John Hurt did a brilliant video message for Amnesty.
For nearly half a century I have made my living as an actor. In this role, I have participated in the telling of many stories. They were set in many different cultures and involved people from all races, religions and political beliefs.
But today, I want to tell you some different stories; stories that contain some bleak and unacceptable statistics ñ facts that affect us in the world we live in.
One in three women are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused throughout the world. Look around you. One in three womenÖ.
Every year, 8million small arms and 16billion units of ammunition are produced. Thatís more than two new bullets for every human on the planet, enough to kill us all twice over.
20,000 people worldwide are on Death Row. Beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, shooting and stoning are still government-sanctioned forms of execution.
And we claim to be civilised.
Torture is commonplace. Refugees suffer unnecessarily. Companies sacrifice human health and even life for profit.
But this isnít a movie script. These stories are real. This is the world in which we live and these are the lives of our fellow human beings. But we donít have to accept it.
Amnesty International is a movement of ordinary people from across the world. We stand up for humanity and human rights wherever truth, justice and freedom is denied.
Human rights are ours by birth. They cannot be given or taken away by any individual, organisation or court. They are inalienable. They belong to all of us.
Protect the Human is our call to action. It shows we celebrate our shared humanity and have the determination to protect it. This is our story and weíre all players. By the year 2010, we want 1million people in the UK to stand up for humanity and human rights.
Be one of them.