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Scotland - Amnesty's biggest-ever Edinburgh Festival line-up announced

Edinburgh: Amnesty International has announced its line-up for this year’s Edinburgh Festival - the human rights campaigners’ biggest and widest-ranging programme from the Festival’s main “cause”.

Amnesty’s Edinburgh 2008 programme extends across an unprecedented range of festivals - the Fringe Festival, the Book Festival, the Festival of Politics, and the Festival of Spirituality and Peace.

The human rights organisation’s highlight is a talent-packed pair of “Stand Up For Freedom” comedy nights in association with The Co-operative Bank at The Assembly Hall on 6 and 13 August.

Compered by the brilliant Ed Byrne and Andrew Maxwell respectively, the legendary midnight comedy gigs will feature Rich Hall, Brendon Burns, Mark Watson, Stephen K Amos, Alun Cochrane, Hans Teeuwen, Reginald D Hunter, David O’Doherty and Jo Caufield.

“Stand Up For Freedom” has consistently sold out every year during its 11 years at Edinburgh, and with the cream of Edinburgh’s comedy talent all available for the price of one ticket the nights are two of the genuinely “must-see” shows of the entire Festival.

Other Amnesty highlights this year include two visual exhibitions, a play on Burma (with an exclusive Festival demonstration for human rights), an Amnesty lecture, two debates, readings from imprisoned writers and an Amnesty award for a distinguished theatre production.

Amnesty International Scotland Director John Watson said:

“Amnesty is absolutely delighted to be back at the Festival with its biggest-ever line-up of comedy, art, theatre, readings, public demo and stimulating discussion and debate.

“Amnesty and the Festival go together perfectly - we both champion freedom of expression and we both work with some of the world’s most inspiring and talented people.

“This year the Festival coincides with the Beijing Olympic Games and we want Festival-goers to support our campaign for human rights in China.

“We’re asking people to take action for Hu Jia, a Chinese man locked up just for criticising the Chinese government. It’s easy to get involved - just by coming to an Amnesty event, people in Edinburgh can play a part.”

Note to editors
A full media briefing on all of the Amnesty at the Festival activities is available on request, or at:

Stand Up For Freedom is sponsored by The Co-operative Bank, providers of the Amnesty credit card. By covering the costs of staging the shows, the bank ensures that all of the shows’ proceeds go directly to fund Amnesty’s human rights work. Since the Amnesty credit card’s launch in 1993, cardholders and The Co-operative Bank have raised almost £2.2m for Amnesty.

The Co-operative Bank's ethical policy makes it an obvious partner for Amnesty International. The policy reflects the views of customers about how their money should and should not be invested. The Co-operative Bank supports the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and will not invest in any government or business that fails to uphold basic human rights within its sphere of influence.

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