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Encyclopedia > Amnesty International
Amnesty International

The Amnesty International emblem is inspired by the proverb: "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness." Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Nobel_prize_medal. ... Image File history File links Amnesty_International. ...

Founder: Peter Benenson
Type: Interest group
Founded: July 1961
Secretary General: Irene Khan
Focus: Protecting human rights
Method: Media attention, direct-appeal campaigns
Area served: Worldwide
Key people: Seán MacBride, Martin Ennals
Website: [http://www.amnesty.org
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Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization which defines its mission as "to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights." [1] Founded in the UK in 1961, AI draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international standards. It works to mobilize public opinion which exerts pressure on those who perpetrate abuses.[2] Peter James Henry Solomon Benenson (July 31, 1921 – February 25, 2005) was an English lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). ... An interest group (also called an advocacy group, lobbying group, pressure group (UK), or special interest) is a group, however loosely or tightly organized, doing advocacy: those determined to encourage or prevent changes in public policy without trying to be elected. ... Irene Zubaida Khan (born December 24, 1956 in Dhaka, East Pakistan) is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a human rights organization. ... Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was a prominent international politician. ... Martin Ennals (1927 - 1991) was a British human rights activist. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... NGO redirects here. ...

Contents

Early history: 1961–1979 and origins

Amnesty International was founded in July 1961 by Peter Benenson, an English lawyer who had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1958. Benenson and his friend Alec Digges, an Irish communist [6], who were also the genesis of the International Brigade Association at the same address (2 Parton Street WC1, London) took control of the Amnesty shell in 1961. At this time, the pressure on their communist front organisation was becoming too great and Peter took Alec's suggestion to operate as a new organisation dedicated to "the call for a general amnesty for prisoners in Spain originally adopted at the Brigade’s 1952 Annual General Meeting" [7]. Peter deflected potential criticism of the communist roots of Amnesty with the story that, while traveling to work, he read of two Portuguese students who had been condemned for having made a toast to freedom [8]. Benenson, without too much fanfare, also quietly traced the idea back to the Spanish Civil War, and he was aware of existing activism in the area, notably the communist-backed 'Appeal for Amnesty in Spain' - not to mention his co-located International Brigade Association in the same office. Thus, Amnesty International began in the summer of 1961 as a year long campaign, 'Appeal for Amnesty, 1961'. The campaign was announced in May 1961 but by July 1961 the leadership had decided that the appeal would form the basis of a permanent organisation, which on 30 September 1962 was officially named 'Amnesty International' (Between the 'Appeal for Amnesty, 1961' and September 1962 the organisation had been know simply as 'Amnesty'). [3] Peter James Henry Solomon Benenson (July 31, 1921 – February 25, 2005) was an English lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


At the centre of the early organisation’s leadership was the recently retired English lawyer Peter Benenson, an energetic and charismatic figure but also of eclectic and even unpredictable behaviour. The carefully manicured version of events given by Amnesty International and widely accepted until 2001 was that on 19 November 1960 Benenson stumbled across an article in The Daily Telegraph about two Portuguese students imprisoned for a simple ‘toast to freedom’ while riding the tube. Enraged at the injustice, Benenson began an international organisation to speak out for such injustices. [9] After the fortieth anniversary of Amnesty International in 2001, several historians turned their attention to the early history of Amnesty International. Historian Tom Buchanan revealed that, although The Times contained many references to other peaceful political prisoners in November 1960, he could not find the infamous ‘toast to liberty’ article in The Daily Telegraph, meaning that the ‘traditional’ story of Amnesty International’s origins may be somewhat of a myth. [4] Peter James Henry Solomon Benenson (July 31, 1921 – February 25, 2005) was an English lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). ... is the 323rd day of the year (324th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article concerns the British newspaper. ... The London Underground is an underground railway system - also known as a rapid transit system - that serves a large part of Greater London, United Kingdom and some neighbouring areas. ... The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom (and the Kingdom of Great Britain before the United Kingdom existed) since 1788 when it was known as The Daily Universal Register. ...


However, the research by historians shows that Amnesty International was born from Peter Benenson’s long history of communist party support that had begun at Eton during the Spanish Civil War, where he organised aid for Basque Orphanages and became radicalised towards the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War. His ideas for Amnesty International-like organisation appears to have formed gradually from a mix of existing campaigns, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Moral Re-Armament. [10] [5] During the 1950s he came across various pro-communist initiatives launched by the pro Spanish Republican International Brigade Association which sought ‘Amnesty’ for imprisoned communists, culminating with the ‘Appeal for Amnesty in Spain’ being launched in 1959 by the Communist Party of Great Britain. [11] However, Benenson’s 1958 conversion to Roman Catholicism influenced him towards a new internationalist thinking based upon Christianity and the teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in which injustice must be struggled against regardless of where it occurs or to whom it occurs. [6] This was compounded by a close friendship to the Quaker peace activist Eric Baker. Upon Benenson’s return to London in later 1960 after an extended holiday in Italy, he and Baker began work on creating an organisation which reflected their collective thinking. The Kings College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, commonly known as Eton College or just Eton, is a public school (privately funded and independent) for boys, founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. It is located in Eton, near Windsor in England, north of Windsor Castle, and... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ... The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the common name for an American organization consisting of two separate entities. ... This article or section is missing citation of sources. ... The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was the largest communist party in the United Kingdom. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer [] (February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, and a founding member of the Confessing Church. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... Eric Baker was one of the founders and early secretaries general of the human rights group Amnesty International. ...


Benenson and Baker, in consultation with other writers, academics and lawyers, wrote via Louis Blom-Cooper to David Astor, editor of The Observer newspaper, who, on May 28, 1961, published Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners. . The article brought the reader’s attention to those "imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government"[7] or, put another way, to violations, by governments, of articles 18 and 19 of the UDHR. The article described these violations occurring, on a global scale, in the context of restrictions to press freedom, to political oppositions, to timely public trial before impartial courts, and to asylum. It marked the launch of 'Appeal for Amnesty, 1961', the aim of which was to mobilize public opinion, quickly and widely, in defence of these individuals, and in particular communist party members, who Benenson named "Prisoners of Conscience". In the same year Benenson had a book published, Persecution 1961, which detailed the cases of several prisoners of conscience investigated and compiled by Benenson and Baker.[8] Louis Blom-Cooper is a UK lawyer who has been a leading figure in public law for many years and has been at the forefront of administrative law throughout its modern development. ... The Honourable Francis David Langhorne Astor (March 5, 1912, London – December 7, 2001, London) was a newspaper publisher and member of the prominent Astor family. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Public trial or open trial is a trial open to public, as opposed to the secret trial. ... Prisoner of conscience (POC) is a term coined by the human rights pressure group Amnesty International in the early 1960s. ...


