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'Stop Bloodbath,' Rights Activists Urge South Africa

October 05, 1985|Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Fifteen civil rights activists from around the world said Friday that South African blacks face "monstrous oppression" and urged the white regime to stop the violence that has killed more than 700 people in 13 months.

The activists, including three Nobel Peace Prize winners, made their statement in a letter of support to 1984 Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu. The letter, written by American folk singer Joan Baez, was published as a half-page advertisement in the Johannesburg Star newspaper.

The letter, which also is to appear in other South African newspapers over the weekend, said to the government: "Lay down your arms and stop the bloodbath." Baez wrote the letter as president of the Humanitas International human rights group, of Menlo Park, Calif.

Among the other signers were Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young; Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; farmworkers' leader Cesar Chavez; Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of the Peace People in Northern Ireland, and Argentine political figure Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

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