Page 4, 23rd March 1979

23rd March 1979
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd March 1979 — Work for prisoners

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Work for prisoners

On the article of March 2 headed "Catholic apathy to Amnesty". I cannot hut agree with this fact. but would like to point out that while.

membership of such a great international organisation is beneficial and essential to the work A. I. does, individual membership is not essential for those who wish to help prisoners of conscience.

There is evidence to support this fact, as many Catholics do participate in helping prisoners of consicnce, through organisations such as Aid to the Russian Church. Keaton College. Chile Committee for Human Rights and Pax Christi, The Justice and Peace Group for Prisoners of Conscience in our parish (Our Lady and St Columbia) is affiliated to Amnesty. We have 12 active members and over 20 auxiliaries. All of our parishioners who attend Sunday Mass have taken part in petitions for clemency to Mr Brezhnev, on behalf of two of the group's adopted prisoners, and groups like the Catholic Women's League. Knights of St Columba and youth club members provide us with some financial support.

Catholic apathy to Amnesty is undeniable; Catholic work for prisoners of conscience is indisputable.

(Miss) Honors Rice

Wallsend Tyne and Wear I was interested in your report (March 2) of the Amnesty International survey to find out how many Catholics are members of Al. wonder how accurate it is?

I am a member of our local Amnesty group, one of two Catholics in the group — not many. admittedly, but Catholics are pretty thin on the ground in this area.

I lowever, neither of us would have been counted in the survey, as we are group members, not individual members (it's cheaper!).

Within my local group I am the organiser of our Urgent Action Telegram Tree, which is a list of volunteers who send telegrams or letters to foreign government officials appealing for information about missing persons. often believed to be in prison.

I have 12 people on my list at the moment, seven of whom are Catholics. So perhaps we Catholics are supporting Amnesty International more than they realise. I hope so. Pat Youde Clevedon Avon

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