Cash crisis may force cutbacks at Amnesty

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Amnesty International in the UK may be forced to scale down or even cancel important campaigns on human rights violations around the world because of a financial crisis.

The UK section of the international movement suffered a drop in income last year and now needs to raise pounds 600,000 within a month to fund campaigns on China, torture and the death penalty. Management has already drawn up contingency plans which will involve slashing budgets if the money is not found.

In an effort to bolster funds, Amnesty's treasurer, Martin Lubieniecki, has written to the organisation's 127,000 members in the UK: "If we don't raise this money in time, then Amnesty will be forced to take a back seat on many critical campaigns in 1996. We've never had to do that before. The fact is that if Amnesty is not there to stand up and shout for human rights wherever they are being abused in the world, no one will be.''

David Bull, director of the UK section, said: "I have been with the organisation for five and a half years and we have never been in this position in that time.'' Although plans had been drawn up in case the shortfall on its proposed budget of pounds 7.7m was not made up, he said he was "confident the membership would respond".