Stop the hangings

pic8804. Artists Against Apartheid call for the release of the Sharpeville Six

Artists Against Apartheid called for the release of the Sharpeville Six, 16 March 1988. In the photograph with Trevor Huddleston are (left to right) Jerry Dammers, Pat and Greg Kane from the pop duo Hue and Cry, and Suggs from the ska band Madness. The Sharpeville Six were sentenced to death in December 1985 because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. In December 1987 the South African Appeal Court rejected their appeal for clemency. After a big international campaign their sentence was commuted in July 1988.

pic8805. Save the Sharpeville Six

The Sharpeville Six were sentenced to death in December 1985 because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. In December 1987 the South African Appeal Court rejected their appeal for clemency. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) responded with a big campaign of letters and postcards asking the British government to intervene. It held weekly demonstrations outside the South African Embassy. In the photograph are leading British trade unionists at the entrance to 10 Downing Street. After a huge international campaign the death sentence was commuted in July 1988.

pic8810. Save the Sharpeville Six

Young AAM supporters at a vigil for the Sharpeville Six in front of Nottingham Town Hall on 13 April 1998.

pic8811. Pensioners call for the release of the Sharpeville Six

Supporters of Greater London Pensioners call for the release of the Sharpeville Six outside South Africa House in June 1988. The Six were condemned to hang because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. After a big international campaign their sentence was commuted in July 1988.

hgs17. Campaign against executions

By July 1988 60 political prisoners were under sentence of death in South Africa. They included young ANC militants, trade unionists and community activists. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) focused on pressing the British government to intervene with South Africa not to carry out the executions. This leaflet advertised a weekly picket of the British Foreign Office.

hgs14. Save Robert McBride

Robert McBride was a young ANC member sentenced to hang for setting off a bomb in Durban in July 1986. In March 1988 a South African court turned down his appeal against the death sentence. After a campaign for clemency led by his mother, Doris McBride, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in April 1991.

lgs32. ‘Save Robert McBride’ Edinburgh meeting

Robert McBride was sentenced to hang for setting off a bomb in Durban in July 1986. This leaflet advertises a meeting calling for clemency. After an international campaign led by his mother, Doris McBride, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

hgs20. ‘No apartheid executions’ petition

This petition was launched in April 1989 to pressure the British government to intervene to stop all death sentences in political trials in South Africa. The AAM also sent a delegation to Foreign Office Minister Lynda Chalker. The number of death sentences imposed on political prisoners increased sharply from the mid-1980s. The petition was signed by 34,000 people and presented to the British parliament on 10 November 1989.