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  • Amnesty publish election manifesto for women’s rights


    by Sunny
    12th April, 2010 at 9:07 pm    

    Amnesty UK have published a general-elction manifesto that encompasses several areas of human rights including:

    - The rights of women in the UK and overseas
    - Security and human rights
    - The human rights framework in the UK
    - Human rights and poverty
    - A just and fair asylum system

    The briefing for women’s rights says:

    All too often women are ignored in the post conflict reconstruction period, with little or no representation on tribunals trying war crimes or working for reconciliation, and neither they nor their issues represented in new constitutions.

    The cases of Iraq and Afghanistan are instructive and particular. The UK was a vocal proponent of women’s rights prior to and during the conflict in Afghanistan, yet no women were invited to a conference in London on 28 January 2010 to discuss the future of the nation. If women’s organizations and activists had not forced their way onto the agenda, they would not have been present at all. This is despite UN resolution 1325 which requires parties to a conflict to ensure that in the post conflict regeneration process women are equally involved in decision making and policy implementation.

    What we are asking the UK Government to do:
    - Improve women’s full participation in processes relating to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building by the full implementation of UN Security Resolution 1325.
    - Create a UK National Action Plan that includes objectives and priority actions, timelines, a dedicated budget, indicators, benchmarks, targets and clear lines of responsibility at high political levels

    What kind of an agenda is this? Listening to the recent rhetoric of wingnuts I was under the impression that Amnesty had signed up with Al-Qaeda and whole-heartedly joined the jihadi struggle against the west. This is soooo disappointing. And to think my expectations were raised that they’d be endorsing the Hamas covenant! What the hell are they doing actually being concerned about women’s health and human rights? I thought that was the job of Nick Cohen, Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie?

    Joking aside, you can download their General Election manifesto from here.


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    1. pickles

      Blog post:: Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's rights http://bit.ly/8XJBWg


    2. TenPercent

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's rights http://bit.ly/8XJBWg


    3. Dave Weeden

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's rights http://bit.ly/8XJBWg


    4. Naadir Jeewa

      AI demonstrate a commitment to actual feminism, not the "imperial feminism" Gita Sanghal wanted. See @pickledpolitics http://bit.ly/cOJLO9


    5. Rudd and Gillard in top gear as fix-it funds flow

      [...] Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's … [...]


    6. MasterPM

      Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's … http://bit.ly/93TIxU


    7. Swinging Britain | World Business & Economy Review

      [...] Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's … [...]


    8. Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's … « World News at PaperBoyo.com

      [...] unknown wrote an interesting post today. Here’s a quick excerptCreate a UK National Action Plan that includes objectives and priority actions, timelines, a dedicated budget, indicators, benchmarks, targets and clear lines of responsibility at high political levels. What kind of an agenda is this? … [...]


    9. Justin Baidoo

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's rights http://bit.ly/8XJBWg


    10. Anna Rich

      Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's …: What the hell are they doing actually being… http://bit.ly/cbLcCo


    11. Anna Chio

      women in Love: Pickled Politics » Amnesty publish election manifesto for women's … http://bit.ly/aw675w




    1. Rumbold — on 12th April, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

      It is good that Amnesty are continuing to do this. Now let’s hope Gita Saghal also continues the good work she has done since leaving Amnesty.

    2. Refresh — on 12th April, 2010 at 9:57 pm  

      Rumbold,

      What has she done lately, apart from attempting to take down AI?

      I cannot see how she could achieve anything other than attempt to ‘redefine’ universal human rights. She is heading for one of those institutes across the water; and as she appears to state she is now a gun for hire for whosoever wants to take on AI. And of course we know of quite a few potential clients, don’t we.

    3. Lucy — on 12th April, 2010 at 10:03 pm  

      Well, Amnesty! You little old devil, you. Look what you’ve been up to behind our backs. Did you ask anyone’s permission? Who let you out of the naughty corner? Have your papers been regularised?

    4. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2010 at 10:04 pm  

      Rumbold,

      She only left AI in the last few days. They were paying her salary despite her suspension…

    5. Dave Weeden — on 12th April, 2010 at 10:07 pm  

      Nooo. Amnesty can’t do this. Hasn’t Gita Sahgal declared, “Unfortunately, their stance has laid waste every achievement on women’s equality and made a mockery of the universality of rights”? And why is Harry’s Place claiming that Amnesty “are trying to tell their members that Gita was laid off because the violence against women campaign had ended” when it’s not and they’re not? Have updated Aaro Watch post on Gita Sahgal’s statement with links to this post.

