Amnesty International (AI) is "a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights." AI has an international secretariat and while national affiliated sections are responsible for their own affairs, "major policy decisions are taken by an International Council made up of representatives from all national sections."  Amnesty was founded by Peter Benenson, Louis Blom-Cooper, Eric Baker and David Astor, and launched after an appeal was published on 28 May 1961 in The Observer newspaper.
- 1 About AI
- 2 Funding
- 3 Criticism & AI's Contributions to Disinformation
- 3.1 Assessment by a former AI-USA board member
- 3.2 Participation in propaganda campaign leading up to the 1991 Gulf War
- 3.3 Duped Again?
- 3.4 Buying Humanitarian Bombing?
- 3.5 Selling yet another war
- 3.6 Business Ethics?
- 3.7 Film Festival Censorship (2003)
- 3.8 AI pulls out of UNESCO meeting
- 3.9 Not Challenging Apartheid
- 3.10 Blind on Haiti
- 3.11 Group Manipulation
- 3.12 Odd Bedfellows
- 3.13 Double Standards
- 3.14 Right on time selective Human Rights reports
- 3.15 Criticizing WikiLeaks
- 3.16 Following the media spotlight
- 4 Golden Parachutes or hush money
- 5 Directors and Personnel
- 6 PR companies working for AI
- 7 Contact
- 8 Books
- 9 Resources and articles
From AI's website:
- "AI'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."
- "AI is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights."
- "AI has a varied network of members and supporters around the world. At the latest count, there were more than 1.5 million members, supporters and subscribers in over 150 countries and territories in every region of the world. Although they come from many different backgrounds and have widely different political and religious beliefs, they are united by a determination to work for a world where everyone enjoys human rights."
- "AI is a democratic, self-governing movement. Major policy decisions are taken by an International Council made up of representatives from all national sections."
- AI's national sections and local volunteer groups are primarily responsible for funding the movement. No funds are sought or accepted from governments for AI's work investigating and campaigning against human rights violations." (NB: this operating parameter was violated on a number of occasions by receiving covert British funding )
In Amnesty International Limited's 2011 Report and Financial Statement they note that:
- "Incoming resources have increased in total from £44,791,000 in 2008/2009 to £46,222,000 in 2009/10 mainly due to the significant increase in assessment contributions from sections of £2,751,000, only partially offset by a reduction in additional voluntary contribution from sections of £1,276,000."
Later they write:
- ""The Directors are pleased to acknowledge the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Oak Foundation, Open Society Georgia Foundation, the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Programme, Mauro Tunes and American Jewish World Service. The UK Department for International Development (Governance and Transparency Fund) continued to fund a four year human rights education project in Africa. The European Commission (EuropeAid) generously awarded a multi-year grant towards Amnesty International’s human rights education work in Europe."
Criticism & AI's Contributions to Disinformation
Assessment by a former AI-USA board member
Prof. Francis A. Boyle (Professor of International Law, Univ. of Illinois, Champaign) from an interview with Dennis Bernstein:
"Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns. To be sure, if you are dealing with a human rights situation in a country that is at odds with the United States or Britain, it gets an awful lot of attention, resources, man and womanpower, publicity, you name it, they can throw whatever they want at that. But if it's dealing with violations of human rights by the United States, Britain, Israel, then it's like pulling teeth to get them to really do something on the situation. They might, very reluctantly and after an enormous amount of internal fightings and battles and pressures, you name it. But you know, it's not like the official enemies list."
Participation in propaganda campaign leading up to the 1991 Gulf War
There were some curious episodes in the lead up to the 1991 Gulf War. Hill & Knowlton launched a major propaganda campaign  to change US citizens’ attitudes about a possible US intervention in Kuwait. Part of this campaign produced the “throwing the babies out of the incubators” hoax presented by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in the US. As part of this propaganda campaign President Bush (Senior) appeared on national TV holding a copy of AI’s press release pertaining to the incubator story. It was portrayed as further proof of the incident.
