Peter Benenson founded Amnesty (later Amnesty International) in 1961 and thereby became the creator of a human-rights movement which now counts more than … Peter James Henry Solomon Benenson, British attorney and human rights activist (born July 31, 1921, London, Eng.—died Feb. 25, 2005, Oxford, Eng. Amnesty International Ireland is an approved body that works as an eligible charity under section 209 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. ), founded Amnesty International (AI) in 1961 after reading in a news story that two students in Portugal had been imprisoned by that country’s dictatorial government for proposing a toast to freedom.