    6. Brownie — on 12th April, 2010 at 10:37 pm  

      Here’s the direct quote from AI’s April 9th statement about Sahgal’s departure:

      Due to irreconcilable differences of view over policy between Gita Sahgal and Amnesty International regarding Amnesty International’s relationship with Moazzam Begg and Cageprisoners, it has been agreed that Gita will leave Amnesty International on 9 April 2010.

      My emphasis added.

      That’s a “relationship with…Cage Prisoners”, people.

      I predict a shortage of crow.

    7. Naadir Jeewa — on 12th April, 2010 at 10:59 pm  

      So, Amnesty International is an actually feminist organisation, whereas Gita would prefer a AI to head in an “imperial feminist” direction.

      Anyone who’s seen Meena Nanji’s “View From a Grain of Sand” will know how badly women have been sidelined by the UN, and ISAF during the invasion and throuhout the occupation/counterinsurgency. RAWA warned the US and the UN not to trust the Northern Alliance, but they were ignored from the start.

    8. Sunny — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:11 pm  

      Brownie you’re like a dog with a bone. You won’t let go and you only come here to troll.

      Go, take your bone. I’m not even going to bother rising to the bait.

    9. tc — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:12 pm  

      Campaigns come and campaigns go. Womens rights come up on another AI campaign. Gita’s gone and I wish she would stay gone and stop selling her soul and AI down the river.

    10. Naadir Jeewa — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:13 pm  

      Also, the neocon appropriation of Gita’s cause bears a resemblence to the American right’s appropriation of a 13 year old’s rant against postcolonial feminism, to which Laura Sjoberg responds:

      I don’t know why it is so hard for us to envision that sometimes people offer people “help” they do not want and do not see as helpful (christian evangelism, anyone?). Post-colonial feminism (largely) does NOT argue that one should not respond to requests for help, but does argue that there are dangers in essentialisms (like claiming that all Afghan women want x or y) and insensitivity to power differentials, our tendencies to project our needs, desires, and passions on others, and governments’ tendencies to use women’s rights instrumentally to their own (non-feminist) policy ends.

      That said, at least Alaina Podmorow’s arguments, the 13 year old in question were “clearly intelligent, well beyond her years, and a valid and important point of view.”

    11. Brownie — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:30 pm  

      I’m not even going to bother rising to the bait

      I’d be saying something similar if I were in your shoes.

    12. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

      OK, I admit am only partially familar with this story BUT could someone explain to me the Begg Love in going on, why AI have gone to the mattresses to defend him (far more then they seem to do for others, who seem far more deserving), why you have all turned on Gita with such animus and why AI haven’t done damage to themselves by taking sides with the Talibanwannabe?? Do people consider schilling for Begg progressive??

      Am genuinely perplexed why she (Gita) is PP public enemy number 1 and Begg is poster boy. Surely for progressives the opposite should be true?

      TCH

    13. persephone — on 12th April, 2010 at 11:51 pm  

      I am glad that AI are re-claimimg their territory & ensuring the focus is on the bigger picture.

    14. Naadir Jeewa — on 13th April, 2010 at 12:01 am  

      “Am genuinely perplexed why she (Gita) is PP public enemy number 1 and Begg is poster boy. Surely for progressives the opposite should be true?”

      Criticism of her position does not equate shilling for the Taliban. Supporting neither Gita NOR Moazzam is a perfectly valid position. Last time anyone checked, however, Moazzam Begg wasn’t trying to take down one of the world’s leading human rights organizations.

    15. The Common Humanist — on 13th April, 2010 at 12:22 am  

      Naadir

      That’s not actually what I asked.

      Possibly AI are assisting in taking down themselves by leaping way over to the right and deciding that the Talibanistas such as Begg are Waterloo worth. Why?

    16. Brownie — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:28 am  

      Sunny,

      Look, I sense you don’t like me. Okay. I’m sure we’ll both live. But take a look at Yvonne Ridley’s latest on the Cageprisoners site.

      “Poisonous tentacles”? “Meddling in the judiciary”? Think where you’ve come across these historical anti-Semitic tropes previously. What sort of person deals in that sort of imagery? What sort of “leading human rights organization” hosts that sort of content?

      You said previously that CP leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. You were right to feel that way.

      AI acknowledges freely that it works with CP from time to time. See even this job ad on the CP site which says:

      “Successful candidates will also be expected to deal with the media and other NGOs which Cageprisoners works with, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reprieve.”

      It might be impossible to convince you that there is no hidden agenda and that I’m not implacably opposed to the work of AI or any other NGO, but ignore what I think or what you think I think for just one second and simply consider whether you believe it’s acceptable for AI or any other NGO to work with an organisation that gives space to the sort of proto-fascist bullshit that Ridley is responsible for in that article?

