Early human rights defender Helen Bamber dies aged 89

August 22, 2014

Helen Bamber dies

(Photograph: Helen Bamber Foundation/PA)

Many newspapers, including the Guardian of 21 August, carry the news of the demise of human rights defender and early member of Amnesty International, Helen Bamber. She died aged 89. Bamber was a psychotherapist who began helping victims of torture and atrocities aged 20 when she started working with survivors of the Holocaust.

She used her vast experience to work with actor Colin Firth on his film The Railway Man, an account of a British officer captured by the Japanese during the second world war and made to work on the Thai-Burma railway.  Firth said his encounter with Bamber was life-changing and the compassion she showed had touched him for life. He said that even in old age and ill-health Bamber continued to be determined to do all she could to help those affected by slavery, torture and human rights abuses: “Her courage, wisdom and pragmatism were formidable – and what she did worked.”

Actress Emma Thompson, who is president of the Helen Bamber Foundation, said: “Not only is she a great listener and an incredible interpreter, but she never lets her imagination run dry…She resists institutionalism. She knows which borders should be crossed and melds them together.”

via Human rights campaigner Helen Bamber dies aged 89 | World news | The Guardian.

for contributions: https://www.justgiving.com/HelenBamberMemorialFund/

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