Amnesty International loses its credibility; Gita Sahgal “suspended.”

Amnesty International sounded like a great idea when I first heard of it. Their ideal of supporting he release and rights of political prisoners worldwide sounded like a really worthy cause way back. It still would be but unfortunately Amnesty turned out to be more driven by leftist politics and grandstanding towards that end, rather than being a crusading group determined to stand up to oppression regardless of who was carrying it out, or their ideology.

It became blindingly obvious that the organization was agenda driven when despite the horrors being committed by the communist block and its allies, it preferred to look for its villains in the West especially the US. I guess if you are going to take on governments, its safer to pick those with a strong ideal of due process.

Now, the head of Amnesty International unit for Women’s Rights, Gita Sahgal, has been suspended by the group, for opposing the alliance of the group with a top Taliban supporter in the UK Moazzam Begg. Begg is the leader of the “jihadi” group, Cageprisoners based on supporting the Guantanamo prisoners, of whom he was a member until 2005 after being picked up in Pakistan in the wake of the Afghan invasion.

Ms. Sahgal states that only accepted her job at AI after insisting to Widney Brown, senior director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty, that she be allowed to address their alliance with Begg and his group. It would be difficult for any serious supporter of women’s rights to accept an alliance with such a misogynistic group as the Taliban or their supporters.

Treatment of women in Islamic countries varies from place to place, however the Taliban regime were deplorable and probably one of the worst.

From The Wall St Journal:

“I told her, ‘If you don’t give me the power to clean up this Begg situation, I won’t take on the gender affairs assignment. Widney encouraged me to write a memo on it and even came past my office late one night while I was writing to discuss it. There was no internal resistance against this. So I was promoted with full support. Then, when the Sunday Times story broke, everything I uncovered was deemed ‘innuendo.'”

For Ms. Sahgal, her case is not simply a minor lapse in judgment. She thinks the problem is systemic. “This is a very peculiarly ideological approach to human rights, which misses the point.”

It is interesting to observe that the only real support she is receiving at present seems to be coming from human rights advocates on the right such as Bob Brockley, who opposes the anti semites and Stalinists of the UK, and conservative columnist Mona Charen.

The left over recent years have increasingly allied themselves with radical Islam, possibly because as collectivists they share a hatred of such Western values as liberty, individualism, free market capitalism. They are also swayed by the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” after all anyone who burns George Bush in effigy must, in their opinion, share their values.

4 thoughts on “Amnesty International loses its credibility; Gita Sahgal “suspended.”

  1. That AI have become just another noisy leftwing, anticapitalist West-bashing activist group is hardly news. Even since they put John Howard on par with Mugabe on their worldwide rankings, and devoted more time to campainging for the rights of David Hicks than any other genuine political prioners, it’s been bleedingly obvious.

    The alignment with radical islam (aka Blair’s law) is interesting. It doesn’t make polictical sense; the radical Islamists could really be described as religious ultra-conservatives, or even facists. But you’re right – collectivism is what they have in common with the far left. The only difference is how they define their collectives – by race, religion or social class.

    Even that changes over time – the Left used to identify with the working class, until the latter betrayed them by embracing capitalism. Now they tend to be your well-edcuated inner suburban types who decry the working class bogans as as souless, planet-wrecking slaves to materialism.

  2. The result was pre-ordained: a swelling of the Amnesty bureaucracy; a diversion of energy and finance from its traditional interests; confusion among the membership and, most of all, a blunting of the now almost unrecognisable cutting edge of Amnesty.

    Its work has become a poor second to the American-founded Human Rights Watch that until recently walked in Amnesty’s shadow and doesn’t have the advantage of being a membership organisation. (Amnesty has over a million paid up members.) Human Rights Watch is today faster off the mark in uncovering abuses and is more effective with the press and its lobbying of governments. Amnesty is still considered the world’s major and senior human rights organisation. But it won’t be for much longer if it insists on blurring its original path-breaking mandate and tumbling off the piste.

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