… Of course the worst instance is well known, and that's the Kuwaiti dead babies report. I was on the AI USA board at that time, it was the late Fall of 1990 and, as you know, we were on the verge of going to war. There was going to be a debate coming up in the United States Congress, and a vote. And at the end of November or so, mid-November, since I was a board member, I got a pre-publication copy of the Amnesty report on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. So I immediately read through this report and it was sloppy, it was inaccurate even its statement of applicable law. It did not seem to me that it had gone through the normal quality control process.
As for the allegation about the Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and putting them on the floor of the hospital where they did, I didn't know if that was true or not, but it certainly sounded very sensationalist to me. And as a result of that, I made an effort to hold that report back for further review, on those grounds that I gave to you. And indeed I also enlisted a fellow board member for the same reason, and he and I both tried, and I made the point, even if this story about the dead babies is true, it's completely sensationalist, and it is simply going to be used in the United States to monger for war, and could turn the tide in favor of war. And so you know, we really need to pull back on this, further review, more study.
They wouldn't do it. It was clear it was on the fast track there in London. This was not AI USA, this was in London. And it had been put on the fast track, they were ramming it through. They didn't care. Finally, I said look, let us at least put out an Errata report to accompany it on those aspects that are clearly wrong. They refused to do that either. They then put the report out, and you know what a terrible impact that had in terms of war propaganda. Of the six votes in the United States Senate that passed the resolution to go to war, several of those senators said that they were influenced by the Amnesty report. Now I want to make it clear this was not a job by Amnesty International but by London, and what happened then, when the war started, at the next AI USA board meeting, I demanded an investigation. By then it had come out that this was Kuwaiti propaganda put together by the PR firm, Hill & Knowlton, and I demanded an investigation.
Absolutely nothing happened. There was never an investigation, there was total stonewalling coming out of London. They refused ever to admit that they did anything wrong. There has never been an explanation, there has never been an apology. It's down the memory hole like 1984 and Orwell. My conclusion was that a high-level official of Amnesty International at that time, whom I will not name, was a British intelligence agent. Moreover, my fellow board member, who also investigated this independently of me, reached the exact same conclusion. So certainly when I am dealing with people who want to work with Amnesty in London, I just tell them, "Look, just understand, they're penetrated by intelligence agents, U.K., maybe U.S., I don't know, but you certainly can't trust them."
— Prof. Francis Boyle, Interview with Dennis Bernstein, CovertAction Quarterly Number 73 Summer 2002, pp. 9-12, 27.
During the Balkan wars, AI seems to have pushed yet another propaganda piece used to justify the bombing of Serbia, and to assist Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims. From Diana Johnstone's Fool's Crusade, Pluto Press 2002, p. 81:
Regardless of such discrepancies, Cigelj became a feminist heroine. In June 1993, she was honored by the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights "for outstanding contributions to international women's rights" and the Minneapolis Star Tribune identified her as a "Bosnian Muslim victim". In 1996, she was featured in a documentary film, "Calling the Ghosts: A Story of Rape, War and Women", launched by Human Rights Watch in June 1996 at its annual film festival and distributed by Women Make Movies. Amnesty International thereafter sponsored a 25-city U.S. tour. The promotional blurb stated "Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and legal professionals, lived the lives of ordinary women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, until one day their neighbors became their tormentors. This film documents mass rapes as a wartime tactic, focusing on these two survivors, whose personal struggles transform into a larger fight for justice against the backdrop of the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague." Two women, one of them a professional propagandist for the Tudjman regime, became documentary evidence for "mass rapes as a wartime tactic". The film was shown on university campuses as part of programs on Yugoslavia with such celebrities as General Wesley K. Clark, Bosnian ambassador to the UN Muhamed Sacirbey, and Bianca Jagger.
A political activist such as Cigelj, working for the propaganda agency of one of the parties to the conflict, and who tells an inconsistent story, cannot be considered the most reliable witness. There was naiveté on the part of the women's groups, and sloppiness on the part of the journalists, to accept without question such a partisan source.
