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Profile: Amnesty International

 
  

Positions that Amnesty International has held:



 

Quotes

 
  

Undefined, (July 11, 2002)

   “Prosecution for the gravest crimes should not be subject to delay or obstruction.” [New York Times, 7/12/2002]

Associated Events

Undefined, (July 12, 2002)

   “The Bush administration rolled a diplomatic tank over the International Criminal Court statute via an unlawful Security Council resolution..” [New York Times, 7/13/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, May 13, 2004

   “Coercive interrogation methods endorsed by members of the US government amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and violate international law and the USA's treaty obligations” [Amnesty International, 5/13/2004.]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Amnesty International actively participated in the following events:

 
  

(1998)      US-El Salvador (1980-2002), US-Guatemala (1901-2002), US-Nicaragua (1979-1997)

       Amnesty International, in its annual report on US military aid and human rights, states that “throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or ‘disappeared’ at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame.” [Amnesty International, 1998 cited in Chomsky, 1998]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

November 27, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Amnesty International calls for an inquiry into the violence at Qala-i-Janghi. “An urgent inquiry should look into what triggered this violent incident, including any shortcomings in the holding and processing of the prisoners, and into the proportionality of the response by United Front, US, and UK forces. It should make urgent recommendations to ensure that other instances of surrender and holding of prisoners do not lead to similar disorders and loss of life, and that the key role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in overseeing the processing and treatment of prisoners is facilitated.” [Amnesty International, 11/27/2001]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

December 5, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Amnesty International issues a second call for an inquiry “into the large-scale killing of captured Taleban fighters and others at a fort on the outskirts of Mazar-i Sharif.” Amnesty insists that the “events at the Qala-i-Jhanghi fort must not simply be brushed under the carpet, like so many other killings before them.” [Amnesty International, 12/5/2001]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

November 8, 2002-December 5, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna, both British citizens, and Abdullah El-Janoudi, a legal British resident, travel from London to Gambia, reportedly in relation to a mobile peanut oil processing company set up by Rawi's brother, Wahab al-Rawi. [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] The British security services instruct their Gambian counterparts to arrest the men upon arrival. As the three men exit the plane at Banjul airport, they are arrested by members of the Gambian National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Wahab has already arrived at Banjul and is at the airport to meet them. He is also arrested. The three men are told they have been arrested because of irregularities with their papers. When Wahab refuses to cooperate and asks either for a lawyer or a representative from the British high commission, the Gambian agents laugh and tell him it was the British who ordered the arrests. [The Guardian, 7/11/2003] They are subsequently interrogated by the NIA in Banjul and then by US agents who have a file on Bisher from the British. According to the file, Bisher's hobbies include flying planes and parachuting. According to Livio Zilli of Amnesty International, one of them is warned that if he does not cooperate he will be turned over to the Gambian police who will “beat and rape him.” [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] According to a later habeas petition filed in court, they are subjected to “‘stress and duress’ techniques at the direction of the representatives of the United States.” [Sources: Petition for writ of habeas corpus for Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna and Martin Mubanga, 7/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jamil al-Banna, Wahab al-Rawi, Amnesty International, Bisher al-Rawi, Abdullah El-Janoudi
          

April 2, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In a letter to Human Rights Watch, Pentagon legal counsel William Haynes II writes that “if the war on terrorists of global reach requires transfers of detained enemy combatants to other countries for continued detention on our behalf, US government instructions are to seek and obtain appropriate assurances that such enemy combatants are not tortured.” [Letter to Human Rights Watch, 4/2/2003 cited in Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] However, in December 2002, referring to objections raised about the use of unlawful interrogation methods by Egypt, one Bush government official was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “You can be sure that we are not spending a lot of time on that now.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch
          

April 18, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Pentagon rejects Amnesty International's request to visit the US military base at Bagram. The Defense Department declares that “access to detainees is provided to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and on a case-by-case basis to selected government officials.” In a letter, Marshall Billingslea, principal deputy to the assistant secretary of defense, writes that “in this war, as in every war, captured enemy combatants have no right to counsel or access to courts for the purpose of challenging their detention.” [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