      And even if you think it acceptable, ask yourself whether, strategically, it makes sense for a well-respected NGO to partner with such people? Can AI conceivably gain more from its association with CP than it stands to lose?

      Seriously, Sunny, if you stand where you claim to stand, this ought to be something we can agree about.

    17. Wilfie — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:36 am  

      What the hell are they doing actually being concerned about women’s health and human rights? I thought that was the job of Nick Cohen, Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie?

      Is Salman Rushdie for the Iraq War? I know Hitchens and Cohen are, but I always got the impression he was neutral at least. Please, if I was wrong in that assumption, do correct me, by all means.

    18. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:44 am  

      Brownie,

      Seriously, you talk a load of shit. That is what you do, and that is the heart of you. You are angry because AI doesn’t accept your ideas about Israel, and you chuck out like a fucking wain.

      AI does stand up for women, in Afghanistan even, but that is not your point, is it?

      It is because AI has had bad, bad things to say about Israel that you get on your high horse.

      You are a really annoying transparent idiot.

      Apart from that….

    19. Brownie — on 13th April, 2010 at 2:22 am  

      Dougie,

      Israel? Go check out the HP archives and see how many articles I’ve ever written about Israel. In eight years, I reckon there might be two and one of those was a request for recommendations for books covering the I/P conflict because unlike every other hobbyist blogger ever in the history of the solar system I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. I know it’s more or less intellectual suicide to admit such a thing at a political blog and, of course, I read the news, but I’m pretty flaky on the history, major players, etc.. I’m not as bad as I used to be thanks to being surrounded by I/P subject matter experts on every blog I’ve ever visited, but “know how smart you’re not” my Granny used to say, and she was a very astute woman so it’s advice I’ve tried to live by.

      Now, the only question remaining is why you’ve projected what is clearly your own obsession with Israel onto me? Is it because you’re drunk, Dougie?

    20. soru — on 13th April, 2010 at 2:27 am  

      why you have all turned on Gita with such animus

      The level of hatred and bile turned on the poor woman does seem out of all proportion to the relative insignificance of the issues involved.

      I guess the message is you may need Amnesty working for you, but you certainly wouldn’t want to work for it.

      Amnesty obviously still does stuff of value. But with such a poisonous internal culture, where dissent is treachery and character assassination the fate of anyone who speaks out, I can’t help wondering how long that is likely to continue to be the case.

    21. Cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:08 am  

      “I guess the message is you may need Amnesty working for you, but you certainly wouldn’t want to work for it.”

      That’s the best comment yet!

      AI have made a mistake with CP, and a bigger one in defending “defensive jihad”.
      I predict they will drop Begg and CP from any future events.

    22. tc — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:21 am  

      Soro, please highlight evidence of ‘poisonous internal culture’ and ‘treachery and character assassination’ coming out of AI regards Gita? All I can see is one big ego who ignored procedures. Which sometimes can be admired, but not if you go on and still go on to twist the truth, speak on behalf of those with clear agenda and appear to conduct blind revenge - this is what I get from her statement.

    23. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:29 am  

      Douglas - could you (or anyone else) respond to Brownie’s question (16) about the CP website? It’s not just a matter of what one happens to think about Israel’s policies. I have no problem with the news item about Israel which was recently posted on this site (by Sunny) - although I’ll take note of any objections to it as I would of any other piece - but I *do* have a problem with Yvonne Ridley’s article. Don’t you? I’m not a zealous and uncritical supporter of GS and I thought her statement contained some exaggeration - as do many of the comments made by her supporters. But as a member of AI I have a problem with this partnership-or-whatever with an organisation which is happy to publish a piece referring to the “long, poisonous tentacles of Zionism”.

    24. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:42 am  

      Sarah AB,

      Here you go. I have a major problem with Yvonne Ridley. I think she has an unbalanced, but probably lucrative, point of view.

      That is not to argue that Moazzem Begg is not entitled to be platformed by AI. I have not read anything that he has written recently that suggests he is the man that Gita Sahgal has said he is.

      Conor Foley, quoting a friend of his, says that Moazzem Begg has said that he believes in defensive jihad. Apparently Sunny is attempting to get Moazzem Begg to speak for himself. I will await the outcome of that before commenting further. I trust Sunny to report honestly and thoroughly, if he can get that interview.

      In my opinion, and it appears to be almost exclusively my opinion - Earwicga being the only other person that appears to share that view - Moazzem Begg is the victim of some very shoddy opinion formers. The ‘no smoke without fire’ brigade.

      I may be wrong, and if I am, I will eat crow. However the jury is still out on that.

