Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Nobel laureate and pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi kindly accepted our invitation to become an international patron of the Fund in 2011.
We issued this invitation on the momentous occasion of Daw Suu’s release from house arrest in 2010 as a mark of respect for her unstinting commitment to the people of Burma. Since her release she has continued to work to highlight the plight of the thousands of political prisoners who are still behind bars in Burma. Having such a high profile and universally respected advocate for Prisoners of Conscience will be a real boost to our work in the region and around the world.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
We are equally delighted to have Archbishop Desmond Tutu as our other International Patron in recognition of his non-violent stand in the face of apartheid and commitment to justice and human rights. The Archbishop’s endorsement of our work is especially valued as we are currently seeking to assist more people in need around the world.
“I was hugely impressed when I heard about the range of support that PoC offers to its beneficiaries – money to help families forced into exile when they have lost everything, funds to help reunite families that have been brutally separated through imprisonment or conflict, money to pay for essential medical treatment for survivors of torture.
Following a comprehensive review of its activities in 2003, PoC committed to an increased programme of grant-giving overseas and, in my capacity as PoC’s first international patron, I hope to lend my support to this initiative wholeheartedly. It is equally important to help the prisoner of conscience who has fled into exile as well as the prisoner of conscience who remains in his country of origin. Join hands with us once more as we reach out to help them.”
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC
It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Sir Geoffrey Nice QC as a patron of the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund. Sir Geoffrey is a leading British barrister with a long and prestigious career in human rights and public law. He has worked alongside many NGOs and governments seeking international recognition of crimes committed in conflicts. Most notably he led several key cases for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He dealt with that Tribunal’s first prosecution of a politician – Bosnian Croat Dario Kordic who was subsequently jailed for 25 years and also presented the prosecution’s case of linking atrocities committed in the former Yugoslavia to Slobodan Milosevic. Sir Geoffrey is also Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board, a Board Member of the “Burma Justice Committee” and sits on the International Steering Committee for the Iran Tribunal (for the establishment of an inquiry into the 1988 mass killings in Iran). Sir Geoffrey is a powerful advocate for victims of persecution and we are honored to have his support
PoC also benefits from the support of many more distinguished patrons:
Rt Rev Simon Barrington-Ward, Sir Henry & Lady Brooke, Lucy Chandler OBE, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC, Rt Rev John Crowley, Dame Judi Dench DBE, Lady Antonia Fraser DBE, Roger Graef OBE, Prins Gunasekara, Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Bruce Kent, Neil Latchman, Caroline Moorehead OBE, Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE, The Hon Jonathon Porritt, Lord Puttnam CBE, Rev Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, Sir Tom Stoppard OM, Zoë Wanamaker CBE.