What started as a short appeal soon became a permanent international movement working to protect those imprisoned for non-violent expression of their views and to secure worldwide recognition of Articles 18 and 19 of the UDHR. From the very beginning, research and campaigning were present in Amnesty International’s work. A library was established for information about prisoners of conscience and a network of local groups, called ‘THREES’ groups, was started. Each group worked on behalf of three prisoners, one from each of the then three main ideological regions of the world: communist, capitalist and developing.


By the mid-1960s Amnesty International’s global presence was growing and an International Secretariat and International Executive Committee was established to manage Amnesty International’s national organizations, called ‘Sections’, which had appeared in several countries. The international movement was starting to agree its core principles and techniques. For example, the issue of whether or not to adopt prisoners who had advocated violence, like Nelson Mandela, brought unanimous agreement that it could not give the name of 'Prisoner of Conscience' to such prisoners. Aside from the work of the library and groups, Amnesty International’s activities were expanding to helping prisoner’s families, sending observers to trials, making representations to governments, and finding asylum or overseas employment for prisoners. Its activity and influence was also increasing within intergovernmental organizations; it would be awarded consultative status by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and UNESCO before the decade was out. For other people named Mandela, or other uses, see Mandela. ... UN and U.N. redirect here. ... Anthem Ode to Joy (orchestral)  ten founding members joined subsequently observer at the Parliamentary Assembly observer at the Committee of Ministers  official candidate Seat Strasbourg, France Membership 47 European states 5 observers (Council) 3 observers (Assembly) Leaders  -  Secretary General Terry Davis  -  President of the Parliamentary Assembly Rene van der Linden... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...


Leading Amnesty International in the 1970s were key figureheads Sean MacBride and Martin Ennals. While continuing to work for prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International’s purview widened to include "fair trial" and opposition to long detention without trial (UDHR Article 9), and especially to the torture of prisoners (UDHR Article 5). Amnesty International believed that the reasons underlying torture of prisoners, by governments, were either to obtain information or to quell opposition by the use of terror, or both. Also of concern was the export of more sophisticated torture methods, equipment and teaching to "client states." Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was a senior Irish politician, barrister, revolutionary & statesman. ... Martin Ennals (1927 - 1991) was a British human rights activist. ...


Amnesty International drew together reports from countries where torture allegations seemed most persistent and organized an international conference on torture. It sought to influence public opinion in order to put pressure on national governments by organizing a campaign for the 'Abolition of Torture' which ran for several years.


Amnesty International’s membership increased from 15,000 in 1969[9] to 200,000 by 1979.[10] This growth in resources enabled an expansion of its program, ‘outside of the prison walls’, to include work on “disappearances”, the death penalty and the rights of refugees. A new technique, the 'Urgent Action’, aimed at mobilizing the membership into action rapidly was pioneered. The first was issued on March 19, 1973, on behalf of Luiz Basilio Rossi, a Brazilian academic, arrested for political reasons. Disappear redirects here. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ...


At the intergovernmental level Amnesty International pressed for application of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and of existing humanitarian conventions; to secure ratifications of the two UN Covenants on Human Rights (which came into force in 1976); and was instrumental in obtaining UN Resolution 3059 which formally denounced torture and called on governments to adhere to existing international instruments and provisions forbidding its practice. Consultative status was granted at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 1972. The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were adopted on 30 August 1955 by the United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva, and approved by the Economic and Social Council in resolutions of 31 July 1957 and 13 May... Parties to the ICCPR: members in green, non-members in grey The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a United Nations treaty based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1966 and entered into force on 23 March 1976. ... This article is about the United Nations, for other uses of UN see UN (disambiguation) Official languages English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic Secretary-General Kofi Annan (since 1997) Established October 24, 1945 Member states 191 Headquarters New York City, NY, USA Official site http://www. ... The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR or, in Spanish, CIDH) is one of the two bodies that comprise the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights. ...


Recent history: 1980–2005

By 1980 Amnesty International, now a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and a UN Human Rights Prize winner, was drawing more criticism from governments. The USSR alleged that Amnesty International conducted espionage,[citation needed] the Moroccan government denounced it as a defender of lawbreakers, and the Argentine government banned Amnesty International’s 1983 annual report. Lester B. Pearson after accepting the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... The United Nations Prizes in the Field of Human Rights were instituted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution in 1966. ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ...


Throughout the 1980s Amnesty International continued to campaign for prisoners of conscience and torture. New issues emerged, including extrajudicial killings; military, security and police transfers; political killings; and "disappearances." Extrajudicial punishment is physical punishment without the permission of a court or legal authority, and as such, constitutes a violation of basic human rights (such as the right to due process and humane treatment). ...


Towards the end of the decade the growing numbers, worldwide, of refugees was a very visible area of Amnesty International’s concern. While many of the world’s refugees of the time had been displaced by war and famine, in adherence to its mandate, Amnesty International concentrated on those forced to flee because of the human rights violations it was seeking to prevent. It argued that rather than focusing on new restrictions on entry for asylum-seekers, governments ought to address the human rights violations which were forcing people into exile.


Apart from a second campaign on torture during the first half of the decade, the major campaign of the 80s was the 'Human Rights Now!' tour which featured many of the famous musicians and bands of the day playing concerts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the UDHR.


Throughout the 1990s Amnesty International continued to grow to a membership of over 2.2 million in over 150 countries and territories,[11] Led by Senegalese Secretary General Pierre Sané Amnesty continued to work on a wide range of issues and world events. For example, South African groups joined in 1992 and hosted a visit by Pierre Sané to meet with the apartheid government to press for an investigation into allegations of police abuse, an end to arms sales to the Great Lakes region and abolition of the death penalty. Pierre Sane was appointed to post of Secretary General of Amnesty International in l992. ... Pierre Sane was appointed to post of Secretary General of Amnesty International in l992. ...


Amnesty International was forced to react to human rights violations occurring in the context of a proliferation of armed conflict in: Angola, East Timor, the Persian Gulf, Rwanda, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. Amnesty International took no position on whether to support or oppose external military interventions in these armed conflicts. It did not (and does not) reject the use of force, even lethal force, or ask those engaged to lay down their arms. Rather it questioned the motives behind external intervention and selectivity of international action in relation to the strategic interests of those sending troops. It argued that action should be taken in time to prevent human rights problems becoming human rights catastrophes and that both intervention and inaction represented a failure of the international community. Banners of the international community at the United Nations in Geneva The term international community is a political phrase that can refer to either: All the lands represented within the United Nations. ...