      Point me to the piece you refer to in your last paragraph, please. At first blush it is unacceptable, though perhaps less than surprising considering the hammering that Moazzem begg has been given by the likes of Harry’s Place.

    25. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:46 am  

      In what context might it be acceptable at second blush??

      It’s on the website of “leading human rights organisation” ((c) Amnesty International) Cageprisoners if you would care to direct your good eye over it!

    26. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:59 am  

      cjcjc,

      In what context might it be acceptable at second blush?

      Good one!

      I’ll away and read it…

      Still, cjcjc, are you happy that a Harry’s Place campaign against an individual results in him going into hiding because of alleged death threats? What with him having been a victim of Gitmo and so on?

      Gita Sahgal has a bit to answer for there, don’t you think?

      Just asking.

      It seems to me that this is equivalent to other, usually tabloid, campaigns that have no basis in reality. You probably know the sort of stuff I am referring to…

    27. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:12 am  

      cjcjc,

      Yvonne Ridley is wrong, in my view, to see the tightening up of the law on protest, as some sort of Zionist plot, which, frankly, she does seem to be saying. We have only ourselves to blame:

      For too long have we allowed the long, poisonous tentacles of Zionism and Islamaphobia to twist and weave their way into British courts. Ordinary, law-abiding citizens of faith and no faith have had enough of seeing our courtrooms hijacked by those who believe some are more equal than others when it comes to freedoms and liberties.

      She is given a platform on Cageprisoners, and perhaps she shouldn’t be.

      Just my opinion.

      There is enough division in society as it is.

    28. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:21 am  

      Ridley is a patron of CP.
      That is the kind of organisation CP is.
      By platforming CP, AI is - or was, I’m sure (or hope) they’ll stop now - platforming that kind of view.
      Perhaps you can see why Ms Sahgal (whom I imagine has never heard of HP) had a problem with that.

    29. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:23 am  

      Thanks Douglas - the GS issue is quite a knotty one and there are lots of different facets to it not all of which I know how to respond to - sometimes I don’t feel I have enough information - but Brownie’s point seemed completely straightforward - and I’m glad you seem to agree. If you don’t think Ridley should have been given a platform on CP do you think it might also be possible that CP shouldn’t be given a platform by Amnesty?

    30. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:29 am  

      Sarah - Ridley has not simply “been given a platform on CP”.
      She is a senior and high profile member of CP.

    31. Arif — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:45 am  

      Sarah AB and Brownie, I agree that the statement “long poisonous tentacles of Zionism and Islamaphobia” is way off beam. In fact I think it is the first time anyone has brought to my attention anything that makes me downgrade Cageprisoner’s respectability as a human rights organisation.

      I hope that Yvonne Ridley and Cageprisoners apologise for the comment as using imagery which is inflammatory and making insinuations which are not based on solid evidence, both of which I believe to be inappropriate for a human rights organisation, and in combination are something human rights organisations should actually oppose.

      On the issue of Gita Sahgal - her recent behaviour, as I have followed it (and up until now defended), sadly seems at a similar level to that of Yvonne Ridley - making inflammatory accusations which through loose language she applies to a wide range of people, taking in Moazzam Begg (and, at the very least, any Salafi Muslim). If I make no excuses for Yvonne Ridley’s misrepresentations, then I guess I should stop doing so for Gita Sahgal’s.

      However I’m not the only one who has given her the benefit of the doubt. Gita Sahgal seems to have been very influential and has gained far wider support than AI or CP on the issue which now seems to have focused on whether it is legitimate for a Muslim human rights activist to believe in defensive jihad.

      I agree with AI, that nothing Moazzam Begg has said on defensive jihad is incompatible with support for universal human rights (and he has written a long article, aimed at Muslims, about it - Shamit linked to in an earlier discussion).

      So my response to The Common Humanist (#12) is from my perspective, Begg is the one being widely trashed, while Gita Sahgal is widely lionised, as reflected by how you have chosen to characterise them. I am sure you don’t do this in order to trash Begg, who is defending human rights with great effort and dignity, but it just reflects the preponderance of representations in public discourse.

      These representations are also being used to malign AI, and I am glad that AI refuses to operate double standards on Muslims and non-Muslims (whose rights to self defence and belief in religious concepts such as Just War, Gita Sahgal has not challenged).

    32. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:49 am  

      Sarah AB,

      It is Moazzem Begg that has been given a platform by AI.

      Given what I’ve been able to pick up over the last few weeks, I have no problem with that. As far as I can tell, he has witnessed the appalling treatment, both physical and judicial, that he has experienced in the ‘care’ of the USA and it’s allies.

      He has not,as far as I can tell, strayed from that brief. And as long as he doesn’t, then as far as I am concerned, he is a strong voice against what I see as a complete abrogation of human rights.

