Final 50 tickets released for Amnesty's sold-out Edinburgh comedy night

Top comedians speak about their support for Amnesty and freedom of expression

Amnesty International will release an extra 50 tickets tomorrow (Tuesday) for its sold-out Stand Up For Freedom comedy night at the Edinburgh Festival on Wednesday 17 August.

The show features Mark Watson, Ed Byrne, Russell Kane (Fosters’ Best Comedy winner 2010), Jenny Eclair, David O’Doherty, Holly Walsh, Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler, Roisin Conaty (Foster’s Best Newcomer 2010) and Michael Winslow, the “Man of 10,000 sound effects” star of the Police Academy films. The show will be compered by Scottish comedy favourite Fred MacAulay and Charlie Baker (winner of Let’s Dance for Comic Relief 2011).

Stand up For Freedom, from the producers of the acclaimed Secret Policeman’s Ball, takes place at 9.30 pm at the EICC’s Venue 150 and is an annual sell-out. The final 50 tickets are available only from www.venue150.com or from the EICC box office.

Russell Kane said:

“The Amnesty gig has become a proper fixture of the Edinburgh Fringe. While we’re all here mouthing off it’s a good insurance policy to make sure someone’s defending the right to freedom of speech. I’m really pleased to be part of the show.”

Jenny Eclair said:

“I’m really excited about doing Amnesty’s Stand Up For Freedom show, it’s got everything: massive crowd, great line-up, fantastic cause and nice sandwiches backstage.”

Amnesty International marks 50 years of campaigning for freedom of expression this year, and has always focused on the Edinburgh festival as the ideal place to promote free speech and campaign for those whose rights are denied.

Amnesty is hoping that a ‘mass text action’ from the 1,200-strong audience at the Stand up For Freedom show will help its new campaign to “Free the UAE 5”, five men detained in the United Arab Emirates and charged with “insulting officials” after calling for democracy and criticising the government.

The organisation is asking people at the festival to text (SMS) the word “FREEDOM” followed by their name to 81222 to join a petition, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the “UAE 5”. The petition will be presented to the United Arab Emirates’ embassy in London ahead of their trial, now set for the end of September. Amnesty campaigners will also be out on the streets of Edinburgh getting festival-goers involved.

Amnesty International Scotland Director John Watson said:

“Stand Up For Freedom is always a great night out, where people can see the pick of the Fringe. It’s also a chance to do your bit to protect freedom of expression, without which the Festival simply couldn’t happen.

“We’ve always had great support from comedians, who value the right to free speech more than most. Amnesty has been defending this right for fifty years now, and that work is as important today as it was in 1961.”

Find out more about Amnesty at the Edinburgh Festivals  

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