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A mnesty International is a worldwide volunteer organization funded entirely by subscriptions and donations. It is totally independent of any government, political faction, ideology, economic interest or religious creed.

T he organization works for the release of ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ – men, women and children imprisoned anywhere for their beliefs, colour, sex, ethnic origin, language or religion. It also seeks fair and immediate trial for all political prisoners detained without charge, and opposes torture and the degrading treatment of prisoners. It is also against the death penalty for all types of crimes.

A mnesty works by collecting information. When it has proof that a person is a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, that person’s case is handed over to a local group. The local groups are ordinary individuals who believe in Amnesty’s work. They send letters to governments, embassies, leading newspapers and the prisoner’s family and friends. They also collect signatures and raise money to send medicine, food and clothing to the prisoners and their families. These volunteers use their freedom of speech to win the same freedom for their adopted prisoner.

P aradoxically, Amnesty International is an organization that will only be satisfied when it has become redundant.

A. Answer the questions.

  1. Who support Amnesty International?
  2. What is the main purpose of Amnesty International?

B. What do the underlined words in the text refer to?

  1. The organization (§ 2)
  2. They (§ 3)
  3. These volunteers (§ 3)

C. Find in the text words or expressions that mean the same as …

  1. religious faith
  2. jailed
  3. judgement
  4. punishment of being killed

D. Are these sentences true or false? Justify.

  1. Amnesty gathers information to determine if someone is a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’.
  2. The local groups are composed of special people who know the prisoners and their families.

Key

Exercise A

  1. People who give money or subscribers to Amnesty International.
  2. The main aim of Amnesty International is the release of people imprisoned for their beliefs, colour, sex, ethnic origin, language or religion.

Exercise B

  1. ‘The organization’ refers to Amnesty International
  2. ‘They’ refers to the local groups
  3. ‘These volunteers’ refers to the individuals belonging to the local groups

Exercise C

  1. religious creed
  2. imprisoned
  3. trial
  4. death penalty

Exercise D

  1. True . Amnesty works by collecting information. When it has proof that a person is a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ that person’s case is handed over to a local group.
  2. False . The local groups are ordinary individuals who believe in Amnesty’s work.