      Brownie, if I understand him correctly, would like to silence that voice, merely on the grounds of gossip and innuendo.

      Unless and until someone proves the allegations against Moazzem Begg, I will continue to support his right to be heard as widely as possible. And that includes any AI platform.

      I am fed up with the idea that AI should be a political mouthpiece for the West. Which is the route that HP and it’s fans would like to take it down.

      No criticism of any nation that the Eustonites feel are inviolable. USA, UK and Israel spring to mind.

      It is worth reading the flack, nonsense even, that Brownie put up on Conor Foleys thread on Liberal Conspiracy. That is not an even handed, nor indeed a reasoned approach to debate.

      It is a recipe for surrender to powerful and frankly suspect nations.

      I have been a member of AI for as long as you could shake a stick at. I am not willing to have it dictated to through a shower of neo-con chancers jumping on a bandwagon.

      I’d refer you back to the OP by Sunny. That is an organisation I am proud to support.

    33. huron — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:33 am  

      Hi Sunny,

      A minor point: Amnesty UK is a very separate entity from Amnesty’s International Secretariat (IS), where Gita Sahgal and Claudio Cordone are. Decisions made at the IS are not necessarily adopted, or even automatically endorsed by the UK, and vice versa. This is not to suggest that the IS doesn’t hold the same commitment to woman’s rights expressed here (of course it does!), only to say that Amnesty’s UK Section would not have been involved in the International Secretariat’s disciplinary action, internal review and public statements regarding Sahgal, etc.

    34. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:56 am  

      Douglas - I’m also a longstanding member of AI. I don’t see the GS business as a complete deal breaker and I don’t like the tone of some of those who are on her ‘side’ either. But I still find the various AI UK pronouncements on the issues weaselly and/or slippery. Begg is so linked to CP that any links with him have the effect of legitimising CP more fully than I am happy with, considering the Ridley piece and other pieces which I’ve seen on the website. I think some of the criticism of Begg I’ve read seems exaggerated and, er, a bit hysterical! But Brownie’s comment at 16 was based on concrete evidence. I’m a Eustonite, I guess, but (based on my knowledge of events - which isn’t at all expert) I fully support AI’s work uncovering human rights abuses committed by the US.

    35. Arif — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:13 am  

      Sarah AB - what specifically did you find weaselly/ slippery?

      Are you asking for CP to be held to standards no other organisation working with AI is to be held to? If not, is it possible to state the standards you think any organisation associated with AI should adhere to?

      If the standard is that fellow campaigners do not support any human rights abuses, then CP seems to fit that. But if you want to be more exacting in turning human rights into a doctrinal issue, then AI would have to avoid working with many other organisations, and it is worth saying and clarifying this, so that it does not appear to be smearing a central advocate within a dedicated human rights campaign based on innuendo (which I can see you do clearly want to avoid).

    36. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:16 am  

      Arif - so their promotion of Anwar (we really didn;t know what he was like, honest) Al-Awlaki didn’t worry you?

    37. mostly harmless — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:24 am  

      This poor lady is being used by the Amnesty bashers, I think we all know who they are. It’s like being in a fight at school, nobody really wants to fight but the people around them keep pushing and egging on, and when you want to back off they keep pushing you back for more.

    38. Arif — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:55 am  

      cjcjc - it would have worried me, but when I checked the CP website I found:

      1. Explicit statements in a context mentioning Obama and Al Awlaki that CP does not endorse any human rights abuses they may endorse including attacks on civilians.
      2. A clear statement of what the organisation stands for, and how it intends to achieve its aims.

      This was, of course, after Sahgal had gone to the press. I do not know whether they presented things differently before or if things actually are different to how they are presented, so I still gave Sahgal the benefit of the doubt and wanted more evidence, an idea of her research findings and clarity about what she thought was appropriate and inappropriate.

      As I followed this campaign, I still do not know if there is any fire behind the smoke, but I am concerned that the smoke is quite poisonous (just like Ridley’s “tentacles” comments is poisonous) and I feel it is harder for me to keep arguing that Sahgal is unaware of this and has no responsibility to comment constructively on the issues.

      I still do not believe she intends to smear other human rights campaigners, and think she genuinely has some important points to make on how to avoid human rights discourse being used by its enemies. I wish she would clarify them in a principled rather than a polemical manner so I can consider its application to AI’s policies of engagement with other groups.

    39. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

      I do not know whether they presented things differently before

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/02/22/some-innuendo-from-fahad-ansari-and-cageprisoners/

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/02/17/another-cageprisoners-awlaki-fan-attacks-sahgal/

    40. Kojak — on 13th April, 2010 at 12:48 pm  

      Mostly Harmless @ 37,

      “This poor lady is being used by the Amnesty bashers, I think we all know who they are.”

