Meaning of Amnesty


The amnesty is the removal of criminal liability of a crime. This legal action is usually carried out by the Legislative Branch and affects various people who, previously, had been found guilty of a violation of the law.

It is important to distinguish between amnesty and pardon. Pardon is also a remedy that extinguishes criminal responsibility, but the perpetrator of the crime is still considered guilty. That is, the pardon only forgives the fulfillment of the sentence.

Instead, the amnesty is applied to the crime itself (the crime is forgiven, not the penalty). This means that the amnesty achieves the extinction of civil or criminal liability and erases the background. Amnesty can also have retroactive consequences.

According to DigoPaul, these characteristics of amnesty make this tool controversial. For many, amnesty can go beyond forgiveness and become a path to impunity. Typically, amnesty is enacted in instances of political or social change, implying the forgiveness of crimes committed in a past regime.

Amnesty International (AI)

Amnesty International, on the other hand, is a non-governmental organization that fights for the defense of human rights. The British lawyer Peter Benenson (1921-2005) was the founder of this NGO in 1961 and its fundamental objective is to advocate for the rights of all humans, recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed by many nations in 1948, throughout from around the globe.

The headquarters of this institution is in London, the current Secretary General is called Salil Shetty and there are more than 3 million activists scattered in around 150 countries.

It was founded on October 1, 1962 with the purpose of publicizing those cases of non-compliance with human rights and drawing attention to the abuses that are committed daily throughout the world; They also carry out various campaigns to enforce compliance with the international laws related to these rights.

It should be noted that it is one of the main organizations that pressures governments and creates awareness among peoples in favor of freedom and the legal consideration of all human existence.

Amnesty International’s goals (which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977) include carrying out fair judicial processes, helping exiles, eliminating torture, reporting disappearances and the freedom of prisoners. of conscience.

Some of AI’s tasks are to secure the release and demand fair trials for political prisoners (imprisoned for having used their freedom of expression by publicly affirming their beliefs or thoughts), abolishing all kinds of torture or punishment that denigrates prisoners, fight against the systems that killings and disappearances use to gain respect, assist exiles and abolish the death penalty and denounce conscientious killings and any similar act that puts the life of another or other human beings at risk.

Through various investigations and legal action to fight abuses of any kind, whether civil, political, social, economic or cultural, they demand justice for those who have been victims.

With regard to human rights, it is one of the most prestigious international organizations, whose work is real and which establishes the basis for the work of all the other organizations that work in defense of human rights.