Its programme of events will reveal a world which could hardly be further removed from this peaceful community which, for more than six decades, has been spared direct involvement in serious conflict or oppression.
Our comfortable lives stand in sharp contrast to the images now on show in the Berni Gallery at the Arts Centre. The exhibition there, which was opened to launch the festival, features the work of international photojournalists who, through their chosen medium, show that so many of the things that we take for granted are beyond the dreams of far too many of our fellow citizens of the world.
For example, the work of Jersey Evening Post photographer Richard Wainright, who ranges far and wide around the globe whenever the opportunity arises, features the lives of Mongolian orphans who find shelter from the bitter cold below the streets in the voids where water pipes and cables are run.
Other images feature the aftermath of the war in Iraq and the devastation visited on villages in Pakistan where the army has been countering the Taliban insurgency. Again, the message is simple – most of the time we in the democratic, stable West fail to realise just how lucky we are.
Although the Amnesty events will help to celebrate the power of human endurance, courage and resilience, they will, of necessity, concentrate to a large extent on abuses of rights and freedoms and the actions of dictators, torturers and tyrants.
This, of course, will strike a chord with Islanders, who will be well aware that our modern history includes a period when basic rights were brutally suspended by a ruthless anti-democratic power.
Although it is true that the Nazi occupation is now the stuff of anecdote and wartime relics for most of the population, it remains the backdrop which puts our present freedoms into context.
No human society will ever be perfect, but the manifest benefits that we enjoy, coupled with the counterpoint of the Amnesty Festival, serve to demonstrate that comments suggesting that this is the ‘North Korea of the English Channel’ because of allegedly undemocratic tendencies are fatuous in the extreme and insulting to those who endure genuine suffering.