See more Amnesty International articles on AOD.

Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

Main article: "Criticism of Amnesty International

Criticism of Amnesty International includes claims of excessive pay for management, underprotection of overseas staff, associating with organisations with a dubious record on human rights protection, "selection bias, "ideological/foreign policy bias against either non-"Western countries[84] or "Western-supported countries, and criticism of Amnesty's policies relating to abortion.[85][86]

Governments and their supporters have criticised Amnesty's criticism of their policies, including those of "Australia,[87] "Czech Republic,[88] "China,[89] "Democratic Republic of the Congo,[90] "India, "Iran, "Israel,[75] "Qatar,[91] "Saudi Arabia,[92] "Vietnam,[93] "Russia[94] and the "United States,[95] 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.

CAGE controversy[edit]

In February 2010, Amnesty International suspended "Gita Sahgal, its gender unit head, after she criticised Amnesty for its high-profile associations with "Moazzam Begg, the director of "Cageprisoners, representing men in extrajudicial detention.[96][97] "To be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the "Taliban, Begg, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment," she said.[96][98] Sahgal argued that by associating with Begg and Cageprisoners, Amnesty was risking its reputation on human rights.[96][99][100][101] "As a former Guantanamo detainee, it was legitimate to hear his experiences, but as a supporter of the Taliban it was absolutely wrong to legitimise him as a partner,” Sahgal said.[96] She said she repeatedly brought the matter up with Amnesty for two years, to no avail.[102] A few hours after the article was published, Saghal was suspended from her position.[103] Amnesty's Senior Director of Law and Policy, Widney Brown, later said Sahgal raised concerns about Begg and Cageprisoners to her personally for the first time a few days before sharing them with the Sunday Times.[102]

Sahgal issued a statement saying she felt that Amnesty was risking its reputation by associating with and thereby politically legitimising Begg, because Cageprisoners "actively promotes Islamic Right ideas and individuals".[103] She said the issue was not about Begg's "freedom of opinion, nor about his right to propound his views: he already exercises these rights fully as he should. The issue is ... the importance of the human rights movement maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination and fundamentally undermine the universality of human rights."[103] The controversy prompted responses by politicians, the writer "Salman Rushdie, and journalist "Christopher Hitchens, among others who criticised Amnesty's association with Begg.

After her suspension and the controversy, Saghal was interviewed by numerous media and attracted international supporters. She was interviewed on "National Public Radio (NPR) on 27 February, where she discussed the activities of Cageprisoners and why she deemed it inappropriate for Amnesty to associate with Begg.[104] She said that Cageprisoners' Asim Qureshi spoke supporting global "jihad at a "Hizb ut-Tahrir rally.[104] She noted that a best seller at Begg's bookshop was a book by "Abdullah Azzam, a mentor of "Osama bin Laden and a founder of the terrorist organization "Lashkar-e-Taiba.[102][104]

In a separate interview for the Indian "Daily News & Analysis, Saghal said that, as Quereshi affirmed Begg's support for global jihad on a "BBC World Service programme, "these things could have been stated in his [Begg's] introduction" with Amnesty.[105] She said that Begg's bookshop had published The Army of Madinah, which she characterised as a jihad manual by "Dhiren Barot.[106]

Pay controversy[edit]

In February 2011, newspaper stories in the UK revealed that "Irene Khan had received a payment of UK£533,103 from Amnesty International following her resignation from the organisation on 31 December 2009,[107] a fact pointed to from Amnesty's records for the 2009–2010 financial year. The sum paid to her was in excess of four times her annual salary of £132,490.[107] The deputy secretary general, "Kate Gilmore – who also resigned in December 2009 – received an ex-gratia payment of £320,000.[107][108] Peter Pack, the chairman of Amnesty's International Executive Committee (IEC), initially stated on 19 February 2011: "The payments to outgoing secretary general Irene Khan shown in the accounts of AI (Amnesty International) Ltd for the year ending 31 March 2010 include payments made as part of a confidential agreement between AI Ltd and Irene Khan"[108] and that "It is a term of this agreement that no further comment on it will be made by either party."[107]