      Who are they, please?

    41. Ravi Naik — on 13th April, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

      I agree with AI, that nothing Moazzam Begg has said on defensive jihad is incompatible with support for universal human rights (and he has written a long article, aimed at Muslims, about it – Shamit linked to in an earlier discussion).

      I think Arif is spot-on. I would like cjcjc and brownie to explain if they object with the paragraph above? And if so, why? I also read Shamit’s link and could not find anything particularly odious about it.

    42. Arif — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:09 pm  

      cjcjc, these are the points that arise for me from the links:

      1. Farhad Ansari - is he an official of CP or a member?

      2. If he is an official, did Gita Sahgal (or anyone else aware of his statements and able to formulate how they undermine human rights) bring his statements to the attention of appropriate people in AI, or did Gita Sahgal make an attempt to gain clarification herself?

      3. If the clarification was gained and did suggest opposition to human rights, who got them in AI and what did they do with it? I would have broken official contact then and discussed my concerns with Moazzam Begg.

      The issues of Al-Awlaki’s support for jihad, including what I interpret as support his for insurgency, does not make me think it is wrong for CP to either campaign for his rights, or bring his experiences to a wider audience. He is not an official of CP, but someone who suffered in Guantanamo Bay, and therefore is being given the support of CP in line with its mandate. It is what they were set up to do, and as long as they credibly distance themselves as an organisation from his political opinions, there is no problem. I think the issue here for people is whether the distancing is credible - again, that should be clarified rather than used to immediately smear CP.

      I do think it would be wrong for AI to give him Al-Awlaki a platform, however, as AI is a different kind of human rights organisation from CP. While Begg does credibly carry a message of human rights for me as he presents it in the context of also seeking reconciliation, Al-Awlaki appears to me to be a more divisive political character.

    43. Censored Poster — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:20 pm  

      Arif,

      “The issues of Al-Awlaki’s support for jihad, including what I interpret as support his for insurgency, does not make me think it is wrong for CP to either campaign for his rights, or bring his experiences to a wider audience. He is not an official of CP, but someone who suffered in Guantanamo Bay, and therefore is being given the support of CP in line with its mandate.”

      What the hell are you talking about? He has never been in Guantanamo Bay. CP has no reason - if it merely campaigns for what its apologists claim it does - to be giving such a person a platform, anymore than it should have as a senior member someone who rants about ‘zionist tentacles’. Those are in no way related to their claimed ‘mandate’, and they absolutely stink. Begg is director of CP, so he i responsible for what appears on that website. Do yous really expect others to belive it’s an unfortunate accident that he has links with one of the leading Al Qaeda ideologues?

      CP aren’t being smeared, they are being held to account by some for their own actions in promoting people and ideologies that have nothing to do with mere prisoners’ rights. Their apologists like yourself and the hapless Douglas Clark are pretending not to see evidence that is right in front of them, and now you have evidently reached the low point of simply making up crap about Awlaki having been a detainee in Guantanamo Bay. Next you’ll be claiming Ridley herself was detained there.

    44. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:24 pm  

      Al-Awlaki appears to me to be a more divisive political character

      Hahahahaha - masterful understatement.

    45. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

      Hi Arif - I want first to gesture back to an earlier exchange we had and acknowledge that it is possible that my focus on Begg is skewed in that it may be the case that other AI ‘partners’ are also less than ideal - such as the Catholic church. I just haven’t been encouraged by the blogosphere to form an opinion about that particular example.

      I’m replying quickly because I must get back to work but that first response which went on about ‘othering’ I found weaselly - and that latest response from Cordone I found slippery - that para about defensive jihad which I wrote on here

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/04/06/defensive-jihad/.

      It was a pretty good letter - so far as I recall - apart from that para. As you’ll see from the HP thread the phrase ‘jihad in self defence’ had the effect if not the intention of opening all sorts of cans of worms - it was an unnecessary distraction.

      I think one can technically pass the test of ‘does not support human rights abuses’ and yet still be an individual or organisation AI should keep a distance from. Seeing Zionist tentacles are everywhere is I guess technically compatible with not supporting human rights abuses but I still think it’s an abhorrent view.

      I find Begg a bit of a cipher, to be honest - I’m afraid I haven’t read his book but I looked at reviews on Amazon and everyone seemed to be finding in it a Begg who supported their own world view.

    46. soru — on 13th April, 2010 at 3:04 pm  

      Seeing Zionist tentacles are everywhere is I guess technically compatible with not supporting human rights abuses but I still think it’s an abhorrent view.