However, Amnesty International was proactive in pushing for recognition of the universality of human rights. The campaign ‘Get Up, Sign Up’ marked 50 years of the UDHR. Thirteen million pledges were collected in support of the Declaration and a music concert was held in Paris on December 10, 1998 (Human Rights Day). is the 344th day of the year (345th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-12-10, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


In particular, Amnesty International brought attention to violations committed on specific groups including: refugees, racial/ethnic/religious minorities, women and those executed or on death row. The death penalty report When the state kills and the ‘Human Rights are Women’s Rights’ campaign were key actions for the latter two issues and demonstrate that Amnesty International was still very much a reporting and campaigning organization. For information about the Record company see Death Row Records For information about the computer game see Deathrow (game) Death Row is a term which refers to the section of a prison that houses individuals awaiting execution. ...


At the intergovernmental level, Amnesty International argued in favour of creating a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (established 1993) and an International Criminal Court (established 2002). The purpose of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights involves the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide through direct contact with individual governments and the provision of technical assistance where appropriate. ... The official logo of the ICC The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt)[1] was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. ...


After 2000 Amnesty International’s agenda turned to the challenges arising from globalization and the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The issue of globalization provoked a major shift in Amnesty International policy, as the scope of its work was widened to include economic, social and cultural rights, an area that it had declined to work on in the past. Amnesty International felt this shift was important, not just to give credence to its principle of the indivisibility of rights, but because of the growing power of companies and the undermining of many nation states as a result of globalization. A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...


In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the new Amnesty International Secretary General, Irene Khan, reported that a senior government official had said to Amnesty International delegates: "Your role collapsed with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York".[12] In the years following the attacks, some of the gains made by human rights organizations over previous decades were eroded. Amnesty International argued that human rights were the basis for the security of all, not a barrier to it. Criticism came directly from the Bush administration and The Washington Post, when Khan, in 2005, likened the US government’s detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a Soviet Gulag.[13][14] The World Trade Center on fire The September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. ... Irene Zubaida Khan (born December 24, 1956 in Dhaka, East Pakistan) is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a human rights organization. ... The Bush administration includes President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Bushs Cabinet, and other select officials and advisors. ... Gulag ( , Russian: ) was the government body responsible for administering prison camps across the former Soviet Union. ...


During the first half of the new decade Amnesty International turned its attention to violence against women, controls on the world arms trade and concerns surrounding the effectiveness of the UN. Its membership, close to two million by 2005,[15] continued to work for prisoners of conscience. Violence against women (VAW) is a term of art used to collectively refer to violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. ... The arms industry is a massive global industry. ...


Work

Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Statute of Amnesty International, 27th International Council meeting, 2005

There are five key areas which Amnesty deals with: Women's Rights, Children's Rights, Ending Torture and Execution, Rights of Refugees and Rights of Prisoners of Conscience. Some specific aims are to abolish the death penalty, end extrajudicial executions and "disappearances", ensure prison conditions meet international human rights standards, ensure prompt and fair trial for all political prisoners, ensure free education to all children worldwide, fight impunity from systems of justice, end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, free all prisoners of conscience, promote economic, social and cultural rights for marginalized communities, protect human rights defenders, promote religious tolerance, stop torture and ill-treatment, stop unlawful killings in armed conflict, and to uphold the rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ... Extrajudicial punishment is physical punishment without the permission of a court or legal authority, and as such, constitutes a violation of basic human rights (such as the right to due process and humane treatment). ... Disappear redirects here. ... A political prisoner is anyone held in prison or otherwise detained, perhaps under house arrest, because their ideas or image either challenge or pose a real or potential threat to the state. ... Impunity means exemption from punishment or loss.[1] In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims right to justice and redress. ... A Chinese Nationalist soldier, age 10, member of a Chinese division boarding planes in Myitkyina (Burma) bound for China, May 1944. ... Prisoner of conscience (POC) is a term coined by the human rights pressure group Amnesty International in the early 1960s. ... Human rights defender is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights. ... Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ...


Amnesty International targets not only governments, but also non governmental bodies and private individuals (non state actors).


To further these aims Amnesty International has developed several techniques to publicize information and mobilize public opinion. The organization considers as one of its strengths the publication of impartial and accurate reports. Reports are researched by interviewing victims and officials, observing trials, working with local human rights activists and by monitoring the media. It aims to issue timely press releases and publishes information in newsletters and on web sites. It also sends official missions to countries to make courteous but insistent inquiries.


Campaigns to mobilize public opinion can take the form of individual, country or thematic campaigns. Many techniques are deployed such as direct appeals (for example, letter writing), media and publicity work and public demonstrations. Often fund-raising is integrated with campaigning.


In situations which require immediate attention, Amnesty International calls on existing urgent action networks or crisis response networks; for all other matters it calls on its membership. It considers the large size of its human resources to be another one of its key strengths.


Organization

Amnesty International Sections, 2005
Amnesty International Sections, 2005
The AI Canadian headquarters in Ottawa.
The AI Canadian headquarters in Ottawa.

Amnesty International is largely made up of voluntary members but retains a small number of paid professionals. In countries where Amnesty International has a strong presence, members are organized as 'sections'. Sections coordinate basic Amnesty International activities normally with a significant volume of members, some of whom will form into 'groups', and a professional staff. Each have a board of directors. In 2005 there were 52 sections worldwide. 'Structures' are aspiring sections. They also coordinate basic activities but have a smaller membership and a limited staff. In countries where no section or structure exists people can become 'international members'. Two other organizational models exist: 'international networks', which promote specific themes or have a specific identity, and 'affiliated groups', which do the same work as section groups, but in isolation. Image File history File links Amnesty_International_Sections_2005. ... Image File history File links Amnesty_International_Sections_2005. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... This article is about the capital city of Canada. ...


The organizations outlined above are represented by the International Council (IC) which is led by the IC Chairperson. Members of sections and structures have the right to appoint one or more representatives to the Council according to the size of their membership. The IC may invite representatives from International Networks and other individuals to meetings, but only representatives from sections and structures have voting rights. The function of the IC is to appoint and hold accountable internal governing bodies and to determine the direction of the movement. The IC convenes every two years.


