The Claretian founder of Amnesty International in Spain dies

Barcelona. On April 15 Fr. Manuel Casanoves, cmf died in this city. The news of his death was picked up by several media since he is considered as the founder of the “Amnesty International” movement in Spain. He had known this institution when he was assigned in England.

The page noticias says about him:

“…he read the foundation article of AI “The forgotten prisoners,” published in the newspaper The Observer in 1961 by the British lawyer Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International and promptly joined the organization (…)”

Manuel Casanoves remembered, with these words, the origins of the organization, in one of his last interviews recorded in 2008 on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the organization in Spain: A few young persons gathered for the first time in Barcelona…, there were some journalists… after that, we gathered from time to time. We began to participate jointly in campaigns against torture in Paraguay, in Uruguay, in China… Little by little we acquired some voice, but we were not yet legalized in Spain.

On July 15, 1978 the first Constituent Assembly of Amnesty International took place in Barcelona, in which Manuel Casanoves became the first president of the organization in Spain.

That small group of activists impelled by Casanoves became in a little more than thirty years an organization with over 58,000 male and female members, more than 1,800 activists who participate in more than 100 groups of volunteers scattered throughout the entire Spanish geography, which mobilize millions of people to defend human rights all over the world. Casanoves defined the organization that he helped organize with these words: “I believe that Amnesty is the voice of conscience.” (photo)

The note that appeared in is also worth reading.

When a missionary dies, we should celebrate the last rites with devotion, fraternal love, and simplicity. We should remember all our brothers who have gone before us in the service of the Gospel, commending them to the Lord with the prescribed prayers, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist.

We should show the same reverence and respect for our departed parents and for deceased collaborators of the Congregation.

(Constitution 19)