The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has raided Amnesty International’s Bangalore office. While Amnesty claims that this is an attack on their freedom, media is reporting that the raids are due to Amnesty violating the rules of the Foreign Contribution Control Act (FCRA) and starting a new entity called Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd, receiving 36 crores in the name of this entity and misusing the same. However, the misuse of the said 36 crores is just an excuse. Amnesty International is an organization which has grown beyond these sums of money. It is well known that 36 crores is petty cash for this organization. It is also worth remembering that our ED is not foolish to raid a multi-national entity for such a small amount.
Investigation has revealed links between Amnesty International and terrorist groups in many places around the world. Its offices at USA and its headquarters have been caught in multiple cases of misappropriation of funds. Under such circumstances, the appropriate question is not why the raid happened now, but rather why the raid was so delayed?
Farce in the name of Human Rights
Amnesty International has issued a press statement regarding the raids and claimed that the Government of India treats it like a criminal because of its work on human rights. These raids would never have taken place had they been really working towards human rights. It is because of their indirect encouragement for terrorists that the raids against them took place.
It is quite clear Amnesty International has worked towards establishing its roots in Bengaluru since many years. On 15th of August, 2016, they had arranged a program called ‘Broken Families’ at the United Theological College where they had invited some families that had supposedly undergone pain at the hands of the Indian Army in Kashmir. The Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had given a complaint at the JC Nagar Police Station stating that anti-national slogans were raised in this program. There were protests on this issue as well. A case of sedition was registered against Amnesty International.
Contributions to Churches
An interesting development to note in this context is that Amnesty International, which started out by declaring that their official stance is against abortion under any circumstances, had quietly changed their position on this topic in the year 2007 and declared that it stands in support of abortions in the cases of sexual assault and danger to the life and health of the mother. While this is an appreciable stance, it had angered the Church. The Catholic Church was a big supporter of Amnesty International. Hundreds of people resigned from the organization due to the call of the Church.
Not only this, but the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a division of the Catholic Church, went so far as to declare, in June of 2007, that none of its followers should contribute any money to Amnesty International. In an interview to the National Catholic Register, Renato Martino, the Church Cardinal Bishop had said “If Amnesty continues along this path, all Catholic organizations shall withdraw support to them. If they are no longer aligned with our principles, why should we support them?” This reveals the extent of the synergy that existed between the Church and Amnesty International.
Amnesty International (AI) was founded by Peter Benenson in July of 1961. Its headquarters is located in the UK.
The main activities of this organization are ostensibly the promotion of human rights. AI has even been awarded the Nobel Peace prize in the year 1977. Worldwide, its supporter base is about 7 million people. India, too, is naturally one of the countries where it operates. These are, of course, just a facade for the organization.
In the year 2017 alone, AI received around 24,600 crores of rupees. It has already spent about 24,000 crore rupees out of these. According to its own declaration on its website, AI does not receive any funds from any political or governmental organizations. Yet, AI does receive contributions from UK’s International Development Agency, the European Commission and the Governments of Netherlands, USA and Norway and a few political organizations.
Mode of Operation
In its website, Amnesty International claims to stay away from any interests in Governments, political philosophies, religious or economic interests. However, there is sufficient proof to show that it has always engaged itself in activities that are of interest politically.
- Palestinians engage kids in stone pelting, suicide bombing and other terrorist activities. Israel works towards preventing these attacks and arrests such kids. Amnesty leads in the protests against these arrests claiming that such arrests are not the ‘way to treat kids’. And this is where politics starts. Organizations such as the ‘American Muslim for Palestine’, ‘Christian Peace Maker Team’, the Sabil Brothers of North America, American Mennonite Central Committee and American Committee for Palestinian Rights are active participants in these protests. It is well known that America and Palestine don’t get along well. It is ironic that most of the protestors of Amnesty, an organization that claims political neutrality, are Americans. These links were made public on the 20th of February 2017 by the Jerusalem Post. It is after this only that the games played by Amnesty became public.
- American Congresswoman McCullum had proposed legislation in November 2017 which urged America to take action against Israel’s ‘ill treatment’ of Palestinian kids. Amnesty had supported this move. In November 2017, Amnesty launched a massive campaign against Israel’s Prime Minister terming it the largest ‘human rights campaign’. Amnesty had protested against the occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel and had demanded that the cases against terrorists Farid Al Atash and Issa Avro, who were being projected as human rights activists, be dropped. Why should a politically neutral organization get into all this?
- Around September 2015, Amnesty had sponsored a program in which Bassem Tamimi was to deliver speeches in the USA. This person, Bassem Tamimi, was neither a renunciate nor a proponent of religion. In fact, he was incarcerated in the year 2012 on the charges of encouraging stone pelting against Israeli forces!
- In a series of articles published by the Times London around August 2015, it was revealed that the Trust and Human Rights Director and former international adviser of Amnesty International Yasmin Hussain had connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
- On January 30, 2011, the head of the Israeli-Arab NGO Ittezad, Amir Makhaul, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment by Israel on charges of supplying Israel’s national secrets to the Lebanese Islamic terror organization Hizbullah. At this time, the deputy director of Amnesty’s North Africa and Middle East division, Philip Luther, had strongly supported Amir and had claimed that he was attacked and captured. Amnesty thus had stood for a terrorist.