The International Executive Committee (IEC), led by the IEC Chairperson, consists of eight members and the IEC Treasurer. It is elected by, and represents, the IC and meets biannually. The role of the IEC is to take decisions on behalf of Amnesty International, implement the strategy laid out by the IC, and ensure compliance with the organization’s statutes.


The International Secretariat (IS) is responsible for the conduct and daily affairs of Amnesty International under direction from the IEC and IC. It is run by approximately 500 professional staff members and is headed by a Secretary General. The IS operates several work programs; International Law and Organizations; Research; Campaigns; Mobilization; and Communications. Its offices have been located in London since its establishment in the mid-1960s.


Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It does not accept donations from governments or governmental organizations.

  • Amnesty International Sections, 2005
    Algeria; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium (Flemish speaking); Belgium (French speaking); Benin; Bermuda; Canada (English speaking); Canada (French speaking); Chile; Côte d’Ivoire; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Guyana; Hong Kong; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Korea (Republic of); Luxembourg; Mauritius; Mexico; Morocco; Nepal; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Togo; Tunisia; United Kingdom; United States of America; Uruguay; Venezuela
  • Amnesty International Structures, 2005
    Belarus; Bolivia; Burkina Faso; Croatia; Curaçao; Czech Republic; Gambia; Hungary; Malaysia; Mali; Moldova; Mongolia; Pakistan; Paraguay; Slovakia; South Africa; Thailand; Turkey; Ukraine; Zambia; Zimbabwe
  • IEC Chairpersons
    Seán MacBride, 1965–1974; Dirk Börner, 1974–1977; Thomas Hammarberg, 1977–1979; José Zalaquett, 1979–1982; Suriya Wickremasinghe, 1982–1985; Wolfgang Heinz, 1985–1996; Franca Sciuto, 1986–1989; Peter Duffy, 1989–1991; Annette Fischer, 1991–1992Ross Daniels, 1993–1997; Susan Waltz, 1996–1998; Mahmoud Ben Romdhane, 1999–2000; Colm O Cuanachain, 2001–2002; Paul Hoffman, 2003–2004; Jaap Jacobson, 2005; Hanna Roberts, 2005–2006; Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, 2006–present
  • Secretaries General
    Peter Benenson, 1961–1966 (President); Eric Baker, 1966–1968; Martin Ennals, 1968–1980; Thomas Hammarberg, 1980–1986; Ian Martin, 1986–1992; Pierre Sané, 1992–2001; Irene Khan, 2001–present

Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was a prominent international politician. ... Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, Copyright © Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg (born 1942 in Örnsköldsvik) is a Swedish diplomat and human rights activist. ... Ross Daniels was the International Chairperson of Amnesty International from 1993 to 1997. ... Peter James Henry Solomon Benenson (July 31, 1921 – February 25, 2005) was an English lawyer and the founder of human rights group Amnesty International (AI). ... Eric Baker was one of the founders and early secretaries general of the human rights group Amnesty International. ... Martin Ennals (1927 - 1991) was a British human rights activist. ... Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, Copyright © Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg (born 1942 in Örnsköldsvik) is a Swedish diplomat and human rights activist. ... Ian Martin is a human rights activist who has been involved in a number of Human Rights organisation. ... Pierre Sane was appointed to post of Secretary General of Amnesty International in l992. ... Irene Zubaida Khan (born December 24, 1956 in Dhaka, East Pakistan) is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a human rights organization. ...

Criticism

Criticism of Amnesty International may be classified into two major categories: accusations of selection bias and accusations of ideological bias. As part of the latter, many governments, including those of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[16] China,[17] Vietnam,[18] Russia[19] and the United States,[20] have attacked Amnesty International for what they assert is one-sided reporting or a failure to treat threats to security as a mitigating factor. The actions of these governments — and of other governments critical of Amnesty International — have been the subject of human rights concerns voiced by Amnesty. Selection bias is the error of distorting a statistical analysis by pre- or post-selecting the samples. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ...


Alleged selection bias

Some contend that there are a disproportionate number of AI reports on relatively more democratic and open countries. This is the major source of the charge of "selection bias", with critics pointing to a disproportionate focus on allegations of human rights violations in for example Israel, when compared with North Korea or Cambodia.


Supporters claim that AI’s intention is not to produce a range of reports which statistically represents the world’s human rights abuses. Instead, its aim is (a) to document what it can, in order to (b) produce pressure for improvement. These two factors skew the number of reports towards more open and democratic countries, because information is more easily obtainable, these countries have usually made strong claims and commitments to uphold human rights, and because their governments are more susceptible to public pressure. AI also focuses more heavily on states than other groups. This is due in part to the responsibility states have to the citizens they claim to represent.


A tendency to over-report allegations of human rights abuse in nations that are comparatively lesser violators of human rights has been called "Moynihan's Law", after the late U.S. Senator and former Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who is said to have stated that at the United Nations, the number of complaints about a nation’s violation of human rights is inversely proportional to their actual violation of human rights. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Senator (D-NY) and United Nations Ambassador under Gerald Ford, said regarding allegations of human rights: The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. ... Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... United States Ambasadors to the United Nations, full title, Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations (also known as the... Daniel Patrick Pat Moynihan (March 16, 1927 - March 26, 2003) was a four-term U.S. Senator, ambassador, administration official, and academic. ... UN and U.N. redirect here. ...


Israel and Sudan

In 2004, Don Habibi, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, condemned Amnesty International, among others, for their alleged obsession with Israel, to the exclusion of other, supposedly worse violators. He writes:[21] The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... The University of North Carolina Wilmington is a public university located in Wilmington, North Carolina. ...

This obsession would make sense if Israel was among the worst human rights offenders in the world. But by any objective measure this is not the case. Even with the harshest interpretation of Israel’s policies, which takes no account of cause and effect, and Israel’s predicament of facing existential war, there can be no comparison to the civil wars in Sudan, Algeria, or Congo. Like the UN, the policies of AI and HRW have more to do with politics than human rights.

Human Rights NGOs and the Neglect of Sudan, Don Habibi

AI defenders respond by asserting that all nations should aspire to absolute respect for human rights, and that the difficulties associated with monitoring 'closed' countries should not mean that 'open' countries should receive less scrutiny.


Between 2003 and 2006, a period of time corresponding with the beginning of the Darfur conflict, AI issued 110 reports per year on Sudanese issues[22], compared with slightly less than 50 articles per year for Israel and the Palestinian Authority combined[23]. Combatants JEM factions NRF alliance Janjaweed SLM (Minnawi)  Sudan African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Commanders Ibrahim Khalil Ahmed Diraige Omar al-Bashir Minni Minnawi Luke Aprezi Strength N/A N/A 7,000 The Darfur conflict is a crisis in the...


