The founder of the London-based human rights group, Amnesty International, has died at the age of 83.

Amnesty officials say Peter Benenson died Friday at a hospital in Oxford, England. They did not disclose the cause of his death.

Mr. Benenson founded the global human rights group in 1961 after reading the story of two students who were arrested and jailed for drinking a toast to liberty in a Lisbon cafe. Portugal was then ruled by a dictator.

In its drive to protect human rights, Amnesty International has grown to a worldwide organization of 1.8 million members and supporters.

Amnesty International's Secretary-General, Irene Khan, says Mr. Benenson's life was a courageous testament to his visionary commitment to fight injustice around the world.