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Press Release: World Wide Outcry To Make Amnesty International See Reason and Make Amends
Source: Human Rights for All
March 22, 2010
People from across the world, including key human rights activists, public intellectuals and citizens groups have supported a global petition demanding public clarification and accountability from Amnesty International.
Among the prominent signatories figure: Salman Rushdie, Michael Walzer; Amitav Ghosh; Malalai Joya, (MP Afghan Parliament, suspended for criticizing warlords).; Dr. Nawal El Sadaawi (Writer and former political prisoner) Egypt.; Martha Nussbaum (Professor of Law and Ethnics, University of Chicago; co-founder of the Human Development and Capabilities Association with Amartya Sen) US.; Dr. Yakin Erturk (Former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and board Member of UNRISD). Turkey,: I. A. Rehman and Iqbal Haidar (the most senior members of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission); Farida Shaheed (UN Independent Expert on Cultural Rights and Director of Research at Shirkat Gah) Pakistan; Jodie Evans (Environmental activist and founder member of CODEPINK, Women for Peace) US; Nayantara Sahgal (Celebrated writer, and former Indian Ambassador to Italy) India; Romila Thapar (Eminent Historian of Ancient India) India; Madanjeet Singh (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and founder of South Asia Foundation) Ramachandra Guha (historian, and a regular columnist with The Telegraph of Calcutta.) [See
below wider list of notable signatories]
- On Feburary 7, 2010 Amnesty International’s controversial alliance with Moazzem Begg and his organization, Cageprisoners, who have an ambiguous position on the Taliban, was publicly questioned by Gita Sahgal, Head of the Gender Unit at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, London.
- Sahgal raised a fundamental point of principle, which is “about the importance of the human rights movement maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination.”
- This principle in no way contradicts or negates the Amnesty International campaign against the fundamental human rights abuses that have occurred at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
- Rather than responding to the seriousness of her concerns with an investigation of the issues and/or having a democratic debate both internally and in the public domain, Amnesty International suspended Gita Sahgal and publicly reiterated its alliance with Begg. This is a compromise of its own core values.
- In response to the petition, as well as in a recent public statement, Amnesty has quoted the concept of defensive jihad as justification for its support of Begg.
The above petition is open for public signatures
Selected list of the notable signatories includes :
Rhonda Copelon (Director of IWHR (International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic, City University of NY) US
Meredith Tax (Writer and feminist organizer; President of Women’s WORLD). US.
Michael Walzer (Political scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, and editor of Dissent magazine). US.
Salman Rushdie (Internationally known writer; winner of the Booker Prize).
Amitav Ghosh (Writer and Professor of Comparative Literature at Queens College, NY; awarded the Padma Sri prize awarded by the Indian government). US and India.
Malalai Joya, (MP Afghani Parliament, suspended for criticizing warlords), Afghanistan.
Dr. Nawal El Sadaawi (Physician, writer, and former political prisoner) Egypt.
Martha Nussbaum (Professor of Law and Ethnics, University of Chicago; c-founder of the Human Development and Capabilities Association with Amartya Sen) US.
Dr. Yakin Erturk (Former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and board Member of UNRISD). Turkey
I. A. Rehman and Iqbal Haidar (the most senior members of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission) Pakistan
Farida Shaheed (UN Independent Expert on Cultural Rights and Director of Research at Shirkat Gah). Pakistan
Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak (Literary theorist and University Professor at Columbia, visiting faculty at Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) US and India.
Marieme Helie-Lucas (Algerian sociologist and founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws and coordinator of Secularism is a Women’s Issue, siawi.org). Algeria and France.
Charlotte Bunch (Founder of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, NJ). US.
Rosalind Petchesky (Professor of Women’s Studies and Political Science, Hunter College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and MacArthur Fellow) US.
Katha Pollitt (Poet and columnist for The Nation magazine) US
Judy Norsigian (Cofounder and Executive Director of theBoston Women’s Health Collective which publishes Our Bodies Ourselves) US
Jodie Evans (Environmental activist and founder member of CODEPINK, Women for Peace) US
Kum-Kum Bhavnani (Filmmaker) US
Gila Svirsky (Feminist peace activist, cofounder of Women in Black and the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace) Israel
Sonia Correa (Research associate at ABIA – Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association for AIDS,and DAWN coordinator for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health Research) Brazil
Carole Vance (Associate Clinical Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University) US
Steven Lukes (Professor of Politics and Sociology, New York University) US
Tom Harrison (Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy) US
Patricia McFadden (Editor of SAFERE, Southern African Feminist Review) Zimbabwe
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein (Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of NY) US
Kristen Booth Glen (Surrogate Court judge in Manhattan; former Dean of the Law School of the City University of New York). US.
Mariella Sala (Writer and former director of RELAT, a Latin American network of women writers; the Latin American Press Agency; and Flora Tristan women’s association) Peru
Virginia Vargas (Sociologist; founder of the Flora Tristan women’s association, and former Latin Amerian coordinator for the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing). Peru.
Dubravka Ugresic (Internationally known writer, formerly from Croatia; winner of many European prizes). Netherlands.
Wanda Nowicka (Polish feminist organizer; co-founder and Director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning, and and co-founder of ASTRA, the Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) Poland
Dan Connell (Distinguished Lecturer in Journalism and African Politics, Simmons College, Boston) US
Lynne Segal (Socialist feminist writer and activist; Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, Birkbeck College, London.) UK.
