(LOS ANGELES) - Ann Burroughs, chair of the Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA, made the following comments today about the death of artist Lou Reed:
"With the sad passing of Lou Reed, the human rights movement has lost a powerful voice for humanity and a strong ally in the defense of freedom and justice. Just as he inspired generations of rock fans with his indelible songs, he was also a passionate proponent for our cause. At his core, he bridled against repression in all its forms and he inspired others to speak up to protect human rights. One of his many admirers was the late Czech President and human rights activist Vaclav Havel, who famously smuggled a Velvet Underground album out of New York in the late 1960s. The two men later became friends. In 1986, Lou joined with other leading musicians for the first of Amnesty International's "Human Rights Concerts" series - performing at all six concerts on the "A Conspiracy Of Hope" U.S. tour. Recently, he very generously supported the release of his historic performances as part of Amnesty's DVD box-set of those concerts. We send our deep condolences to his loved ones. He will be greatly missed by the human rights movement that he so strongly and eloquently supported."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.