NB: Amnesty has not issued an apology for playing along in this deception. Furthermore, at the time there were grave doubts about Cigelj's accounts given the mounting inconsistencies. No bar for an AI sponsored 25-city tour of the US.
Buying Humanitarian Bombing?
In 1999, AI did not reject and played along when State Dept. officials proposed the "humanitarian bombing of Serbia". When an AI director was asked to explain this decision, she answered "AI is not an anti-war organization".
Selling yet another war
In May 2012, Amnesty International participated in a campaign to sell the war in Afghanistan under the logo: "NATO: Keep the Progress Going". Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley discuss this campaign and the appointment of Suzanne Nossel, the new head of AI-USA and the possible source of this campaign. Philip Weiss discusses the reason Amnesty might have embraced this campaign, and it has all to do with the appointment of Suzanne Nossel.
In 1991, AI set up a Amnesty Business Group. It was meant to monitor human rights observance by corporations. However, the curious thing is that it chose Sir Geoffrey Chandler to head this unit. NB: Chandler was a Shell company director, and the head of the Sustainability Council. The second curious aspect of this AI unit is the issuance of a report about a controversial oil pipeline. It is quoted as follows on its website: "Launch of Human Rights on the Line Report into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project and the Host Government Agreement between BP and the Turkish Government." Note that this pipeline was beset by controversy because BP overlooked the rights and interests of all the people in the path of the pipeline.
Film Festival Censorship (2003)
AI sponsors an annual film festival focused on human rights issues. During its 2003 festival it banned the film The Revolution Will Not Be Televised under dubious circumstances. This is what Macdonald Stainsby had to say about it:
- "Beginning Thursday, November 6th until Sunday the 9th, Amnesty International held their annual film festival on Human Rights in Canada. The listings were much of the usual fare for AI: Films on Tibet, Burma, Pinochet's 1973 coup in Chile, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, even a film on Israel's secret nuclear weapons program. The festival had one other film scheduled to be the last one shown. That film had been broadcast on the CBC's 'Passionate Eye' program (twice). It had won more awards than any other film on the list of films to be put on screen at the film festival. It has been shown across Europe, including the BBC. It was removed two days before the festival, and AI still hasn't clarified why or who convinced them to do this. The film is "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", and citing a series of contradictory reasons, the film was banned from the festival by Amnesty International, after it had already been booked and listed in all of the AI programs."
- "A controversy immediately ensued, and it was Venezuelans who support the film who first noticed that the very people from Venezuela that the film exposed as human rights violators had launched a campaign against it globally, wherever people might see it. Don Wright, local region (BC Yukon) coordinator of AI, was interviewed on 'Democracy Now', a radio program in New York run on the station Pacifica. There, the arguments given were (quote): "...when we choose films we strive to choose films that are nonpartisan and nonpolitical to reflect the mandate of our organization." That is a rather bizarre statement, to say the least, for an organization dealing with human rights and coming from a film festival that included topics such as a successful coup in Chile and discussions of Israeli nuclear programs. Perhaps nuclear weapons in the Middle East and military coups in South America are non-political and failed coups in South America are? I guess I'm missing something here. And nonpartisan, well – I guess the Chinese government will be invited to talk on why it maintains sovereignty over Tibet next year, no doubt that we need balance here."
- — Macdonald Stainsby, After the Censorship by Amnesty International, we Need to See The Revolution Will Not Be Televised More Than Ever, Venezuelanalysis.com, Nov. 12, 2003.
There is more information on this controversy on the website of the producer of the film. NB: what appears now on the website is an abridged version of the long exchange between AI and the producer; that has now been removed.
AI pulls out of UNESCO meeting
On May 17, 2004, AI pulled out of a UNESCO meeting. UNESCO refused to translate and publish AI International Executive Chair's article/statement. See details . NB: Hoffman and Schulz have made a number of remarks indicating that AI will qualify its defense of human rights during the "war on terror". It is not clear where all this is going, but there are many questions. See John Pilger's article about this. It is these issues that may have had a bearing on the UNESCO squabble.
