Amnesty and universal human rights
The furore re Amnesty International and their treatment of Gita Sahgal for questioning AI's relationship with Mozzam Begg and Cage Prisoners brings to sharp relief the question of AI's general attitude to human rights.
As has been noticed before (most notably in the Euston Manifesto) there is a real issue with AI spending so much time campaigning against Gitmo and other abuses inflicted on those caught up in the War on Terror. Now there is no doubt that there have been HR abuses committed in the War on Terror but they are numerically relatively a small number. Compare this to the abuses suffered by millions throughout the rest of the world under dictatorships, tyrannies and other unsavoury regimes. Which should be the biggest issue for the human rights activist ?
Surely they should be spending vastly more time on bringing to light and campaigning against HR abuses under extreme HR abusing regimes, is that not self evident ?
Aparently to some it's not - some hysterics would say bringing up these issues means you are a "neocon" or similar with "suspicious motives", ie that you don't want US/UK HR abuses ever investigated. Such name calling is typical of those who seem to treat the likes of AI as sacred cows never to be criticised.
I have a modest proposal - AI should think of splitting into two parts. One could call itself "Amnesty for the victims of the so called "War on Terror"", the other "Amnesty for the millions suffering sustained and gross Human Rights abuses worldwide"
I know which one I'd give most of my money to. I also reckon I know which one many of the so-called Left would rather support.