Amnesty International

There is a story in yesterday’s Sunday Herald about one Scottish Amnesty International activist’s involvement in securing the release of Saidzhakon Zainabitdinov, an Uzbek political prisoner. I have been a guest in Saidzhakon’s home, and he is a good and brave man.

I am a fan of Amnesty International.

I have seen at the sharp end how their simple methodology really can save lives. The arrival on the prison fax machine of letters from abroad about a named prisoner really can save him or her from torture and death. The fear that people are watching, that perhaps one day there is a possibility of retribution, is put into the mind of officials and guards. As the fax reaches a minister’s desk or a letter is opened in his office, all politicians are vain enough to have some concern for their international image.

Every day Amnesty’s members make the world a better place in their old-fashioned, caring way. So I salute Angus McEwan of Sutherland, and thousands more like him.