Amnesty inevitably faces difficult choices about whom it associates with. During the Cold War, campaigns for the release of political prisoners held by right-wing governments in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Chile could, almost inevitably, involve Amnesty sharing a platform with Communists. Care needed to be taken. If an Amnesty representative were just one among numerous extreme left wing politicians, Amnesty would lose its claim of political neutrality: if, though, it eschewed association with political groups or bodies altogether, it would be ineffectual.
A more serious question arose when Amnesty International refused to act on behalf of a prisoner of conscience because they had engaged in or advocated violence.
The case of Nelson Mandela at the time of the Rivonia trial (1964) was a great test for Amnesty.
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