In 2007, NGO Monitor, an Israeli non-governmental organization with the stated aim of monitoring other non-governmental organizations operating in and around Israel, released a report[24] which asserted that "Amnesty International focused disproportionately on condemnations of Israel, far beyond any reasonable distribution of resources in a region marked by fundamental human rights abuses by many repressive regimes and sources of violence." After the report filtered out "urgent actions", the report argued that "the number of documents (excluding urgent actions related to Israel) (48) is even higher than the number of significant publications by Amnesty on Sudan (37)". The report defined an "urgent action" to be "some short articles dealing with individuals at risk and calling for appeal campaigns were classified as Urgent Actions, although they may appear in the Reports section of Amnesty International’s online library." The report argued that Amnesty accused "Israel of targeting residential areas without mentioning Hizbullah’s systematic practice of operating from within civilian areas". The report further argued: "Many of Amnesty’s claims regarding the Lebanon War were false or severely lacking in credibility." In addition, the reported stated that "no statements or documents of any type were issued condemning Hizbullah for abducting two Israeli soldiers, despite Amnesty’s core mission of promoting freedom for political prisoners." [24] NGO Monitor (Non-governmental organization monitor) is an Israeli non-governmental organization with the stated aim of monitoring other non-governmental organizations operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. ... NGO redirects here. ...


NGO Monitor also commented on Amnesty’s work during the Second Lebanon War, asserting that the human rights organization was guilty of double standards in its treatment of Hizbullah and Israel [25]. Combatants Hezbollah Amal LCP Islamic Courts Union[4]  Israel Commanders Hassan Nasrallah (Secretary General of Hezbollah), veteran Fatah operative Imad Mughniyeh[5] Dan Halutz (CoS), Moshe Kaplinsky[13], Udi Adam (Regional) Strength 600-1,000 active fighters (of 3,000 - 5,000 available and 10,000 reservists) [6] 30,000... Hezbollah militant Guerrilla carrying Hezbollah Flag Hezbollah (Arabic ‮حزب الله‬, meaning Party of God) is a political and military organization in Lebanon founded in 1982 to fight Israel in southern Lebanon. ...


Responding to NGO Monitor’s report, Amnon Vidan, director-general of Amnesty International’s Israel branch, said the organization expected Israel and other democratic states to abide by a higher standard of respect for human rights than non-democratic regimes. "You can't take samples of Amnesty’s reports based on word counts", Vidan said. "Factually, the picture given in the NGO Monitor report is incorrect. Sudan does not receive less attention than Israel. In principle, Amnesty’s treatment of different crises is based on different parameters, such as our ability to influence, and need to present issues to media", he added.


He added that "Amnesty condemned both Hizbullah and the IDF for their attacks on residential areas and killing of civilians. Amnesty also noted that in some opportunities, civilians were used (by Hizbullah). But in some situations, the attacking power still has a responsibility not to harm civilians. Amnesty is aware of complexities, but there are many instances when (Israel) attacked civilian areas without there necessarily being a Hizbullah presence in the area, and with exaggerated use of force and no differentiation of civilian and military."


Addressing the charge that Amnesty counted Lebanese and Israeli civilians differently, Vidan said: "In Israel, one can differentiate between civilians and soldiers. In Lebanon, you can't always make that differentiation."[26]


Leonard Fein, a former Professor of Politics and Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis University[27], wrote an op-ed in The Jewish Daily Forward arguing that Amnesty International's "reports are carefully researched and, often to the embarrassment of governments, widely reported." Fein argued it was no surprise that NGO Monitor criticizes Amnesty, since its stated purpose is “to end the practice used by certain self-declared ‘humanitarian NGOs’ of exploiting the label ‘universal human rights values’ to promote politically and ideologically motivated anti-Israel agendas.”[28] The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Brandeis University is a private university located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. ... Waiting for the Forwards - Jewish paper at 1 A.M., March 1913, New York. ...


Freedom of expression vs. hate speech

Amnesty International has endorsed restrictions on speech which incites hatred towards any group of people, whether racial, religious, or otherwise. In reference to the Muhammad cartoon controversy, the organization stated: The Face of Muhammed - The controversial cartoons of Muhammad, first published in Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. ...

The right to freedom of opinion and expression should be one of the cornerstones of any society. …However, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute — neither for the creators of material nor their critics. It carries responsibilities and it may, therefore, be subject to restrictions in the name of safeguarding the rights of others. In particular, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence cannot be considered legitimate exercise of freedom of expression. Under international standards, such "hate speech" should be prohibited by law. …While AI recognises the right of anyone to peacefully express their opinion, including through peaceful protests, the use and threat of violence is unacceptable.[29]

The proponents of AI argue that this position is consistent with international human rights law. Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide ("The Genocide Convention"), for example, lists "direct and public incitement to commit genocide" as an act which should be punished alongside the actual commission of genocidal acts. This very clause has allowed for the prosecution of a number of top-level génocidaires who organized the Rwandan Genocide via public radio broadcasts, which provided the names and locations of prominent Tutsis and encouraged ordinary civilians to take part in the mass killing. Critics, on the other hand, point out that the convention only refers to incitement of actual crime, and is therefore, much less broad than the hate speech restrictions AI endorses. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948 Entry into force: 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII The Contracting Parties , Having considered the declaration made... The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass killing of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutu sympathizers in Rwanda and was the largest atrocity during the Rwandan Civil War. ... The Tutsi are one of three native peoples of the nations of Rwanda and Burundi in central Africa, the other two being the Twa and the Hutu. ...


Amnesty International does not consider Ernst Zundel imprisoned for Holocaust Denial a prisoner of conscience, and stated they are not calling for his release.[30] Amnesty International has requested the Canadian Government to amend their criminal code and establish Holocaust Denial as a hate crime.[31] While Holocaust Denial is rejected by historians, Noam Chomsky and others have signed a petition in 1979 asserting that efforts to stop Robert Faurisson's holocaust denial were "shameful".[32] Richard Harwoods Did Six Million Really Die? Holocaust denial is the claim that the mainstream historical version of the Holocaust is either highly exaggerated or completely falsified. ... Richard Harwoods Did Six Million Really Die? Holocaust denial is the claim that the mainstream historical version of the Holocaust is either highly exaggerated or completely falsified. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (Hebrew: אברם נועם חומסקי Yiddish: אברם נועם כאמסקי) (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ... Robert Faurisson (born January 25, 1929) is a French Holocaust denier who has generated controversy over various articles he has published in the Journal of Historical Review and elsewhere, as well as various letters he has sent to French newspapers (especially Le Monde) over the years which deny the existence...