Not Challenging Apartheid
- Dennis Bernstein: Now, having said that about these connections between the U.S., British and Amnesty International foreign policy…
- Francis Boyle: Sure, you’ll see a pretty good coincidence of the enemies that Amnesty International goes after and the interests of both the United States and British governments. Let’s take an older example — apartheid in South Africa under the former criminal regime in South Africa. Amnesty International refused adamantly to condemn apartheid in South Africa. Despite my best efforts while I was on the board, and other board members, they would not do it. They are the only human rights organization in the entire world to have refused to condemn apartheid in South Africa. Now they can give you some cock-and-bull theory about why they wouldn’t do this. But the bottom line was that the biggest supporter, economic and political supporter of the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa was the British government, followed by the United States government. And so no matter how hard we tried, no matter what we did, they would not condemn apartheid in South Africa. Now I just mention that as one among many examples.
- — Prof. Francis Boyle, Interview with Dennis Bernstein, CovertAction Quarterly Number 73 Summer 2002, pp. 9-12, 27.
Kirsten Sellars writes in her book about Peter Berenson's partial measures and reports on South Africa during the early 1960s.
Blind on Haiti
The human rights situation in Haiti in the months leading up to the coup against Jean Bertrand Aristide, and after the coup is atrocious. Joe Emersberger reports:
- Aristide was twice elected President (in 1990 and in 2000). His first government was overthrown in a coup in 1991. The outcome of the 1991 coup was horrific and well documented. Thousands were murdered; tens of thousands were raped and tortured; hundreds of thousands were driven into hiding. The victims were overwhelmingly supporters of Aristide and his Lavalas movement. The 1991 and 2004 coups were both the work of the US government, Haiti's elite and their armed servants. Canada and France collaborated extensively with the planning and execution of the second coup.
Various human rights organizations sent delegations to Haiti and reported on the situation, and they also found that a government-associated group (which was also instigated by US-directed groups (IFES and/or USAID)), the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR), were hostile to Aristide government (before the coup), and, after the coup, hostile to the Aristide-Lavalas movement. The human rights organizations which visited Haiti after the coup found that NCHR was compromised and biased, and proceeded to inform AI about the dubious nature of NCHR. Even though AI had been forewarned about NCHR, AI (1) utilized NCHR information, and (2) adopted the same hostility shown by NCHR towards the Aristide/Lavalas movement. While AI had protested the imprisonment of one of the leaders of the Tontons Macoute (a notorious gang/death squad under the Duvalier dictatorship), AI didn't issue any criticism or condemnation for imprisonment or torture of the legitimate Lavalas elected officials. AI never designated any Haitian prisoners with their special "prisoner of conscience" label.
Several AI chapters connected with universities in the U.S. have been taken over by groups with their own agenda. Their interest is to block criticism of certain countries, and to create a false impression that AI favors their position. There have been instances where manipulators sent "news releases" using AI letterhead (of the local group) to push their agenda. On Oct. 2002, AI-London stated that it is not their business to censor these groups (statement by Donatella Rovera when she was asked about this).
On 10 December 2003, AI co-hosted the following event:
Catastrophe in Chechnya: Escaping the Quagmire
With nearly 250 persons in attendance and presentations by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Ruud Lubbers, the conference was the largest event of its kind dedicated solely to Chechnya to be held in Washington DC.
Hosted by the American Enterprise Institute and co-sponsored by The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya, Amnesty International USA, Freedom House, the Jamestown Foundation, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, this event promises to be of great potential significance in articulating a new American attitude toward Russo-Chechen conflict.
Why is AI co-sponsoring this event? NB: all the other co-sponsors are right-wing and dubious organizations.