The payment and AI's initial response to its leakage to the press led to considerable outcry. "Philip Davies, the "Conservative MP for "Shipley, decried the payment, telling the "Daily Express: "I am sure people making donations to Amnesty, in the belief they are alleviating poverty, never dreamed they were subsidising a fat cat payout. This will disillusion many benefactors."[108] On 21 February Peter Pack issued a further statement, in which he said that the payment was a "unique situation" that was "in the best interest of Amnesty's work" and that there would be no repetition of it.[107] He stated that "the new secretary general, with the full support of the IEC, has initiated a process to review our employment policies and procedures to ensure that such a situation does not happen again."[107] Pack also stated that Amnesty was "fully committed to applying all the resources that we receive from our millions of supporters to the fight for human rights".[107] On 25 February, Pack issued a letter to Amnesty members and staff. In summary, it states that the IEC in 2008 had decided not to prolong Khan's contract for a third term. In the following months, IEC discovered that due to British employment law, it had to choose between the three options of either offering Khan a third term, discontinuing her post and, in their judgement, risking legal consequences, or signing a confidential agreement and issuing a pay compensation.[109]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1984 Amnesty International received the Four Freedom award for the Freedom of Speech[110] In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world".

National sections[edit]

Country/Territory Local website
Amnesty International Algeria
Amnesty International Ghana
Amnesty International Argentina
"Amnesty International Australia
Amnesty International Austria
(Amnesty International Belgium)
Amnesty International Flanders
Amnesty International Francophone Belgium
Amnesty International Benin
Amnesty International Bermuda
Amnesty International Brazil
Amnesty International Burkina Faso
Amnesty International Canada (English)
Amnistie internationale Canada (Francophone)
Amnesty International Chile
Amnesty International Czech Republic
Amnesty International Denmark
Amnesty International Faroe Islands
Amnesty International Finland
Amnesty International France
Amnesty International Germany
Amnesty International Greece
Amnesty International Hong Kong
Amnesty International Hungary
Amnesty International Iceland
"Amnesty International India
"Amnesty International Ireland
Amnesty International Israel
Amnesty International Italy
Amnesty International Japan
Amnesty International Jersey
Amnesty International Luxembourg
Amnesty International Malaysia
Amnesty International Mauritius
Amnesty International Mexico
Amnesty International Moldova
Amnesty International Mongolia
Amnesty International Morocco
Amnesty International Nepal
Amnesty International Netherlands
"Amnesty International New Zealand
Amnesty International Norway
Amnesty International Paraguay
Amnesty International Peru
Amnesty International Philippines
Amnesty International Poland
Amnesty International Portugal
Amnesty International Puerto Rico
Amnesty International Russia
Amnesty International Senegal
Amnesty International Slovak Republic
Amnesty International Slovenia
"Amnesty International South Africa
Amnesty International South Korea
Amnesty International Spain
Amnesty International Sweden
Amnesty International Switzerland
Amnesty International Taiwan
"Amnesty International Thailand
Amnesty International Togo
Amnesty International Tunisia
Amnesty International Turkey
Amnesty International UK
Amnesty International Ukraine
Amnesty International Uruguay
"Amnesty International USA
Amnesty International Venezuela

See also[edit]


a. ^ Anthropologist Linda Rabben refers to the origin of Amnesty as a "creation myth" with a "kernel of truth": "The immediate impetus to form Amnesty did come from Peter Benenson's righteous indignation while reading a newspaper in the London tube on 19 November 1960."[111] Historian Tom Buchanan traced the origins story to a radio broadcast by Peter Benenson in 1962. The 4 March 1962 BBC news story did not refer to a "toast to liberty", but Benenson said his tube ride was on 19 December 1960. Buchanan was unable to find the newspaper article about the Portuguese students in The Daily Telegraph for either month. Buchanan found many news stories reporting on the repressive Portuguese political arrests in The Times for November 1960.[112]


