Contact: Natalie Butz, [email protected], 202-675-8761, @AIUSAmedia
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Following the news that director and screenwriter Paul Mazursky had passed away Monday, June 30, 2014 at the age of 84, Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:
“The human rights community has lost a light and a champion in Paul Mazursky. The same generosity of spirit, humor and understanding Paul brought to his films, he also brought to his work as an activist. From the actions he took to demand the freedom of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi to helping Amnesty celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2011, Paul was a Champion of Conscience – a devoted member and a tireless campaigner.
“I was fortunate to meet with Paul last fall during my early days as executive director. I was struck by his passion and commitment to our cause. Throughout his many years as a member of Amnesty, Paul’s drive for protecting and preserving the human rights of all never wavered. Paul, his wife Betsy and his daughter Jill hosted many events for Amnesty over the years, supported the organization at the highest levels, opened their home to us on a number of occasions and introduced their friends to our work.
“He will be greatly missed, but fondly remembered. Amnesty USA is committed to honoring Paul’s memory through the continuation of our work and his legacy will continue to inspire us all.”
Amnesty International USA Board Chair Ann Burroughs first met Paul and Betsy Mazursky in the mid-90s.
“I had the pleasure of working with Paul and his wife Betsy for nearly 20 years,” said Burroughs. “Paul was a rare find – he was generous and humble, yet sharp and tenacious. He deeply believed in Amnesty’s mission. To him, there was no challenge too great for us to take on, no injustice that could not be combated and corrected by the power of our activists.
“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of a man we were lucky enough to call our friend. But the memory of Paul’s spirit, his warmth and his optimism will live on and teach us how we can best meet that next affront to our basic rights with courage and dignity.”
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.