Page 2, 26th June 1970

26th June 1970
Page 2
Page 2, 26th June 1970 — Over 250,000 in jail for beliefs, says Amnesty

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Organisations: Communist party, Amnesty
People: Goulart


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Over 250,000 in jail for beliefs, says Amnesty


MORE than 250,000 people throughout the world are believed to be in jail because of their political beliefs or because they expressed views unpopular with their governments, according to a report by the British section of Amnesty International. The report, "The Face of Persecution 1970," says there re some 116,000 political prisoners in Indonesia. Most of them were arrested for m alleged Communist associations at the end of 1965. None has been tried or charged.

Political prisoners in Russia are thought to total several thousand. It was not until emergency legislation a year after the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 by Warsaw Pact countries that arrests began to be reported.

The report says the 2,000 prisoners of conscience at present "adopted" by Amnesty "string across the world and show quite clearly that no government, be it Left or Right, or non-aligned, that no part of the world is more biased towards curtailing freedom in this way than any othe r. " • People imprisoned were not different from the British "man-in-the-street," who was so used to the basic freedoms he enjoyed that he ceased to think about them. The prisoners were people who spoke out or expressed themselves, trade unions who had dared to strike, religious people and conscientious objectors.

OVER 2,000 FREED More than 2,000 prisoners for whom Amnesty had sought release since its formation in 1961 had now been freed.

On Greece, the report says Amnesty has on its records the names and particulars of over 2,000 political prisoners, more than 300 of whom have been adopted by Amnesty Groups.

It adds that the European Conimission on Human Rights has found evidence of the apparently systematic use of torture by the police on political suspects.

In Brazil, says the report, there are "several hundred political prisoners." They include trade unionists, members of the banned Communist party, some progressive Catholic leaders, journalists, artists and followers of the former President Goulart.

The report shows that there are thousands of prisoners in the African countries — Tanzania, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, The Congo, Malawi, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Rhodesia and South Africa.

On South Africa, the report says: "The situation continues to deteriorate both in respect to the general conditions of the oppressed majority and the virtual abandonment of the 'rule of law' in regard to those arrested."

Fourteen detainees had died there since 1963—six of them

in 1969 -during or shortly

Fourteen detainees had died there since 1963—six of them

in 1969 -during or shortly

after police interrogation. This was confirmed by the Minister of Justice when questioned in Parliament.

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