Ethiopia

Amnesty International is against hate speech in general. But the Ethiopian government criticizes it for being unable to distinguish such problems in regards to Ethiopian politics. Ethiopia is believed to have one of the most polarized politics in the world, and the government usually settles its problem with the opposition using brute force.[33]. That has made Amnesty react critically towards the Ethiopian government, and the Ethiopian government in turn accuses the organization of supporting hate speech. In general, while the recent Ethiopian government made few reforms to the press law which severely curtails free speech, it continues to criticize Amnesty when the organization sides with those whose speech was stifled.


Guantánamo Bay comments

In the foreword[34] to AI’s Report 2005[35], the Secretary General, Irene Khan, referred to the Guantánamo Bay prison as "the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law. Trials by military commissions have made a mockery of justice and due process." In the subsequent press conference, she added, "If Guantanamo evokes images of Soviet repression, "ghost detainees" – or the incommunicado detention of unregistered detainees — bring back the practice of "disappearances" so popular with Latin American dictators in the past. According to US official sources there could be over 100 ghost detainees held by the US. In 2004, thousands of people were held by the US in Iraq, hundreds in Afghanistan and undisclosed numbers in undisclosed locations. AI is calling on the US Administration to "close Guantanamo and disclose the rest".[36] The human rights organization Human Rights Watch also criticized the Bush administration over the camp in its 2003 world report, stating: "Washington has ignored human rights standards in its own treatment of terrorism suspects".[37] Irene Zubaida Khan (born December 24, 1956 in Dhaka, East Pakistan) is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a human rights organization. ... Map of Cuba with location of Guantánamo Bay indicated. ... Gulag ( , Russian: ) was the government body responsible for administering prison camps across the former Soviet Union. ... Ghosting detainees is an official term used by the Bush administration to designs the practice of hiding the identities of people being held in a detention center, by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. ... Disappear redirects here. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Human Rights Watch Banner Human Rights Watch is a United States-based international non-government organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... For the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Terrorist redirects here. ... In the parlance of criminal justice, a suspect is a term used to refer to a person, known or unknown, suspected of committing a crime. ...


Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called the comments "reprehensible", Vice President Dick Cheney said he was "offended", and President Bush called the report "absurd". The Washington Post editorialized that "lately the organization has tended to save its most vitriolic condemnations not for the world’s dictators but for the United States."[38] Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is a businessman, a U.S. Republican politician, the 13th Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977, and the 21st Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. ... Richard Bruce Dick Cheney (born January 30, 1941), is the 46th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President George W. Bush. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... ...


However, Edmund McWilliams, a retired senior US Foreign Service Officer who monitored Soviet and Vietnamese abuse of prisoners in their "gulags", defended Amnesty International’s comparison. "I note that abuses that I reported on in those inhumane systems parallel abuses reported in Guantanamo, at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan and at the Abu Ghraib prison: prisoners suspended from the ceiling and beaten to death; widespread "waterboarding"; prisoners "disappeared" to preclude monitoring by the International Committee of the Red Cross — and all with almost no senior-level accountability."[39] Edmund McWilliams is an American diplomat and previous United States Ambassador to Tajikistan. ... Soviet redirects here. ... Bagram Air Base (ICAO: OAIX) is an airport located at the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in Parvan, Afghanistan. ... See Abu Ghraib prison and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. ... Painting of waterboarding at Cambodias Tuol Sleng Prison, by former inmate Vann Nath. ... The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. ...


William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, defended the statement, saying, "What is 'absurd' is President Bush's attempt to deny the deliberate policies of his administration." and "What is 'absurd' and indeed outrageous is the Bush administration's failure to undertake a full independent investigation". Secretary General Irene Khan also responded saying, "The administration's response has been that our report is absurd, that our allegations have no basis, and our answer is very simple: if that is so, open up these detention centres, allow us and others to visit them." Dr. William F. Schulz was the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, the U.S. Section of Amnesty International, from March 1994 to 2005. ... Irene Zubaida Khan (born December 24, 1956 in Dhaka, East Pakistan) is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, a human rights organization. ...


Since the U.S. administration originally claimed that these prisoners were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against this interpretation (on June 29, 2006).[40] Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners will in the future be entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.[41][42][43] Original document. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


AI's new abortion policies and the Roman Catholic Church

In April 2007, Amnesty International changed its stance on abortion from one which was neutral to one supporting access to abortion in cases of rape and incest, and when the life or the health of the mother might be threatened.[44] Amnesty's official policy is that they "do not promote abortion as a universal right" but "support the decriminalisation of abortion".[45] According to deputy secretary general Kate Gilmore, the debate over the change was difficult, but eventually the overwhelming majority of national Amnesty chapters supported the change. She admitted a small number of members had quit over the issue.[46] Incest is defined as sexual intercourse between closely related persons. ...


The change was opposed by several organizations, notably by senior figures in the Catholic Church, traditionally a strong supporter of Amnesty International,[47] and a group of US legislators. The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ...


The Roman Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in June 2007 issued a statement urging Catholics not to donate to Amnesty because of their abortion stance.[48] Cardinal Renato Martino said that abortion was "murder" and "to justify it selectively, in the event of rape, that is to define an innocent child in the belly of its mother as an enemy, as 'something one can destroy'". The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (Justitia et Pax) is a part of the Roman Curia dedicated to action-oriented studies for the international promotion of justice, peace, and human rights from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church. ... For other uses, see Cardinal (disambiguation). ... His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino JCD (born 23 November 1932) is an Italian churchman, Cardinal Deacon, and President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in the Roman Catholic Church. ...


In an interview to the National Catholic Register, the Cardinal outlined that it was his belief that "if in fact Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support, because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, AI has betrayed its mission".[49] The National Catholic Register is the oldest national Roman Catholic newspaper in the United States. ...


On 2 July 2007, the U.S. Catholic Bishops renewed their earlier appeals to AI. In a statement signed by President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, bishop William S. Skylstad, the bishops said that AI "trivializes the harm done by abortion. AI’s new policy appears to apply to every stage of pregnancy and has already led AI-USA to oppose laws against the killing of partially-delivered children. Similarly, the policy of advancing access to abortion to preserve women’s ‘health,’ a word left undefined by AI, has not confined the practice to narrow circumstances, but in American law has led to abortion on demand."[50] is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... William Stephen Skylstad (born 2 March 1934 in Omak (Methow) in Okanogan County, Washington) is an American Roman Catholic Bishop. ... The phrase partial-birth abortion is a controversial one used primarily by abortion opponents in the United States. ...


