Amnesty International was founded in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson. He became angry after reading a report about two Portuguese students who had been imprisoned for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom.
In response, Benenson published an article - called “The Forgotten Prisoners” - on the front page of the London Observer newspaper on May 28, 1961.
The article cast the light of public attention on the situation of a number of people - including a U.S. civil rights leader, a dissident Hungarian cardinal and an Angolan poet. Each of these people were in prison simply for peacefully expressing their beliefs