Dr. Morton Winston, professor of philosophy at the College of New Jersey, longtime leader with Amnesty International, and noted human rights scholar and activist, died suddenly this week while vacationing in Peru.
“We are shocked and saddened by Mort’s sudden passing, and are deeply indebted to him for his leadership and contributions to Amnesty International and the larger human rights movement,” said Ann Burroughs, board chair of Amnesty International USA. “Mort was beloved and respected by all who knew him. Mort was a leading proponent of Amnesty International broadening its mission to address the full scope of human rights. He was a founding member of the international body that launched Amnesty International’s work to hold corporations as well as governments accountable for human rights abuses. He was unable to stay silent in the face of injustice and was a passionate advocate on behalf of survivors and victims. He will be truly missed, and his legacy will live on through his lifetime of work promoting justice, freedom, truth and dignity for all.”
Dr. Winston served as the Chair of Amnesty International’s Standing Committee on Organization and Development, which advised the organization’s board of directors and International Secretariat on matters pertaining to internal organizational and development issues.. He also served on the AIUSA Business and Human Rights Co-group (BHRG) as chair. He led AIUSA’s South Africa Country Group during the 1980s when the fight against apartheid became an international cause. He served on the AIUSA Board of Directors and was elected chair from 1995-1997 and in 2002.
At the College of New Jersey he taught and developed courses on topics that included genocide, environmental ethics, and human rights in international relations. He served on the editorial boards for the journals Human Rights Quarterly and the Journal of Human Rights. He also worked with Social Accountability International and was serving as the board chair of Social Accountability Accreditation Services.