      Well obviously, anything with a tentacle isn’t actually human…

      Seriously, you simply can’t tell from any individual statement whether or not someone is a supporter or enemy of human rights. I think Bush at one point said _we don’t torture_, and I don’t recall Amnesty then saying _fair do’s, that settles that issue_. You have to look at what they mean by the words, their associations, and above all their actions.

    47. Arif — on 13th April, 2010 at 3:24 pm  

      Censored Poster - you are right, sorry, I should have been more careful. He was held in Yemen supposedly at the behest of the US authorities. And although Cageprisoners’ remit is for all people detained without trial in the war on terror, unless he was in a secret prison I do think therefore that CP giving him the level of prominence they do needs more justification.

      cjcjc - one person’s divisive character is another person’s threat to civilisation. I don’t want to understate or overstate, but if I am not cautious, it results in mistakes like the one about where Awlaki was detained. I haven’t read much of his stuff, mostly it’s put in front of me by his detractors.

      Sarah AB - I couldn’t follow the thread of your post, so don’t want to respond fully yet either. I think AI does seem to miss the point when it refers to its right to campaign on behalf of Begg’s rights, because Sahgal explicitly supports that anyway, but it does address wider misperceptions from the controversy. I could not work out what is weaselly about being explicit that defensive jihad being something that people may assume to be antithetical to human rights, and to clarify that CP/Begg do support it in an acceptable way. In terms of “abhorrent views” - I agree that the terminology Ridley used is something which should make AI distance itself from her and CP for the reasons I gave above.

    48. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 3:36 pm  

      The CP crew must have been in tears last week:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7089899.ece

    49. Lucy — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:18 pm  

      And #48 was in tears of laughter over this:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7092435.ece

    50. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:22 pm  

      I have no time for Yvonne Ridley. Funnily enough, neither does Amnesty. Bizarre though that people don’t stop associating the two.

      Brownie and cjcjc - perhaps you can clarify the answer to my latest question in the new blog post - are you a defender of fascists?

    51. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:24 pm  

      also cjcjc - if I were a passionate defender of human rights and ‘trial before execution’ - then I would be crying over that news too.

      But one is pretty sure you barely care for either which is why you’re posting the link so gleefully.

    52. Refresh — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:29 pm  

      ‘The CP crew must have been in tears last week:’

      I imagine Gita Sahgal would have been too. It would be interesting to know for sure though.

    53. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:29 pm  

      I have no time for Yvonne Ridley. Funnily enough, neither does Amnesty. Bizarre though that people don’t stop associating the two.

      Yet they describe CP of which she is patron as a “leading human rights organisation”.

      I won’t be crying if Awlaki is killed, no.
      I approved of the 20 July plot too.

    54. notmarvin — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:47 pm  

      Amnesty described a “bad taste in the mouth” Cage Prisoners as a “leading human rights organisation”?!!

      Well they are certainly the world’s leading human rights organisation for Al-Qaeda’s Imams. “Terrorists have rights too you know” should be the motto…

      Do you inspire others to mass slaughter? Do you get seriously bad vibes from the authorities for simply doing your job? Contact us, Cage Prisoners - a “leading human rights organisation” - Amnesty! Call 0800 TRRISM NOT THAT B4D 123!

      Please note the real enemy in all of this is Gita for making generalisations about “the left”. She will pay. Etc.

    55. no_not_marvin — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:48 pm  

      Amnesty described a “bad taste in the mouth” Cage Prisoners as a “leading human rights organisation”?!!

      Well they are certainly the world’s leading human rights organisation for Al-Qaeda’s Imams. “Terrorists have rights too you know” should be the motto…

      Do you inspire others to mass slaughter? Do you get seriously bad vibes from the authorities for simply doing your job? Contact us, Cage Prisoners - a “leading human rights organisation” - Amnesty! Call 0800 TRRISM NOT THAT B4D 123!

      Please note the real enemy in all of this is Gita for making generalisations about “the left”. She will pay. Etc.

    56. Refresh — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

      no marvin, no not marvin,

      Don’t be bloody stupid and don’t think we’re stupid.

      Its nothing to do with Gita Sahgal per se; its to do with all those who are hanging on to her coat-tails with the juicy prospect of turning Amnesty International into a compliant body.

      Gita Sahgal undermined her own credentials by letting you and fellow-travellers amass baying for the blood of an inestimable human rights body.

      I would now start watching for the next phase of this campaign - where the entryists start emerging.

    57. Efrafan Days — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:26 pm  

      Its nothing to do with Gita Sahgal per se; its to do with all those who are hanging on to her coat-tails with the juicy prospect of turning Amnesty International into a compliant body.

