Amnesty provides cover for IS apologists

First it was Amnesty’s support for CAGE and their apologists for IS. Once the CAGE support for Jihadi John in particular (“a kind, gentle, beautiful, young man”) and terrorists in general (“working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror”) received publicity, Amnesty tried some damage control by trying to distance themselves from CAGE but the damage to their reputation had been done:

Evening Standard:Cage has come under fire after suggesting that MI5 “harassment” was responsible for turning Londoner Mohammed Emwazi into a bloodthirsty terrorist seen beheading civilians in horrific Islamic State propaganda videos.

Last week Cage revealed it had extensive contact with the 26-year-old between 2009 and 2012 because his allegations against the security services. In an extraordinary press conference, its research director Asim Qureshi described the now-radical Islamist as a “kind, gentle, beautiful young man”.

Cage describes itself as “an independent organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror” and has spoken out against the UK’s anti-terrorism laws.

But critics have accused it of being “apologists for terror” and today Amnesty International’s deputy director suggested it may no longer campaign with Cage.

Steve Crawshaw said his personal view was that he could not foresee Amnesty collaborating with Cage again by signing joint campaign letters as it has done in the past. ……. 

Gita Sahgal led Amnesty’s women’s gender unit before she was forced out in 2010 after criticising the charity’s links to Cage.

Today she claimed Amnesty had taken research from Cage, shared logos with them, produced briefing papers together and signed letters to the government with them, all of which was hugely damaging to Amnesty and its human rights efforts around the world.

She said: “Immense damage has been done to Amnesty, not least because they won’t come clean about their association with Cage.”

But Amnesty still continues to provide indirect support for IS. Now they have come out with a report condemning the Syrian government for air strikes against IS. Civilians were killed as they also are in air strikes by the US and NATO as well. What Amnesty cannot get away from is that their reports and their search for publicity provide cover for all those who would justify the barbarism of IS.

DWAmnesty International has said a series of “ruthless airstrikes” on an “Islamic State” stronghold last year by Syria’s government killed more than 100 civilians. Some raids gave “every indication of being war crimes.”

In the new report, published on Tuesday, the London-based human rights group said 115 civilians, including 14 children, were killed in some of the strikes launched on the city of Raqqa by the Syrian regime between November 11 and 29. Non-military targets, including a mosque, a transport hub and a busy market, were also hit in the raids.

Raqqa city is the self-proclaimed capital of the Syrian branch of “Islamic State” (IS), but Amnesty said there was no indication that militant positions were the target of the series of strikes.

“Syrian government forces have shown flagrant disregard for the rules of war in these ruthless airstrikes,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

The Rules of War? Really?

I am afraid that Amnesty is getting caught up in a moral quagmire when it comes to the IS and they are damaging some of the good reputation they had. They may not want to admit it but they are – perhaps unwittingly or perhaps intentionally – not only providing a cloak for IS apologists to hide under but providing material that IS can use to justify their murderous actions.

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