Legendary songwriter Baez to get Amnesty rights award

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 18, 2011 11:40 hrs

Well-known folksinger,songwriter and Amnesty activist Joan Baez will receive an award named for her for advancing the cause of human rights.

Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox said in a statement. "It is no exaggeration that many attending this annual conference are direct descendants of a human rights family that Joan created. Her devotion is a constant reminder of what can be accomplished when one will put herself on the line to effect change. We are grateful for her lasting legacy."

Speaking with Politico, Baez said that the current state of affairs with regard to human rights around the world terrible.

"I think that, when things happen for the better, they happen thanks to organizations like Amnesty. There's so much going on in the world that the awareness that Amnesty International has brought about is just huge," she said.

She said she felt very strongly about immigration.

"That's something we need to work on. This country has so much and people say, "Oh, they're going to take [our] jobs away."

"The fact is, there are very few American citizens who would be willing to do what the farm laborers are willing to do. ... To be a non-welcoming society just seems bizarre to me," she added.

She also denounced the military commissions set up the US Government.

"It's a sin. There's no excuse for it in the first place. To have people detained there for nine years without having a trial boggles the imagination. I'm not sure why it stays open," she said.

"My concern with Obama is, I don't know who he listens to. He's a Nobel Peace Prize winner - as kind of silly as that was and premature - but he could meet with Nobel Peace Prize winners who have moved mountains and he could do extraordinary things by not falling into the trap that I think he is," Baez said. (ANI)

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