Blessed are the Peace Makers
Our Amnesty Candle
which we have kept lit during this last week
In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson launched a worldwide campaign, “Appeal for Amnesty”, with the publication of an article in the Observer newspaper. The article, “The Forgotten Prisoners”, was written after he learned of two Portuguese students who were imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom. Reprinted in newspapers across the world, his appeal marked the beginning of Amnesty International.
On Human Rights Day, 10 December 1961, the first Amnesty International candle – which was to become the organization’s iconic symbol – was lit in the church of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London.