Peter Benenson, the founder of the trailblazing human rights group Amnesty International, has died, the group has announced.Amnesty International is the organization that started my interest in politics, and I think it's one of the most important institutions in the entire world. Benenson started something righteous and beautiful when he started Amnesty International, and I'm thankful for his work.
Benenson, who was 83, started the human rights group in 1961. He died Friday night.
At first, the group was started "a one-year campaign for the release of six prisoners of conscience," according to a news released on the Amnesty Web site.
"That appeal attracted thousands of supporters, and started a worldwide human rights movement.
"The catalyst for the original campaign was Mr. Benenson's sense of outrage after reading an article about the arrest and imprisonment of two students in a cafe in Lisbon, Portugal, who had drunk a toast to liberty," the Web site said.
" From there came a worldwide movement for human rights and in its midst an international organization -- Amnesty International -- which has taken up the cases of many thousands of victims of human rights violations and inspired millions to human rights defense the world round."