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Scotland: Press launch of Amnesty at the Festivals

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… Amnesty takes over the Fringe programme!

Where: The World Famous Spiegeltent, George Square Gardens, Edinburgh
When: Wednesday 2nd August, 11.30am
What: Photo-call for Amnesty International @ Edinburgh Festivals

Amnesty International recreated the front cover of the Fringe programme this week with Amnesty banners instead of flowers and Ed Byrne and Lucy Porter posing with the hose!!!

Ed Byrne and Lucy Porter joined Amnesty to stand up for humanity and human rights. Through all of its festival activities, Amnesty will be calling for more performers and audiences to lobby for the release of Shi Tao. Shi Tao is an experienced journalist and published poet, who has been given a 10-year prison sentence in China for sending an email to a pro-democracy website.

Amnesty International’s Programme Director Scotland, Rosemary Burnett said:

“Already famous artists have lined up with Amnesty to call for the release of Shi Tao and to defend Freedom of Expression. We now call on all festival goers to stand up for humanity and human rights and send a message to the Chinese authorities.

“Without Freedom of Expression, the Edinburgh Festivals wouldn’t happen. Its never been more important to defend our human rights.”

World famous playwright Sir Arnold Wesker will be participating at the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series at the Book Festival, he said:

“I'm eager to take part in the Amnesty Imprisoned Writers series because I imagine how heart-warming it would be if I were imprisoned and isolated from a sense that anyone cares to know that someone does indeed care.”

Founder of publisher Virago, Carmen Callil said:

"It is not only writers who are persecuted, imprisoned, or denied their human rights. We live in a democracy, but what does that word mean any more? It means that I voted for a government that went to war in Iraq, that supports the incomprehensible, not to say demented, foreign policy of the USA, that now uses bumbling words to accept the immoral murder of civilians in the Lebanon under the mindless application of the word "terrorist".

“For "Terrorist", read "Jew", "Black", "Coloured", "homosexual", "asylum seeker" - there are hundreds of word-labels used to cover evil deeds. It used to be only dictatorships that imprisoned writers and denied us freedom of speech. Today, living in western democracies, we are silenced in other ways.

“About Iraq and the Lebanon, as a subject of the British government, I can do nothing. Speaking up for Amnesty International's Imprisoned Writers makes me feel that at least I am doing something- for writers and for words. Words that are not cant, but words used well, with honour."


For more info on Shi Tao:

For more info on Amnesty at Edinburgh Festivals: /p>

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