Amnesty International denies charges levelled by NRI
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Last Updated: Monday, February 08, 2010, 23:56
London: Amnesty International today denied charges levelled against it by its NRI official of putting the human rights of Al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims.

"This is not and has never been true. Implicit in the accusation is the view that we should choose those whose rights we promote. We reject this view utterly," the global human rights body said in a release today.

Gita Sahgal, head of the gender unit at Amnesty's international secretariat, in an email to the organisation said that collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former British inmate at Guantanamo Bay, "fundamentally damages" the organisation's reputation and the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his "jihadi" group, Cageprisoners, out of fear of being branded racist and Islamophobic.

"Tomorrow, Moazzam Begg, terror accused released from Guantanamo Bay, will speak alongside Amnesty International, speaking specifically on behalf of those detainees in need of protection in a third country," the statement said.

"Today, Amnesty International is being criticised for speaking alongside him and for being 'soft' on the Taliban, when our record is one of unreserved opposition to their abuses over the years," it added.

It noted that US and other governments that have violated human rights standards in the name of countering terrorism justify it saying that security can only be protected by violating the rights of others.

"Begg is one of the people that the US government defined as 'other'. But there is no place for the 'other' in human rights because to argue that some people are more 'deserving' than others of having their rights protected is to argue that some beings are less than human," it said.


First Published: Monday, February 08, 2010, 23:56

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