In 2 July 2004, AI called for the suspension of weapons sales to Sudan. On 16 February 2005 it called for a suspension of weapons sales to Nepal. However, although AI has shown that while it is willing to issue such calls regarding several countries, it is not willing to request an embargo of weapons sales to Israel. Donatella Rovera, the chief researcher on Israel-Palestine offered the following explanation:
- "The situations in Sudan and in Israel-Occupied Territories are quite different and different norms of international law apply, which do not make it possible to call for an arms embargos on either the Israeli or the Palestinian side. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are under Israeli military occupation (not the case for the Darfour region in Sudan). Hence, certain provisions of international humanitarian law, known as the laws of war (notably the 1907 Hague Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention) apply in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (and not in the Darfour region)." (email communication 5 July 2004).
- AI is couching its double standards in dubious legalese, but consider what Prof. Francis Boyle (Professor of International Law at Univ. of Illinois Champaign) has to say about Rovera's statement:
- This is total gibberish. When I was on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA near the end of my second term in 1990-92, we received the authority to call for an arms embargo against major human rights violators, which Israel clearly qualified for at the time and still does -- even under United States domestic law. Of course no one at AI was going to do so because pro-Israel supporters were major funders of Amnesty International USA, which in turn was a major funder of Amnesty International in London. He who pays the piper calls the tune -- especially at AIUSA Headquarters in New York and at AI Headquarters in London.
The mysterious POC designation
Amnesty International became famous for standing up for eggregious individual cases of basic rights violations, and as a matter of fact, AI was established to release two Portuguese students who had been blatantly abused and thrown in jail by the pro-Fascist Salazar government. Ever since AI has sought to get AI activists around the world to work on behalf cases of Prisoners of Conscience (POC), individuals designated by AI as remarkable individuals who engaged in a non-violent fashion to work for "human rights". Amnesty's official and US websites contains a continuously updated list of Cuban prisoners of conscience, and several right-wing Cuban émigré websites reproduce AI's Cuban POC list. Several of the individuals on AI's POC list received direct funding from the US government, but this was no bar for bestowing a POC designation on them. While AI is quick to update its Cuban POC list and to often write on behalf of these prisoners, it doesn’t have similar lists of POC for other national cases. For example, AI doesn’t publish a list of Palestinian POC, and when asked about this double standard, Donatella Rovera, AI's principal on Israel and the OPT, stated that AI doesn’t make such lists available. In fact, it is very difficult to find Palestinians who have the POC designation even though there are hundreds of Palestinian "administrative detainees" who are held in Israeli jails without being charged, with dubious legal procedures or without proper legal recourse, and for indeterminate imprisonment sentences. The grand majority of such prisoners don't list as POC.
On 12 May 2010, Amnesty International issued a press release about the arbitrarily imprisoned Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian human rights advocate who is a citizen of Israel, urging his release. Therein AI states:
- "His arrest and continued detention smacks of pure harassment, designed to hinder his human rights work. If this is the case, we would regard him as a prisoner of conscience call for his immediate and unconditional release.”
Notice that Makhoul hasn’t been designated a POC, but his case could be considered one in the future. The key distinction between being listed as a POC and simply being considered a possible POC is that hundreds of activists would write letters on his behalf if he appeared in the official POC list, but the same activists will not be asked to do anything about Makhoul because he merely "could be considered" to be a POC.
When queried about this seeming double standard, Malcolm Smart, AI's Director of Middle East and North Africa Programme, replied:
- Some of those held under such orders are prisoners of conscience and we can be sure of that, but it is uncertain in many other cases whether individual detainees are to be considered prisoners of conscience, according to the common criteria used by Amnesty International, or not. By its nature, the Israeli administrative detention system is a secretive process, in that the grounds for detention are not specified in detail to the detainee or his/her legal representative; inevitably, this makes it especially difficult for the detainee to challenge the order for, by example, contesting the grounds on which the detention was made. In the same way, it makes it difficult or impossible for Amnesty International to make a conclusive determination in many cases whether a particular administrative detainees can be considered a prisoner of conscience or not.
