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Amy Biehl, South Africa and restorative justice

September 13, 2009

….Amy Biehl was a dynamic, 26-year-old Stanford graduate and an esteemed human rights activist who worked tirelessly toward ensuring all South Africans regardless of race or gender assumed their rightful place in the emerging democratic nation. Just days before she was due home, Amy was killed by a group of young black South Africans who were fighting to end apartheid and saw all whites as their oppressors. 

Four young men were convicted for Amy’s death and in 1994 they were sentenced to eighteen years in prison. In 1997, the men applied for amnesty to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Linda and her late husband Peter were strongly motivated by Amy’s belief in the TRC to achieve restorative justice for those who confessed to politically motivated crimes, thus they did not oppose the men’s application for amnesty. In 1997, Linda and Peter testified at the amnesty hearing of their daughter’s killers. Instead of opposing amnesty they offered their support and challenged the young men to link arms with them and together continue Amy’s work. 

read the whole release, and attend the lecture if you can.


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