  1. ^ "History – The Meaning of the Amnesty Candle". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Who we are". Amnesty International. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "About Amnesty International". Amnesty International. Retrieved 20 July 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Benenson, Peter, "The Forgotten Prisoners", The Observer, 28 May 1961. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Abolish the death penalty". Amnesty International. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "The Nobel Peace Prize 1977 - Presentation Speech". 
  7. ^ a b "United Nations Prize in the field of Human Rights" (PDF). 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g James Ronand, Howard Ramos, Kathleen Rodgers (2005), "Transnational Information Politics: NGO Human Rights Reporting, 1986–2000" Archived 18 March 2009 at the "Wayback Machine., International Studies Quarterly (2005) 49, 557–587.
  9. ^ Childs, Peter; Storry, Mike, eds. (2002). "Amnesty International". Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture. London: Routledge. pp. 22–23. 
  10. ^ Elizabeth Keane (2006). An Irish Statesman and Revolutionary: The Nationalist and Internationalist Politics of Sean MacBride. I.B.Tauris. "ISBN "978-1-84511-125-0. 
  11. ^ Douglas L. Wheeler, Walter C. Opello (2010). Historical Dictionary of Portugal. p.xxvi. Scarecrow Press, 2010
  12. ^ Benenson, P. (1983). Memoir
  13. ^ Buchanan, T. (2002). "The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International". Journal of Contemporary History. 37 (4): 575–97. "doi:10.1177/00220094020370040501. "JSTOR 3180761. 
  14. ^ a b Tracy McVeigh (29 May 2011). "Amnesty International marks 50 years of fighting for free speech". The Observer. London. 
  15. ^ Amnesty International Report 1962. Amnesty International. 1963. 
  16. ^ "Peter Benenson". moreorless. 11 March 2005. 
  17. ^ Amnesty International Report 1968-69. Amnesty International. 1969. 
  18. ^ Amnesty International Report 1979. Amnesty International. 1980. 
  19. ^ a b Monahan, Mark (4 October 2008). "Hot ticket: The Secret Policeman's Ball at the Royal Albert Hall, London". The Daily Telegraph. UK. 
  20. ^ Amnesty International is accused of espionage Archived 25 March 2009 at the "Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ When the State Kills: The Death Penalty Vs. Human Rights, Amnesty International, 1989 ("ISBN 978-0862101640).
  22. ^ Russell, James M. (2002). "The Ambivalence about the Globalization of Telecommunications: The Story of Amnesty International, Shell Oil Company and Nigeria". Journal of Human Rights. 1.3: 405; 416.  Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  23. ^ "Legal lessons of Pinochet case". BBC News. 2 March 2000. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  24. ^ uncredited (31 January 2000). "Pinochet appeal fails". BBC News. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  25. ^ Amnesty International News Service "Amnesty International 26th International Council Meeting Media briefing" Archived 13 January 2012 at the "Wayback Machine., 15 August 2003. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  26. ^ Amnesty International Report 2002. Amnesty International. 2003. 
  27. ^ Saunders, Joe (19 November 2001). "Revisiting Humanitarian Intervention: Post-September 11". Carnegie Council for Ethics in international Affairs. Carnegie Council workshop report 27 November 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  28. ^ "'American Gulag'". The Washington Post. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 2 October 2006. 
  29. ^ "Bush says Amnesty report 'absurd'". BBC. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 2 October 2006. 
  30. ^ " International Campaign against Torture" (PDF). 
  31. ^ Amnesty International Report 2005: the state of the world's human rights. Amnesty International. 2004. "ISBN "978-1-887204-42-2. 
  32. ^ "Amnesty International Becomes a Pro-Choice Organization". 21 August 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  33. ^ "Women's Rights" (PDF). Amnesty International USA. 
  34. ^ "Reports: 'Disastrous' Iraqi humanitarian crisis". CNN. 17 March 2008. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  35. ^ Koutsoukis, Jason (3 July 2009). "Israel used human shields: Amnesty". Melbourne: Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  36. ^ "UN must ensure Goldstone inquiry recommendations are implemented". Amnesty International. 15 September 2009. 
  37. ^ "Turkmenistan". 
  38. ^ "Amnesty chief suspended after attacking group's links to 'Britain's most famous Taliban supporter'". Daily Mail. London. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  39. ^ Bright, Martin (7 February 2010). "Gita Sahgal: A Statement". The Spectator. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  40. ^ a b Smith, Joan, "Joan Smith: Amnesty shouldn't support men like Moazzam Begg; A prisoner of conscience can turn into an apologist for extremism", "The Independent, 11 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  41. ^ "Amnesty International on its work with Moazzam Begg and Cageprisoners". Amnesty International. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  42. ^ "Salman Rushdie's statement on Amnesty International", The Sunday Times, 21 February 2010.
