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Amnesty International denies charges levelled by NRI

Last Updated: Monday, February 8, 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

"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 8, 2010 - 23:56
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