      Who are “those”? Dan Hardie?

      Gita Sahgal undermined her own credentials by letting you and fellow-travellers amass

      I thought this had nothing to do with Sahgal (unless “per se” means “until I can use her in a blog-spat”). I don’t consider Sahgal one of my “friends”, and even if she knows who I or Marvin or Brownie (or, for that matter, you) are, I doubt she considers us her ‘friends’.

      baying for the blood of an inestimable human rights body.

      Who here is doing that, precisely? For someone denying any sympathy or support for the jihadist aims of CP, you are remarkably footloose in associating Sahgal with random blog-commenters.

      I would now start watching for the next phase of this campaign – where the entryists start emerging.

      What, like CP proclaiming on its website association with AI, or the IFE at Tower Hamlets?

    58. Refresh — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:29 pm  

      Who’s Dan Hardie?

    59. Efrafan Days — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:33 pm  

      The bloke responsible for kick-starting the campaign for rescuing Iraqi translations.

      More starting here:

      http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/04/06/amnesty-and-defensive-jihad/#comment-119777

      This, however, is a minor point compared to your attempted character assassination of Sahgal because of what someone she never has heard of has said on some blog she never is likely to visit.

    60. notmarvin — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:40 pm  

      Baying for blood for the human rights body?

      How about fighting for the soul of it. I’ve been a fan of Amnesty for a long time and still read all their emails. It’s tragic that it feels it sees no contradiction in promoting a group that supports an Al-Qaeda preacher, whose patron is Yvonne Ridley.

      It’s soul is damaged by it’s promotion of Cage Prisoners on it’s website, it’s odd pontifications of the rights to fight Jihad, and it’s proclamation of CP as a word leading human rights organisation, and CP’s Al-Qaeda affiliations, such as Al-Awlaki, whom is wanted dead by President Obama.

      Ok so let me get this right. The real enemy here is Nick Cohen… And Amnesty should be free to promote a group of whom promote the rights of “the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No 1 in terms of threat against us [US]“. Go CP! Go Amnesty!

      I would now start watching for the next phase of this campaign – where the entryists start emerging.

      By god your right. I feel the tentacles already. Perhaps you should contact Yvonne to offer your moral support.

    61. not_marvin — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:41 pm  

      Baying for blood for the human rights body?

      How about fighting for the soul of it. I’ve been a fan of Amnesty for a long time and still read all their emails. It’s tragic that it feels it sees no contradiction in promoting a group that supports an Al-Qaeda preacher, whose patron is Yvonne Ridley.

      It’s soul is damaged by it’s promotion of Cage Prisoners on it’s website, it’s odd pontifications of the rights to fight Jihad, and it’s proclamation of CP as a word leading human rights organisation, and CP’s Al-Qaeda affiliations, such as Al-Awlaki, whom is wanted dead by President Obama.

      Ok so let me get this right. The real enemy here is Nick Cohen… And Amnesty should be free to promote a group of whom promote the rights of “the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No 1 in terms of threat against us [US]“. Go CP! Go Amnesty!

      I would now start watching for the next phase of this campaign – where the entryists start emerging.

      By god your right. I feel the tentacles already. Perhaps you should contact Yvonne to offer your moral support.

    62. Refresh — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:44 pm  

      No attempt on my part. I believe we’ve waited long enough for her to shed the hanger-ons.

      In any case, she is hardly the problem other than being an human resources issue. You will know that aspect has been well covered.

      I am far more interested in your, Brownie, notMarvin’s motivation - there has been an awful lot of coverage attacking AI with Gita Sahgal as the battering ram.

      I can understand why you would want to take that approach, you would not get much traction otherwise would you.

    63. Refresh — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:48 pm  

      notMarvin,

      As a ‘fan of Amnesty’, do you support extra-judicial killings?

    64. Efrafan Days — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:50 pm  

      I believe we’ve waited long enough for her to shed the hanger-ons.

      Maybe she has more important things to occupy her time than petty blog-spats.

      There are people out there who her advocacy concerns who haven’t access to the Internet, never mind have heard of blogs like this. Compared to that, my and Marvin and Brownie (and your) comments are absolutely worthless.

      Right at the beginning, Sahgal said that she objected to the situation at Guantanamo and, even, that Begg should be allowed to tell his story… just not with an AI relationship.

      Why are you exempt from association with the sources in CP of that nasty taste, while Sahgal has to jump through hoops to disavow association with people she never has met?

      As a ‘fan of Amnesty’, do you support extra-judicial killings?

      I don’t. Al Awlaki’s killing would leave a nasty taste in my mouth, but I suspect it’d be within the law.

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