Hello. I'm Marina Santee.
And I'm Ruby Jones. Welcome to Spotlight. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting.
It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Open your newspaper--on any day of the week.
You will find a report from somewhere in the world of someone being put in prison, tortured or executed.
The reason? His opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government.
The newspaper reader feels a sickening feeling of being powerless.
People all over the world get such feelings.
Imagine if they could be united into one common action.
Then, we could do something very effective.
These are the thoughts of Peter Benenson.
He was the founder of the international pressure group 'Amnesty International.'
Amnesty International works in countries all over the world.
In today's programme we look at how the organisation began.
It was late 1960. Peter Benenson sat on an underground train in London.
He was reading the newspaper.
He read about two Portuguese students.
They were living under Antonio Salazar's dictator rule.
Salazar's government sentenced them to prison.
Their crime was raising their glasses to celebrate freedom.
Peter Benenson was very angry when he read this!
So he decided to protest outside the Portuguese embassy in London.
But then, he changed his mind.
Instead he left his train at Trafalgar Square.
He walked to the famous church--St Martin-in-the-Fields.
He needed to think. It was there that his idea formed.
This idea would develop into an organisation that would influence many people across the world.
Benenson's idea was to have a world wide human rights movement.
He was a lawyer so he knew the legal system well. He said,
I started to understand that lawyers alone were not able to influence the path of justice enough--not in countries without democracy.
It was necessary to think of a larger group.
This group would use the desire of people all over the world.
It would unite the people who were concerned to see a wider respect for human rights.