New Delhi: A former top official of Amnesty International has slammed the human rights group for its continued support to Kashmiri terror groups.
Gita Sahgal, the former head of Amnesty International's gender unit, called on Amnesty and other human rights NGOs "to live up to the standards they demand of others: be transparent, accountable and impartial".
Notably, Amnesty India of the international human rights organisation has been booked for sedition and other unlawful acts after anti-India slogans were raised at an event it organised in Bengaluru last week.
Sahgal had quit Amnesty in 2010 after accusing it of "ideological bankruptcy" and"misogyny" over its ties with a "pro-jihadi group". She had claimed that the charity had ties with Moazzam Begg, a former inmate at Guantánamo Bay, and his group Cageprisoners.
Talking to The Times of India, Sahgal said: “I think the sedition complaint is dangerous and designed to shut down organisations like Amnesty. But it's typical of Amnesty to claim to be neutral on `the right to self-determination' while giving more space to people who give it political support."
"As far as I know, they have never examined the full range of violations by both the state and the non-state actors. They have never looked at cross-border infiltration or the support to Kashmiri jihadi groups in Britain, including by their hero Moazzam Begg, whose bookshop published jihadi literature by a man called Dhiren Barot, glorifying the Kashmir jihad in the 90s as a means of establishing an Islamic state," Sahgal revealed.
She added, "Amnesty was always battling between people promoting jihadis and trying to get them included on research missions and treat jihadis as human rights defenders. It failed to examine Begg's early support for jihad when deciding to partner with him. Amnesty's history on Palestine is similar; it gives space to Hamas supporters rather than secular and human rights voices from Palestine."
Sahgal is the daughter of novelist Nayantara Sahgal and great-niece of former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.