So, because Israel doesn't spell out why an individual was imprisoned arbitrarily, Amnesty will not do anything about their case. Paul de Rooij discusses Smart's other points.
Right on time selective Human Rights reports
On 9 March 2005, AI released a human rights report on the abuse of Kurdish human rights in Syria . What is odd about the report is:
- Impecable timing. The report appears at the time the U.S. and Israel are exerting massive pressure on Syria.
- Selectivity about Kurds. Although Kurds reside in Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria, the report only deals with human rights violations in Syria. At present, according to KHRP, far more systematic violations of Kurdish human rights are occuring in Iraq and Turkey than in Syria, but AI studiously ignores what is happening here.
On 10 August 2010, a "coalition of human rights organizations" including Amnesty International, issued an appeal to Wikileaks to remove the names of Afghan informants from the disclosed material. The unfortunate implication of this request is that it plays along with US General Mattis suggestion that "Wikileaks has blood on its hands". These human rights organizations made their appeal despite Assange's assurances that all releases had gone through a damage minimization process, and thus the names of the informers had already been removed. On 12 August 2010, Julian Assange commented on AI's criticism, and stated that it seems that low-level AI staff contacted other HR groups, and engaged with Wikileaks about their concerns. Instead of continuing with the discussion, the letters/emails were leaked to the Wall Street Journal. The senior personnel at the human rights organizations involved in criticizing Wikileaks did not dissociate themselves from the earlier comments. There is no public indication, as of August 15, 2010, that AI is investigating human rights violations based on the information made available by Wikileaks.
Following the media spotlight
Edward Herman, the long-time propaganda analyst, recently discussed the NYT's coverage, and its propaganda propensities. The NYT featured a long sequence of articles about Pussy Riot, and the repressive Russian political scene. Concurrently, Amnesty pushed the same theme. Herman comments:
- Isn’t it amazing to see it [Pussy Riot] taken up by Amnesty International (AI), Avaaz, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) with such aggressiveness? AI and HRW neglected the important case of Julian Assange and the serious official U.S. campaign against whistleblowers and contributors of "material aid" (undefined) to terrorists (see Diana Johnstone, Pussy Riot and Amnesty International: The Decline of Political Protest, Counterpunch, 28 August 2012). Would the NYT ever give such intensive and positive publicity to Americans interrupting church services to make a political point or carrying out illegal acts of protest against U.S. training-of-state-terrorists programs at the School of Americas or nuclear weapons facilities?
Golden Parachutes or hush money
The former Irene Khan, the former International Secretary, recieved £500,000 payment upon leaving AI, and Kate Gilmore received £300,000. Both actions haven't been adequately explained by AI and have generated resentment among local groups which are responsible for some fundraising.
Directors and Personnel
- Salil Shetty – Secretary General (July 2010 - )
- Claudio Cordone – Interim Secretary General (Dec. 2009 - July 2010) and member of Senior Leadership team 
- Irene Zubaida Khan — Secretary General (2004 - Dec. 2009)
- Martin Ennals – Secretary General (1968 to 1980)
- William Schulz — Former Executive Director Amnesty International USA
- Larry Cox, Executive Director Amnesty International USA
- Curt Goering — Deputy Executive Director Amnesty International USA
- Maureen Greenwood, Advocacy Director for Europe and the Middle East, Amnesty International USA
- Adotei Akwei Former Senior Advocacy Director for Africa at Amnesty International USA
- Suzanne Nossel Exec. director of AIUSA since January 2012
AI USA Board Members
Business Ethics Directors
- Geoffrey Chandler Originator of the Business Ethics group, former Shell director, since resigned
- Chris Marsden — Chair of the Business Group of Amnesty International UK 
- Ulf Karlberg — Ulf was founding Chair of the Amnesty International Swedish Section Business Group, and continues to serve as an active board member of that Group.
Staff (AI International section)
- Donatella Rovera - AI principal researcher on Israel/Occupied Palestine (2004)
- Neil Sammonds - AI principal researcher on Syria and Jordan (since 2003).
