Ginetta Sagan was an American human rights activist best known for her work with Amnesty International on behalf of prisoners of conscience.
Born in Milan, Italy, Sagan lost her parents in her teenage years to the Black Brigades of Benito Mussolini. Like her parents, she was active in the Italian resistance movement, gathering intelligence and supplying Jews in hiding. She was captured and tortured in 1945, but escaped on the eve of her execution with the help of Nazi defectors.
After studying in Paris, she attended graduate school in child development in the US and married Leonard Sagan, a physician. The couple then resettled in Atherton, California, where Sagan founded the first chapter of Amnesty International in the western US. She later toured the region, helping to establish more than 75 chapters, and organized events to raise money for political prisoners.
In 1984, Sagan was elected the honorary chair of Amnesty International USA. US President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and Italy later awarded her the rank of Grand Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. Amnesty International founded an annual Ginetta Sagan Award for activists in her honor.