By Tim Saunders on
Peter Gabriel is to receive a special award for his humanitarian work today, September 10.
The 58-year-old singer has been named as the recipient of Amnesty International's 2008 Ambassador of Conscience Award, an acolade that recognizes exceptional individual leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights. Inspired by a poem written for Amnesty International by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, the award aims to promote the work of the human rights organization by drawing attention to the work high profile people carry out, and former recipients include Nelson Mandela, U2, Mary Robinson and Vaclav Havel.
Gabriel is well known for his work with human rights around the world, and first worked with Amnesty when he helped organize the Conspiracy of Hope Tour with Bono in 1986. He went on to found Witness, a video community campaigning for Human Rights, and more recently became a founding member of The Elders – a private alliance of senior global figures who want to launch diplomatic assaults on the globe’s most intractable problems – along with Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson, and Jimmy Carter.
The award will be presented at London’s Hard Rock Cafe by U2 guitarist The Edge, who credits Gabriel with introducing the Irish rockers to Amnesty International in the early 1980s. The event will also mark the launch of Amnesty International’s Small Places Tour 2008 , the organization’s most ambitious global music project since the Human Rights Now! tour in 1988. Details of the tour will be announced following the award presentation.
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