July 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The head of the delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at Guantanamo states that the “seemingly open-ended detention” and the lack of a “clear legal framework” has had an “overall impact on the mental health of the prisoners.” [BBC Radio 4, 7/13/2003 cited in Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] “The uncertainty these detainees face as regards their legal status and their future does have a very adverse impact on their physical and mental well-being,” Red Cross spokeswoman Antonella Notaria says. “A lot of them are pushed to despair. It is a clear indication that these people are under extreme stress and anxiety.” [The Guardian, 7/19/2003]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross
          

July 23, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Amnesty International sends a memorandum to the US government and Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) titled, “Memorandum on concerns relating to law and order,” which states that the organization “has received a number of reports of torture or ill-treatment by Coalition Forces not confined to criminal suspects.” The memo explains that Coalition troops are using a number of methods, including “prolonged sleep deprivation; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with exposure to loud music; prolonged hooding; and exposure to bright lights.” Amnesty makes it very clear that these actions constitute “torture or inhuman treatment” and are prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention and by international human rights law. [Sources: Iraq: Memorandum on concerns relating to law and order] The memorandum also informs the CPA that there are reports that prisoners have been killed by Coalition Forces. “Amnesty International has received a number of reports of cases of detainees who have died in custody, mostly as a result of shooting by members of the Coalition Forces. Other cases of deaths in custody where ill-treatment may have caused or contributed to death have been reported.” [Sources: Iraq: Memorandum on concerns relating to law and order] The Coalition Provisional Authority does not provide any response to Amnesty International's memo or provide any indication that the allegations will be investigated. [Amnesty International, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

October 20, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Amnesty International publishes a report stating that it believes that “the totality of conditions” in which “most” of the detainees at Guantanamo are being held may itself amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Amnesty notes that the Committee against Torture, established to oversee implementation of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, “has expressly held that restraining detainees in very painful positions, hooding, threats, and prolonged sleep deprivation are methods of interrogation which violate the prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” [Amnesty International, 10/20/2003]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

Beginning of 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Afghan taxi driver Wazir Muhammad is released from Guantanamo due to long campaigning by his brother Taji and Amnesty International. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004] “At the end of my time in Guantanamo,” he recalls, “I had to sign a paper saying I had been captured in battle which was not true. I was stopped when I was in my taxi with four passengers. But they told me I would have to spend the rest of my life in Guantanamo if I did not sign it, so I did.” [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Wazir Muhammad, Amnesty International
          

May 4, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller says during a Coalition Provisional Authority briefing that while physical contact between the interrogator and detainees is prohibited, “sleep deprivation and stress positions and all that could be used—but they must be authorized.” (see April 16, 2003) But as Amnesty International later notes in a letter to George Bush, “The United Nations Committee against Torture, the expert body established by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has expressly held that restraining detainees in very painful positions, hooding, threats, and prolonged sleep deprivation are methods of interrogation which violate the prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.” [Amnesty International, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, George W. Bush, Amnesty International
          

May 14, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Amnesty International publishes a report titled, “Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire,” which documents a pattern of human rights violations being committed by US forces in Iraq. “Many detainees have alleged they were tortured and ill-treated by US and UK troops during interrogation,” the report says. “Methods often reported include prolonged sleep deprivation; beatings; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with exposure to loud music; prolonged hooding; and exposure to bright lights. Virtually none of the allegations of torture or ill-treatment has been adequately investigated.” [Sources: Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

May 26, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In its annual report, titled “Why human rights matter,” Amnesty International says that America's war on terrorism has “made the world a more dangerous place.” This is the consequence of “the US seeking to put itself outside the ambit of judicial scrutiny,” the organization says. Furthermore, “[s]acrificing human rights in the name of security at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad, and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses, have neither increased security nor ensured liberty,” the report adds. Practicing and apparently condoning torture, according to Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan, has resulted in the US having “lost its high moral ground and its ability to lead on peace and elsewhere.” The practice of violating human rights and the war in Iraq is believed to have a broader influence than on the immediate victims. “The war in Iraq,” the report says, “has diverted global attention from other human rights abuses around the world.” [BBC, 5/26/2004 Sources: ACLU et al. v. Department of Defense et al., 7/6/2004]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International, Irene Khan
          

October 27, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In a new report on human rights abuses in the US, Amnesty International says that the poor conditions at Guantanamo cause detainees “severe psychological distress.” [Amnesty International, 10/27/2004]
People and organizations involved: Amnesty International
          

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