Thursday, April 15, 2010

Amnesty’s Difficult Question Time


The Cambridge Amnesty International Branch is co-hosting a hustings for the city’s Parliamentary candidates on 22nd April.

The branch members have a question of their own to answer: Do you support Amnesty International’s relationship with Moazzam Begg and Cageprisoners?

It looks as if the leadership of Amnesty has let a hatred of President Bush and Guantanamo Bay blind it to the use of a Jihadi supporter in the campaign against the detention camp. But the ends never justify the means.

As Gita Sahgal, the former Interim Head of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Unit, says in her leaving statement:

“I can explain in public debates, both with the leadership and inside the Sections, that adherence to violent jihad even if it indeed rejects the killing of some civilians, is an integral part of a political philosophy that promotes the destruction of human rights generally and contravenes Amnesty International’s specific policies relating to systematic violence and discrimination, particularly against women and minorities.

You may have been told that that debate is not possible in the middle of a crisis. I agree that there is indeed a crisis and that the hardest questions are being posed by Amnesty International’s close human rights allies, particularly in areas where jihad supported by Begg’s associates, is being waged.”

I hope the Cambridge branch will show its support for universal human rights and distance itself from a myopic, hypocritical leadership and the Taliban apologist it has adopted.

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