One man's remarkable journey from repression to freedom
One man's remarkable journey from repression to the power of love.
Charles Yeats had a privileged upbringing as a White South African in the late 1970's and early 80's, and seemed destined to remain one of the social elite. However he felt increasingly uncomfortable with the Apartheid regime and moved to London to escape military service at home. Later he returned to face inevitable arrest as a conscientious objector. He was court martialled and sentenced to the now well-known Detention Barracks, where he refused to wear military uniform, and was put in solitary confinement five times. All this led to an unprecedented second court martial and a further year's incarceration in the notorious Pretoria Central Prison. During this period he was adopted by Amnesty International as one of their Prisoners of Conscience. After his release (in February 83) he studied Theology at Oxford and today teaches at Durham University. He also advises corporations on their social, environmental and moral responsibilities. 'Prisoner of Conscience' is a fascinating slice of history from one man who lived it in the front line. But, much more than that, given his experiences in southern Africa as well as his contemporary concerns, the author also makes trenchant comments about Western imperialism, and the way the Church (the Anglican one in particular) is losing the opportunity to show us that love and friendship offer the only way forward to a lasting peace.
“'Amnesty International supported Charles Yeats in his opposition to military service in South Africa...an honest and gently self-deprecating account'”
Dr Mary Rayner, Researcher, Amnesty International
“'Fascinating...A journey of self-discovery and a continuing search for truth and meaning'”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu