Scotland: Amnesty International presents Stand Up For Freedom in association with the Amnesty Credit Card provided by the Co-operative bank

Wednesday 15 August, Midnight, Assembly Hall, The Mound, Edinburgh

As the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday 15 August, comedians will be joining with Amnesty International to Stand Up for Freedom. The annual Amnesty comedy benefit will include comedians Adam Hills, Ed Byrne, Lucy Porter, Frankie Boyle, Boothby Graffoe, and legendary acoustic guitarist Antonio Forcione.

Every year the Amnesty show highlights the case of a particular individual who has been imprisoned for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 1996 two Burmese comedians known as “the Moustache Brothers” U Pa Pa Lay and U Lu Zaw were sentenced to seven years imprisonment for telling jokes about their government. In the year 2000 at the Edinburgh Festivals, Amnesty campaigned on their behalf and the following year they were released.

This year Amnesty will be campaigning on behalf of Shi Tao , a journalist and poet who has been sentenced to prison for 10 years by the Chinese authorities for sending an email to a pro-democracy website in the US.

Amnesty International’s Events Manager, Rachel Lucien said:

“Its fantastic to have so many excellent performers donating their time during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Comedy is a great way to tackle human rights issues and it helps empower the audience.

“Audiences at the Fringe this year will be encouraged to take action for Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist who has been imprisoned for sending a email to a pro-democracy website. Around 2.5 million people come to Edinburgh for the festivals, it’s a great opportunity to draw attention to those cases where freedom of expression is denied.”

Comedian Lucy Porter said:

“The Amnesty gig is one of my favourite of the festival. The audience is fab and every comic in Edinburgh wants to do it. It’s a lovely gig and a good cause as well, and you couldn’t say fairer than that.”

The ‘effortlessly brilliant’ Adam Hills is one of the highlights of The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Melbourne Comedy Festival, with five-star reviews and sold-out houses. Adam has featured on countless TV shows including “The Stand Up Show” (BBC1), “Edinburgh Comedy” (BBC2) and “Live At Jongleur’s” (UK Gold). He appears on BBC Radio 4’s “Loose Ends” and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Fred MacAulay Show”.

He will be joined by Boothby “one of the funniest comics in the land” Graffoe, Ed “comic gold” Byrne and Lucy “charmingly twisted, articulate and witty” Porter. Music will be provided by the internationally acclaimed guitarist Antonio “musical juggler of the Adriatic” Forcione.

Amnesty International has the support of The Co-operative Bank for the event which means that all proceeds from ticket sales come directly to Amnesty International. The Co-operative Bank, which is well known for its strong ethical policy, has worked with Amnesty since 1993. In that time the bank and its customers have helped to raise a staggering £1.5 million for Amnesty, largely through the Amnesty Credit Card

1. Stand Up for Freedom, Midnight, Wednesday 16 August, Assembly Hall, The Mound. Tickets £14 (12), To find out if tickets are still available, visit Assembly Rooms
2. Find out more about the campaign

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