- Melvin Coleman - UK Finance Director of Amnesty International and is a member of its Senior Management Team with responsibilities for Finance, IT, and Company Secretarial and legal matters. He was a member of the international committee devising Amnesty International's strategic plan for the period 2004-2010, and also sits on the task force studying the method of funding the organisation's international budget.
- Malcolm Smart - AI's Director of Middle East and North Africa Programme
- Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Interim Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
- Ann Harrison - Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa
- Carsten Jurgensen - Libya researcher for Amnesty International
PR companies working for AI
- Amnesty International
- Telephone +44-20-74135500
- Address 1 Easton Street
- London WC1X 0DW, UK
- Website www.amnesty.org
- Stephen Hopgood, Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International, April 2006, ISBN 0-8014-7251-2
- Kirsten Sellars, The Rise and Rise of Human Rights?, April 2002, Sutton Publishing, ISBN: 0750927550
- Kirsten Sellars, Peter Benenson and Amnesty International, published in: David P. Forsythe, The Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Vol. 1, pp. 162-165, Oxford University Press, New York, 2009.
Resources and articles
- Bush administration flip flops: Amnesty International
- Amnesty International USA
- Patricia Whaley
- Guillermo Rogel - Growth Project Manager
- Sarah Burton - former campaign director
- Anna Stuttard - former staff
- Anne Burley - former europe director
- Steve Crawshaw - international advocacy director
To properly appreciate AI as an institution, one must read the following articles:
- Nabeel Abraham, et al.; International Human Rights Organizations and the Palestine Question, Middle East Report (MERIP), Vol. 18, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1988, pp. 12 – 20. The article reviews the history and the coverage of Palestinian human rights by ten different organizations – one of them is AI. It clearly indicates that several organizations were biased. It is a seminal article in the analysis of what is now called "the politics of human rights."
- Nabeel Abraham, Torture, Anyone?, Lies of Our Times, May 1992, pp. 2 – 4. Article discusses the reticence of several human rights groups in mentioning (let alone covering) Israeli torture practices. AI took decades before it finally covered it, and even so, the coverage has been sparse. AI was forced to cover the issue because it appeared in a reputable source and in detail. If the Sunday Times could cover it, then why was AI silent?
- The New Flag, "Amnesty International on Behalf of Imperialism", 1996. Part 3
- Dennis Bernstein's interview with Prof. Francis Boyle, CAQ, Summer 2002. NB: Boyle is a professor of international law at Univ. of Illinois, a former AI-USA board member, and someone who threatened to sue AI-USA over its biased coverage.
- Alexander Cockburn, How the US State Dept. Recruited Human Rights Groups to Cheer On the Bombing Raids: Those Incubator Babies, Once More?, CounterPunch newsletter, April 1-15, 1999. Discusses how several human rights organizations fell into line about the bombing of Serbia.
- Diana Johnstone, Fool's Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions, Pluto Press 2002. Contains a good discussion of the propaganda campaign used to launch the wars in the Balkans. The "rape camps" were the foremost campaign, and AI had a role in propagating it.
- Siva Naguleswaran, "Amnesty International and Political Culture: Double standards in human rights discourse", Znet, September 07, 2002.
- Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, Pluto Press 2004. This book contains several examples of AI's dubious way of defending "human rights". In particular, the examples discussed deal with (1) the US-Iraq war 2003; (2) War in the Balkans.
- Paul de Rooij, AI: Say It Isn't So, CounterPunch, Oct. 31, 2002.
- Paul de Rooij, AI: The Case of a Rape Foretold, CounterPunch, Nov. 26, 2003.
- Paul de Rooij, AI: A false beacon?, CounterPunch, Oct. 13, 2004. This article contains a reading list that is pertinent to a critical understanding of AI.
- Paul de Rooij, Ted Honderich: A Philosopher in the Trenches, CounterPunch, Dec. 4, 2002. An interview with Honderich primarily dealing with violence and justifications of violence. However, the interview addresses various aspects of AI's position on human rights.