- In December 2013, Amnesty had agreed that it was supporting the Alcama Foundation, that claimed to work for human rights. It came to be known later that the co-founder of this foundation, Abd-Al-Rahman Bin Umayar Al-Nuyimi was financing organizations such as the Al Qaeda and other such outfits operating out of Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.
- In 2015, a writer named Alder Of Jone had revealed that a researcher belonging to Amnesty by the name of Saleh Hijazi had used the pictures of PLFP terrorist Lila Khalid and Islamic Jihadi leader Khadir Adnan as his profile picture on Facebook and had also written in their praise.
- Left wing, feminist, human rights activist and Mumbai resident Gita Sehgal was with Amnesty International. She had identified Amnesty had worked with a Taliban sympathizer called Mojjam Beg. She was made to resign from Amnesty for having brought out this connection.
The judgement given by London’s Southwark Crown court on the 30th of July 2018 is sufficient to infer the kind of people involved with Amnesty International.
An accountant by the name of Sebastian Serminto Orojko, who was with Amnesty, had swindled approximately 35 lakh rupees (equivalent) and used it for his personal pleasure. He had swindled this amount from June 2015 till December 2016. This misuse was caught and he was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
Trouble in SriLanka
A campaign named “Sri Lanka, play by rules” was started around the time of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. This was started with the claim that Sri Lanka was violating human rights. This was around the time Sri Lanka had qualified for the Super8s.
The Sri Lankan Government had then ordered a probe against Amnesty. This probe revealed that Amnesty was indirectly supporting the LTTE in achieving its objectives. There is no further proof required with respect to Amnesty’s affairs in the island nation, since these details have been provided by the Sri Lankan Government itself!
With all these taking place, one would hope that at least the people right at the top echelons of Amnesty at least are doing good. The answer is no. Almost all of them are anti-Israel and pro-terrorist outfits. Some of their details are as below:
This person is an advisory director for North African affairs in Amnesty USA. This person was sent back from Israel in October 2017 when he arrived there to deliver a speech. This man had tweeted a picture, on the 9th of September 2011, of the celebrations that were done by some when the Israeli embassy in Egypt had been attacked. Along with this, Israeli media had reported that this man had links with the IPLF.
Alli McCracken is a campaigner for North America region at Amnesty USA. She had advocated the stoppage of US military aid to Israel in 2014. She had stated that America had provided Israel with about 3.8 billion dollars of aid during Barack Obama’s presidency which Israel was using to purchase weapons to kill the people of Gaza. The question remains how a campaigner working for a politically neutral organization bats for the terrorist and militants operating out of the Gaza region.
Edith Garwood works for Amnesty USA and is a country specialist for Israel. Although she is no more, Amnesty still recalls her contributions to the organization. She was a volunteer for an organization called International Solidarity Movement (ISM) the sole aim of which was to trouble Israel and provoke the Palestinians. She had written an article in 2008 for the Charlotte Observer in which she had urged Israel to allow refugees inside its country.
Amnesty has numerous other employees with a similar mindset and ideology.
Complaints at the International level
A case numbered OTP-CR +265/16 has been registered against Amnesty International with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the 9th of September 2016. One can obtain some details of this case from ICC’s website even today. Under this complaint, Nigeria has requested that Amnesty be investigated for crimes against Nigerians under the pretext of human rights.
Flop show in Russia
One morning, when the employees of Amnesty International Russia turned up at their offices, they were welcomed with a note on the door that said ‘This office has been sealed due to violation of rules. Contact the nearby authorities for more information’. The reason behind such an action has apparently been the refusal of Amnesty to pay its rent on time, in spite of repeated warnings, and other complaints of illegal activities. This has become big news throughout Russia. At that time, the spokesperson of the Russian President claimed to have no knowledge of the incident and had thus washed his hands off the issue. Amnesty’s usual modus operandi thus failed in Russia!
Why some left Amnesty
Amnesty professes to work for equal rights, human values and against discrimination. However it is surprising to know that in the very offices of Amnesty International India, caste based discrimination and oppression of Dalits is taking place. An employee named Mariya Salim had resigned from Amnesty and then had written in detail, with proofs, on why she had quit the organization. She had written thus:
“I have experienced discrimination, insults and denial of opportunities in this office. Being a human rights activist, I had experience working with other activists on the ground. I oppose the decision of the organization which was based on false facts”
She had gone on to describe other despicable happenings inside the offices of Amnesty.
“I had joined the team of a senior activist before resigning in March 2018. The said activist had worked a lot against gender based and sexual discrimination for over two years. She had been my manager for about 3 months then. Before resigning, she had told me that she was undergoing lot of mental torture and violence and that they (employees) were being used as use and throw resources. Not just this, a 60 year old person belonging to Karnataka had been removed by Amnesty from its rolls based upon flimsy grounds. Before leaving office, he had cried a lot”
When their own employees complain thus, one can only imagine what activities, in the name of social service and human rights, this organization can be up to.
The article originally appeared in Kannada newspaper Hosa Digantha and has been translated and published with author’s permission.
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Chiranjeevi Bhat is a journalist at Hosa-Diganta. Previously he has worked in Vishwavaani, Kannada Prabha, Suvarna News 24/7 and Samaya News. His writings will be mainly on security related issues, politics, distortion and appropriation. You can follow him on Twitter @mechirubhat or can read his Kannada Articles in www.chirubhat.com