At a meeting in Mexico 11-17 August 2007, the International Council decided to retain the stance laid down in April. Within days, this was decried by prominent leaders of the Catholic Church, including the highest-ranking Vatican cardinal Secretaty of State Tarcisio Bertone and the U.S. Bishops' Conference (USBCC) president biskop Skylstad. Cardinal Bertone said to Vatican Radio that "we cannot ever destroy life. We must always save life even if it is the fruit of violence"[51], and underlined that "all forms of violence against women must be opposed and that the inhuman violence of rape be stopped and society be mobilized to defend the dignity of women". The USBCC statement of 23 August called the change in the organization’s longstanding position divisive and an affront to "people in many nations, cultures and religions who share a consistent commitment to all human rights"[52]. An English Roman Catholic Bishop, Michael Evans of East Anglia, who had been an officer in AI in the 1980s, revoked his 31 years membership, saying that the "decision makes it very difficult for Catholics to remain members of Amnesty or to give it any financial support" while reiterating that he remained "deeply committed to Amnesty’s original mandate: to work for freedom for prisoners of conscience, an end to torture and the death penalty, and fair trials for all."[53] There were also strong reactions from the Catholic church in Australia [54][55], Denmark[56], Northern Ireland[57] and Scotland[58] and several other countries. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone is the Archbishop of Genoa and was considered papabile following the death of Pope John Paul II. His Eminence Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone (born 2 December 1934) is Archbishop of Genoa and a Cardinal Priest in the Roman Catholic Church. ... Administration building and radio masts at Vatican City Vatican Radio is the official broadcasting service of the Vatican. ... // The Diocese covers the counties of Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk and also Peterborough. ... Northern Ireland (Irish: , Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a constituent country of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ... This article is about the country. ...


1991 Gulf War Press Release

Critics have also claimed that AI had a role propagating disinformation in a press release before the 1991 Gulf War, in which it charged that Iraqi soldiers were responsible for the deaths of "scores of civilians, including newborn babies, who died as a direct result of their forced removal from life-support machines.".[59] It later transpired that this claim was a propaganda hoax, and AI's press release was used in the opening salvo of this propaganda campaign – U.S. President George H. W. Bush showed AI's press release on a prime time interview. Prof. Francis Boyle, an AI director at the time, gives a detailed insider account of the way the AI press release was handled[60]. The normal process of double-checking and consultation was short-circuited in a rush to issue the press release. In an April 1991 statement, AI said that although its team was shown alleged mass graves of babies, it was not established how they had died and the team found no reliable evidence that Iraqi forces had caused the deaths of babies by removing them or ordering their removal from incubators.[61] Supporters of AI point out that such mistakes by AI are rare; and that in any case such propaganda claims are common in war, and AI was merely an unfortunate conduit for them in this instance. For the pop band, see Presidents of the United States of America. ... George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. ...


Other critics

  • Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and a former member of Amnesty International USA's board of directors, left AI because of his disagreements about the coverage of human rights in certain countries, especially in the Arab-Israeli conflict. In fact, he threatened to sue AI over its biased coverage, but at the last minute the lawsuit was settled out of court.[62]
  • Diana Johnstone, in her book Fool's Crusade, alleged that AI played an uncritical role during the various Balkan wars, and discusses the case of a woman who was taken on a 25 US-city tour with a film about her ordeal as an alleged rape camp victim. According to Johnstone, the alleged rape camp victim, Jadranka Cigelj, was actually a senior propagandist in the Croatian government, and a close confidante of President Franjo Tudjman.[63]
  • Michael Mandel, a professor of international law at York University, criticizes AI's stance pertaining the wars in the Balkans and Iraq.[64]
  • Paul de Rooij has published three articles discussing various aspects of AI's coverage of the Israeli abuse of Palestinian human rights.[65]

Francis Anthony Boyle, is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. ... Combatants Arab nations Israel Arab-Israeli conflict series History of the Arab-Israeli conflict Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict Arab-Israeli conflict facts, figures, and statistics Participants Israeli-Palestinian conflict · Israel-Lebanon conflict · Arab League · Soviet Union / Russia · Israel, Palestine and the... Diana Johnstone (born 1934), received a Ph. ... Franjo Tuđman (May 14, 1922 - December 10, 1999) was the first president of Croatia in the 1990s. ... Michael Mandel is a Canadian legal academic. ...

