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Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson is to join Amnesty International’s prestigious Global Council, the organization announced today.

“As a consistent and very visible advocate on social justice issues, Sir Richard Branson’s voice joining Amnesty’s will be a force multiplier. An influential global figure, his efforts will help our messages reach more people around the world mobilizing them to stand up for human rights,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“I am excited and deeply honoured to join Amnesty International’s Global Council. For more than five decades, Amnesty has been an unwavering champion of the idea that human rights are universal and non-negotiable, speaking truth to power, giving hope to the oppressed, the tyrannized and the disenfranchised,” said Sir Richard Branson. “I look forward to working with my fellow councillors and Amnesty’s wonderful team to advance this important mission.”

Sir Richard Branson has long championed human rights issues around the world, advocating an end to the death penalty, promoting criminal justice reform, and standing up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights and marriage equality for people in same-sex relationships. Most recently, he has called for more tolerance and compassion in the ongoing refugee crisis.

Through his charitable foundation, Virgin Unite, Branson helped launch and support The Elders, an independent group of global leaders first convened in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to work together for peace and human rights.

As the most recent member of Amnesty International’s Global Council, Branson will join world renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, pioneering Japanese artist Yoko Ono, financer and philanthropist Krishna Rao, social activist Hadeel Ibrahim and entrepreneur Bassim Haidar.

Amnesty International’s Global Council was established in 2013 to help raise the public support and financial resources to fuel Amnesty International’s expansion in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Members are asked to serve as champions for Amnesty International within their own networks and help the organization’s Secretary General identify and engage new human rights supporters. Council members do this in a variety of ways that are suited to their backgrounds, areas of expertise and interests.