because of this incredibly unjust law, several individuals, including Jean-Claude Roger Mbebe, are facing up to five years in the harsh conditions of an African prison, according to Amnesty’s website.

In Indonesia, a man named Filep Karma is serving 15 years in prison for raising a flag during a peaceful ceremony, which violates his right of freedom of expression.

“All the things that Amnesty stands for are universal: justice, equality, and a unified international community. As an immigrant, all those concepts seemed of the upmost importance to me,” said Garcia.

The violation of human rights is not only common outside U.S. borders, but also often happens on a more local scale.

Troy Davis and Reggie Clemons are two individuals who were sentenced to death in America with little supporting evidence to insure their execution. Amnesty International considers the death penalty to be the ultimate violation of human right: the right to life.

“Amnesty does not distinguish human rights between ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people, but treats everybody with the same human compassion. No matter what you have done in life, mistakes or not, Amnesty International will stand for your human rights to life,” said Brittany Kurtright, secretary of Amnesty at USF.

Amnesty International does not discriminate between race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic region or personal attributes because it believes every individual should be granted the minimal right of living.


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