- Macdonald Stainsby, Coup at Amnesty International: Venezuelan Human Rights, Canadian film festivals, and censorship, Socialism and Democracy, 2004.
- Reading list of articles dealing with the "Politics of Human Rights".
- Stephen Hopgood, Amnesty International: the politics of morality, Open Democracy, 8 June 2006.
- David R. Henderson, Why I Won't Renew With Amnesty International, AntiWar, 19 June 2006.
- Joe Emersberger, Amnesty International's Track Record in Haiti since 2004, HaitiAnalysis, May 2007.
- Salim Lamrani, The Contradictions of Amnesty International, Znet, 3 June 2008.
- Michael Parenti and Alicia Jrapko, "Cuban Prisoners, Here and There, MRZine, 15 April 2010.
- Stephen Gowans, Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare", What's Left, July 20, 2010.
- Salim Lamrani, Cuba and the rhetoric of human rights, ZNet, 1 August 2010.
- Franklin Lamb, Failing the Burden of Proof: Amnesty International’s Flawed Syrian Hospitals “Investigation”, Counterpunch, November 01, 2011.
- Glen Ford, “Human Rights” Warriors for Empire, Black Agenda Report, February 15, 2012.
- Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley, Amnesty's Shilling for US Wars, consortiumnews, 18 June 2012.
- Joe Emersberger, Debating Amnesty About Syria and Double Standards", MRZine, 7 July 2012.
- Diana Johnstone, Pussy Riot and Amnesty International: The Decline of Political Protest, CounterPunch, 28 August 2012.
- Bev Cotton, Is Amnesty International abandoning human rights?, Clonakilty Human Rights Group - blog, September 2012.
- Daniel Kovalick, "Amnesty International and the Human Rights Industry: Who Will Watch the Watchmen?", Counterpunch, November 08, 2012.
- Amnesty International USA, "Our Mission", accessed November 2007.
- Kirsten Sellars, Peter Benenson and Amnesty International, published in: David P. Forsythe, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMAN RIGHTS, Vol. 1, pp. 162-165, Oxford University Press, New York, 2009.
- on behalf of the Kuwaiti royal family
- Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley, Amnesty's Shilling for US Wars, ConsortiumNews, 18 June 2012.
- Philip Weiss, Amnesty Int'l collapse: new head is former State Dept official who rationalized Iran sanctions, Gaza onslaught, Mondoweiss, 22 June 2012.
- Kirsten Sellars, The Rise and Rise of Human Rights?: Amnesty International's stance on South Africa, April 2002, Sutton Publishing, pp. 99-100.
- Joe Emersberger, Amnesty International's Track Record in Haiti since 2004, ZNet, 7 February 2007.
- Emersberger, ibid.
-  (Link not active any more... Verified 8 April 2008)
- Amnesty International, Cuba: List of prisoners of conscience declared by Amnesty International (Accessed: 23 July 2010)
- This statement was made by Donatella Rovera at a AI meeting on 8 July 2008 where she was a panelist at a presentation by Saree Maqdisi.
- Amnesty International, Israel must stop harassment of human rights defender, 12 May 2010.
- Malcolm Smart, Letter: Amnesty International's Prisoner of Conscience lists and the reason for double standards, 9 August 2010.
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- Edward S. Herman, Great Paper. Great Propaganda Organ, Z magazine, October 2012.
- Steve Doughty, Revealed: Amnesty's secret £800,000 pay-offs to two bosses... which it doesn't seem very keen to talk about, Daily Mail online, 19 February 2011.
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- AI: About Us: International Secretariat Senior Leadership Team Accessed: 17 February 2012
- biography, HURIDOCS, accessed August 14, 2007.
- Israeli decision to release Palestinian detainee in April ‘insufficient’ AI Press Release, 21 February 2012
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- PR Watch Green PR Guy Adam Werbach Sells Out to 'Saatchi & Saatchi S' (Accessed 8 April 2008)