  43. ^ MacShane, Denis (10 February 2010). "Letter To Amnesty International from Denis MacShane, Member of British Parliament". Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  44. ^ Phillips, Melanie (14 February 2010). "The human wrongs industry spits out one of its own". The Spectator. UK. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  45. ^ Plait, Phil. "Amnesty International loses sight of its original purpose". Slate Magazine. 
  46. ^ Bright, Martin, "Amnesty International, Moazzam Begg and the Bravery of Gita Sahgal" Archived 11 February 2010 at the "Wayback Machine., "The Spectator, 7 February 2010.
  47. ^ "Misalliance; Amnesty has lent spurious legitimacy to extremists who spurn its values", "The Times, 12 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  48. ^ Cohen, Nick, "We abhor torture – but that requires paying a price; Spineless judges, third-rate politicians and Amnesty prefer an easy life to fighting for liberty", The Observer, 14 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  49. ^ "President Bush cancels visit to Switzerland". Amnesty International. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  50. ^ "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – 50 years on Vimeo". 23 May 2011. 
  51. ^ Kumar, S. Vijay (11 August 2012). "Amnesty wants U.N. probe into Sri Lanka war crimes". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  52. ^ Wulfhorst, Ellen. "National Guard called to Missouri town roiled by police shooting of teen". Reuters. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  53. ^ Geidner, Chris (14 August 2014). "Amnesty International Takes "Unprecedented" U.S. Action In Ferguson". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  54. ^ Pearce, Matt, Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Tina Susman (16 August 2014). "Some warn that Gov. Jay Nixon's curfew for Ferguson, Mo., may backfire". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  55. ^ Reilly, Mollie (17 August 2014). "Amnesty International Calls For Investigation Of Ferguson Police Tactics". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  56. ^ "Amnesty International Sends Human Rights Delegation to Ferguson, Missouri". Amnesty International. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  57. ^ "Suspend Saudi Arabia from UN Human Rights Council". Amnesty International. 29 June 2016.
  58. ^ "UN: Shameful pandering to Saudi Arabia over children killed in Yemen conflict". Amnesty International. 7 June 2016.
  59. ^ "Rights groups: Suspend Saudi Arabia from U.N. Human Rights Council over war crimes". Salon. June 29, 2016.
  60. ^ Untersinger, Martin (December 22, 2016). "Comment une ONG fantôme a tenté d'espionner Amnesty International". Le Monde. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  61. ^ Fox-Brewster, Thomas (December 21, 2016). "This Fake Nonprofit Has Been Accused Of Spying On Real Human Rights Activists". Forbes. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  62. ^ Shetty, Salil (February 2017) Amnesty International Report 2016/17, Part 1: Foreword and Regional Overviews, p. 12
  63. ^ "'Politics of demonization' breeding division and fear". Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  64. ^ "STATUTE OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL". Amnesty International. 
  65. ^ "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Founding, Structure, and Lost Vision". NGO Monitor. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  66. ^ "''About this film'' – Blood Diamond". 
  67. ^ Ainsworth, David (2011), "Amnesty issues public apology over golden handshakes", Third Sector Online, 1 March 2011. Retrieved August 201).
  68. ^ Clarke, Anne Marie (2001). Diplomacy of Conscience: Amnesty International and Changing Human Rights Norms. Princeton University Press. "ISBN "978-0-691-05743-9. 
  69. ^ "AI's Focus". 
  70. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  71. ^ "Amnesty International defends access to abortion for women at risk". 14 June 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. 
  72. ^ "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity | Amnesty International". 
  73. ^ "Colombia: Amnesty International response to Andrés Ballesteros et al.", AMR 23/006/2007, 21 February 2007. Retrieved on 20 January 2012.
  74. ^ Dysch, Marcus (19 July 2012). "Amnesty International defends official accused of anti-Israel bias". Amnesty International. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  75. ^ a b Peretz, Martin (26 August 2010). "Amnesty International Official Calls Israel A 'Scum State'". The New Republic. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  76. ^ "Who finances Amnesty International's work?". 28 May 1961. 
  77. ^ Amnesty International Charity Limited Report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2011 Archived 16 June 2012 at the "Wayback Machine., p. 8, Paragraph 10.
  78. ^ "Amnesty International Limited and Amnesty International Charity Limited Report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2007" (PDF). p. 45, Note 17. 