References

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  2. ^ About Amnesty International. Amnesty International. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  3. ^ (1963) Amnesty International Report 1962. Amnesty International. 
  4. ^ Buchanan, T. (2002) 'The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International. Journal of Contemporary History 37(4) pp. 575–97
  5. ^ Buchanan, T. (2002) 'The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International. Journal of Contemporary History 37(4) pp. 575–97
  6. ^ (2006) Keepers of the Flame: The Understanding Amnesty International. Cornell University Press, 71. 
  7. ^ Benenson, Peter. "The forgotten prisoners", The Observer, 1961-05-28. Retrieved on 2006-09-19. 
  8. ^ Buchanan, T. (2002) 'The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International. Journal of Contemporary History 37(4) pp. 575–97
  9. ^ (1969) Amnesty International Report 1968-69. Amnesty International. 
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  13. ^ "'American Gulag'", The Washington Post, 2005-05-26. Retrieved on 2006-10-02. 
  14. ^ "Bush says Amnesty report 'absurd'", BBC, 2005-05-31. Retrieved on 2006-10-02. 
  15. ^ (2004) Amnesty International Report 2005: the state of the world’s human rights. Amnesty International. 
  16. ^ "DR Congo blasts Amnesty International report on repression", The Namibian, 14 January 2000. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  17. ^ The U.S. and China This Week, U.S.-China Policy Foundation, 16 February 2001. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  18. ^ "The Cream of The Diplomatic Crop from Ha Noi.", THIÊN LÝ BỬU TÒA. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  19. ^ "Russian official blasts Amnesty International over Chechnya refugees", Human Rights Violations in Chechnya, 22 August 2003. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  20. ^ Press Briefing By Scott McClellan, The White House, 25 May 2005. Retrieved 30 May 2006.
  21. ^ Don Habibi (July 2, 2004). "What's Wrong With Human Rights" (Word document). Retrieved on 2007-08-09.
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  23. ^ Israel, Amnesty Web Library.
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  25. ^ NGO Monitor: Amnesty and HRW Claims Discredited in Detailed Report
  26. ^ YNet News.
  27. ^ Hebrew College: Leonard Fein Headlines Commencement ’06
  28. ^ Forward.com: Monitoring The Monitor - Leonard Fein
  29. ^ Freedom of speech carries responsibilities for all, Amnesty International, 6 February 2006.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ [4]
  34. ^ AI Report 2005 — Foreword Irene Khan, Amnesty International 2005
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  36. ^ [5]
  37. ^ New Survey Documents Global Repression Human Rights Watch, January 14, 2003
  38. ^ American Gulag Washington Post, May 26, 2005
  39. ^ A U.S. Gulag by Any Name Washington Post, June 2, 2005
  40. ^ Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (29 June 2006). Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  41. ^ "US detainees to get Geneva rights", BBC, 2006-07-11. 
  42. ^ "White House: Detainees entitled to Geneva Convention protections", CNN, 2006-07-11. 
  43. ^ "White House Changes Gitmo Policy", CBS News, 2006-07-11. 
  44. ^ To Stop Violence Against Women respect for women's human rights is essential. Amnesty International. Retrieved on 2007-07-15.
  45. ^ Amnesty International defends access to abortion for women at risk (2007-06-14).
  46. ^ Crary, David (2007-07-26). Furor Over Amnesty's Abortion Stance. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2007-07-15.
  47. ^ Amnesty, Catholic Church go to war over abortion. The Toronto Star (2007-07-28).
  48. ^ Vatican urges end to Amnesty aid. BBC News (2007-06-14).
  49. ^ National Catholic Register 12 June 2007: No Amnesty For the Unborn Website last accessed 19 June 2007
  50. ^ [http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2007/07-120.shtml A Plea to Amnesty International Members (2 July 2007) Website last accessed 9 July 2007
  51. ^ Lifesite.net (20 August 2007) - Website last accessed 26 August 2007
  52. ^ USCCB.com website (24 August 2007) - Website last accessed 26 August 2007
  53. ^ East Anglia Diocese website - Bishop's Pages - Website last accessed 26 August 2007
  54. ^ Australian bishop urges Amnesty International to reverse new policy on abortion - Website last accessed 21 September 2007
  55. ^ Melbourne Catholic schools to cut ties with Amnesty- Website last accessed 21 September 2007
  56. ^ Katolikker bør ikke støtte Amnesty - Website last accessed 21 September 2007
  57. ^ Amnesty faces ban in Northern Ireland's Catholic schools - Website last accessed 21 September 2007
  58. ^ Head of Catholic Church in Scotland resigns from Amnesty International - Website last accessed 21 September 2007
  59. ^ Francis Boyle and Dennis Bernstein, Interview with Francis Boyle: Amnesty on Jenin, Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 2002. Kirsten Sellars, op. cit., als has a description of this saga.
  60. ^ Boyle, ibid.
  61. ^ Kuwait: Amnesty International calls on emir to intervene over continuing torture and killings
  62. ^ Francis Boyle and Dennis Bernstein, Interview with Francis Boyle: Amnesty on Jenin, Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 2002.
  63. ^ Diana Johnstone, Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions, Pluto Press, 2002.
  64. ^ Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, Pluto Press, 2004.
  65. ^ Paul de Rooij, Amnesty International & Israel: Say it isn't so!, CounterPunch, 31 October 2002.
     Paul de Rooij, Double Standards and Curious Silences / Amnesty International: A False Beacon?, CounterPunch, 13 October 2004.
     Paul de Rooij, Amnesty International: The Case of a Rape Foretold, CounterPunch, 26 November 2003.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 146th day of the year (147th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 146th day of the year (147th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 207th day of the year (208th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Guardian. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 209th day of the year (210th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

Further reading

  • Hopgood, Stephen (2006). Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-4402-0. 
  • Amnesty International (2005). Amnesty International Report 2006: The State of the World’s Human Rights. Amnesty International. ISBN 0-86210-369-X. 
  • Clarke, Anne Marie (2001). Diplomacy of Conscience: Amnesty International and Changing Human Rights Norms. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05743-5. 
  • Power, Jonathan (1981). Amnesty International: The Human Rights Story. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-08-028902-9. 
  • Sellars, Kirsten (April 2002). The Rise and Rise of Human Rights. Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0750927550. 

See also

The Secret Policemans Ball — The Complete Edition (2004 DVD box set - cover) The Secret Policemans Balls is the collective name informally used to describe a long-running series of benefit shows staged in England to raise funds for the human rights organisation Amnesty International. ...

External links

  • Oppostion To The Amendment Of Section 498A Of The Indian Penal Code By The Amnesty International India Legal Officer
  • The 498A Survival Guide
  • Amnesty International website
  • Is Amnesty International Biased?, 2002 discussion by Dennis Bernstein and Dr. Francis Boyle
  • Unsubscribe Me MySpace page Official Amnesty International MySpace page highlighting human rights abuses in the war on terror
  • Make Some Noise MySpace page Official Amnesty International MySpace page highlighting their Make Some Niose venture; mixing music, celebration and action to protect individuals wherever justice, freedom and equality are denied

Articles critical of AI

  • Jonathan V. Last, Calling It Like They See It, FrontPageMagazine, April 3, 2003. Alleges AI has anti-American/Israel bias.
  • Nabeel Abraham, Torture, Anyone?, Lies of Our Times, May 1992, pp. 2 – 4. Claims AI and other groups are reticent in describing alleged torture on the part of Israel.
  • Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, Pluto Press 2004. Alleges AI is selective in defending "human rights", in particular, regarding the US-Iraq war 2003, and the War in the Balkans.
  • Paul de Rooij, AI: A false beacon?, CounterPunch, October 13, 2004. Contains a reading list. Alleges AI has anti-Palestinian bias.
  • American Gulag at National Review Online.[12]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Join Amnesty International - Amnesty International (204 words)
When you join Amnesty International, you become part of a worldwide movement.
Amnesty International has offices in over 80 countries worldwide.
Wherever you live, you will soon be able to sign up to become part of Amnesty International from this website.
Amnesty International - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2661 words)
Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization with the stated purpose of promoting all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards.
Amnesty International was in particular a thorn in the side of the Soviet Union; they published detailed reports both of conditions in Soviet prisons and of how the Soviet political system as a whole was structured to prevent dissent and political freedom.
Amnesty International has followed a neutrality policy called the "own country rule" stating that members should not be active in issues in their own nation, which also protects them from potential mistreatment by their own government.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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