Now that it is public knowledge (The Guardian, 19 October 1998, p.3), UK Fundraising’s Howard Lake can share one of his more satisfying experiences as a fundraiser for Amnesty International UK. “I remember the time” he says, “when, four years ago, AIUK received a letter from Ruth Rogers, co-owner of prestigious restaurant the River Cafe in Hammersmith, London. She revealed that she had served a party of diners a sumptuous supper, only to be shocked to find that the £500 bill was being picked up by General Augusto Pinochet and his entourage. She was so angry to have provided the former dicatator with her food and hospitality that she wrote to Amnesty offering to pass on the payment, not wishing to accept the man’s money.
The Amnesty fundraising team were delighted to receive the letter: we thought it wonderfully fitting to receive a donation from a head of state who had cost Amnesty so much time and effort to call to account for the human rights abuses committed in Chile under his rule.”
With his recent arrest and possible extradition to Spain to face murder charges, let us hope he does not get a chance to dine out again in the UK or elsewhere.