  79. ^ "Report of Government Foreign Funding, in Hebrew, 2009" (PDF). 
  80. ^ "Report of Government Foreign Funding, in Hebrew, 2008" (PDF). 
  81. ^ "Amnesty International 2010 Report,Page 10, Indicator 8" (PDF). 
  82. ^ "Amnesty International – INGO Accountability Charter Global Compliance Report 2009, Page 3" (PDF). 
  83. ^, page 16
  84. ^ Bernstein, Dennis (2002). "Interview: Amnesty on Jenin – Dennis Bernstein and Dr. Francis Boyle Discuss the Politics of Human Rights". "Covert Action Quarterly. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  85. ^ Crary, David (27 July 2007). "Furor Over Amnesty's Abortion Stance". USA Today. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  86. ^ Gidon Shaviv (6 June 2012). "Amnesty's credibility problem". Y Net News. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  87. ^ "Australia rejects Amnesty's bribery allegations as 'slur' on border police", "Deutsche Welle. 29 October 2015.
  88. ^ "The Amnesty International 2015 Report alleging discrimination in primary schools is unfounded but not criminal says the Czech prosecutor", "New Europe. 11 March 2016.
  89. ^ The U.S. and China This Week, U.S.-China Policy Foundation, 16 February 2001. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  90. ^ "DR Congo blasts Amnesty International report on repression", The Namibian, 14 January 2000. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  91. ^ "Qatar rejects rights group report on 'rampant' labour abuse". Reuters. 2 December 2015.
  92. ^ "Saudi Arabia outraged by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’s criticism". "Ya Libnan. 1 July 2016.
  93. ^ "The Cream of The Diplomatic Crop from Ha Noi", THIÊN LÝ BỬU TÒA. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  94. ^ "Russian official blasts Amnesty International over Chechnya refugees", Human Rights Violations in Chechnya, 22 August 2003. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  95. ^ Press Briefing By Scott McClellan, The White House, 25 May 2005. Retrieved 30 May 2006.
  96. ^ a b c d Kerbaj, Richard (7 February 2010). "Amnesty International is 'damaged' by Taliban link; An official at the human rights charity deplores its work with a 'jihadist'". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  97. ^ Gupta, Rahila, "Double standards on human rights; Where does Amnesty International stand on women's rights after suspending Gita Sahgal for criticising links with Moazzam Begg?," "The Guardian, 9 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010
  98. ^ Aaronovitch, David (9 February 2010). "How Amnesty chose the wrong poster-boy; Collaboration with Moazzam Begg, an extremist who has supported jihadi movements, looks like a serious mistake". The Times. London. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  99. ^ ""Amnesty chief suspended after attacking group's links to 'Britain's most famous Taliban supporter'", Daily Mail, 9 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010". Daily Mail. London. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  100. ^ "Bright, Martin, "Gita Sahgal: A Statement", ''Spectator'', 7 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010". The Spectator. 7 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  101. ^ "Joan Smith: Amnesty shouldn't support men like Moazzam Begg; A prisoner of conscience can turn into an apologist for extremism," "The Independent, 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010
  102. ^ a b c Guttenplan, D.D.; Margaronis, Maria. "Who Speaks for Human Rights?". The Nation. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  103. ^ a b c Sahgal, Gita (13 May 2010). "Gita Sahgal: A Statement". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  104. ^ a b c "Is Amnesty International Supporting a Jihadist?". All Things Considered. NPR. 27 February 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  105. ^ Chakraberty, Sumit, "Gita Sahgal talks about human wrongs", "Daily News & Analysis, 21 February 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  106. ^ "Dangerous liaisons". Daily News and Analysis. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  107. ^ a b c d e f g Mason, Tania, "Charity Commission has 'no jurisdiction' over board member's payment from Amnesty",, 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  108. ^ a b c Chapman, John, "Amnesty boss gets secret £500,000 payout", Daily Express, 19 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  109. ^ Pack, Peter. "A letter to all AI members and staff from the International Executive Committee." (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  110. ^ "Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards - Roosevelt Institute". 29 September 2015. 
  111. ^ Rabben, Linda (2001). "Amnesty International: Myth and Reality". "AGNI. Boston, Massachusetts: "Boston University (54). Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2008. 
  112. ^ Buchanan, Tom (October 2002). "'The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International". Journal of Contemporary History. 37 (4): 575–597. "doi:10.1177/00220094020370040501. "JSTOR 3180761.  Retrieved 25 September 2008

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

) )