Doug Ireland (Well known investigative journalist and defender of gay rights). US
Nayantara Sahgal (Celebrated writer, and former Indian Ambassador to Italy) India
Romila Thapar (Eminent Historian of Ancient India) India
Lilian Halls-French, President, European Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI) France
J. Sri Raman (Senior journalist and Peace campaigner) India
Jean-Marie Matagne (Former presidential candidate, President of Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire –ACDN) France
Madanjeet Singh (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of the South Asia Foundation) India
Kamla Bhasin (Co-President, PeaceWomen Across the Globe) India
Hameeda Hossain (South Asians For Human Rights) and ASK (Ain O Salish Kendra) a women’s rights organization, Bangladesh
Yvonne Deutsch (co founder of Women in Black Jerusalem and founder Feminist Center in Jerusalem) Israel
Shabnam Hashmi (founder of Act Now for Harmony and Democacy -Anhad) India
Kushi Kabir (Feminist and founder of Nijrera Kori, women’s mass organistaion) Bangladesh
Harsh Mander (former state official and founder of Aman Biradari) India
Andrej Grubacic (Associated with Global Balkans Network) USA
Sunanda Sen (renowned economist) India
Kumudini Samuel (Women and Media Collective) Sri Lanka
Uma Chakravarti (Feminist Historian, and human rights activist, India)
Amit Bhaduri (Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) India
Caroline Fourest (Writer and journalist, Editor of the Journal Prochoix) France
Anand Patwardhan (documentary filmmaker and peace activist) India
Sooni Taraporevala (widely acclaimed film scenarist) India
Bruce Portugal Amoroto (Diversity and Equality) Philippines
Sonia Jay Wright (Rede Mulher & Democracia) Brazil
Houzan Mahmoud (Kurdish women’s rights and peace activist and co-founder of the Iraqi Women’s Rights Coalition) Iraq
Martha Villanueva / www.gruposafo.org
Rina Nissim (Women’s Health Activist, Publisher) Switzerland
Stasa Zajovic (founder of Women in Black-Belgrade) Serbia
Ramachandra Guha (historian, and a regular columnist with The Telegraph of Calcutta.) India
Lino Veljak, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Asghar Ali Engineer (Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism) India
Sultana Kamal (Director of Ain O Salish Kendra and former advisor the Bangladesh Govt.) Bangladesh
Tanvir Mokammel (film maker) Bangladesh
Mazher Hussain (Director, Confederation of Voluntary Agencies –COVA) India
Jameela Nishat (Hyderabad-based feminist and poet) India
Gautam Navlakha (Editorial Consultant, Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay and a senior member of People’s Union for Democratic rights)
Ruth Vanita (Feminist and Writer, former co-editor of the journal Manushi)
Kavita Srivastava (General Secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties) India
Deniz Kandiyoti (Reader at the Department of Development Studies and Chair of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.) UK
Pierre Pradervand (writer and founder of vivre autrement) Switzerland
Mohammad Tahseen (Executive Director, South Asia Partnership-Pakistan) Pakistan
Sheema Kermani (Dancer, and Feminist. Founder of the group Tehrik e Niswan) Pakistan
Sheba Chhachhi (artist, photographer, feminist activist, and writer) India
Zoya Hasan (Professor of Political Science at Jawaharlal Nehru University) India
Dr Abid Suleri (Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute -SDPI Islamabad (Pakistan)
Sonia Jabbar (writer, journalist, photographer, filmmaker) India
NiraYuval-Davis (Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London) UK
Babu Gogineni (International Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union) India
Tarek Fatah (political activist, writer and broadcaster) Canada and Pakistan
Kumudini Samuel (Women and Media Collective) Sri Lanka
Sumit Sarkar, was Professor of History at the University of Delhi and founding member of the Subaltern Studies Collective (India)
Tanika Sarkar (Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University) India
Dilip Simeon (Labour Historian and founder of Aman Trust) India
Githa Hariharan (writer, and editor) India
Urvashi Butalia (Feminist Activist and founder of Zubaan Books) India
Deepa Dhanraj (Feminist and documentary Film Maker) India
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters, UK
Farooq Tariq / Labour Party Pakistan
Jessica Almy-Pagán, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo
Pamela Philipose (Journalist and Director of Women’s Feature Service) India
Meghna Guhathakurta, Academic, Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Subhashini Ali, President, (All India Democratic Women’s Association – AIDWA), India
Javed Anand (General Secretary, Muslims for Secular Democracy and Co-editor, Communalism Combat; Founding Trustee, Citizens for Justice and Peace , Mumbai) India
Karamat Ali (Co Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and founding Member of Pakistan Peace Coalition) Pakistan
Ruchir Joshi (writer and film maker) India
Prof. Kamal Chenoy (Chairperson, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University) India
Dr John Dayal (former journalist and is Secretary General of All India Christian Council) India
Nick Cohen (journalist, author, and political commentator) UK
Kalpana Kannabiran (Asmita Collective) India
Tahir Mahmood (Jurist and Member, Law Commission of India) India
Peter Waterman (writer, scholar, initiator of a Global Labour Charter) Netherlands
Cherifa Kheddar (President “Djazairouna” association of familles of victimes of islamist, terrorism) Algeria
Harsh Kapoor (Founder South Asia Citizens Web) France and India
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), International
Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, Nigeria
Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), US
Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual, Mexico
I-NFORM, Sri Lanka
Marea (Feminist journal), Italy
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Afghanistan/Pakistan
Secularism is A Women’s Issue (SIAWI), International
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, US
Women Against Fundamentalism, UK
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), International
and 1500 more signatories