Despite widespread condemnation from many of its own allies and fellow-travelers (e.g.), Amnesty International continues to have no compunctions about its close association with the pro-Taleban former Guantanomo detainee Moazzam Begg. According to Amnesty Secretary General Claudio Cordone, Amnesty may disagree with Begg on the “role of jihad in self-defense,” but otherwise Begg’s support of the Taleban raises no significant human rights issues.
Apparently, however, Cordone has lost some sleep over Amnesty’s cooperation with the Catholic Church in opposition to the death penalty:
There are victims with whom we would not associate, while unreservedly campaigning against any abuses of their rights. For example, we denounced the waterboarding of Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, the Guantánamo detainee credited with the 9/11 and other atrocities. But we would never share a platform with someone like him who openly espouses an ideology predicated on hatred and the killing of civilians – in short, views that are clearly antithetical to human rights. The answer in this case is easy.
But in other cases the answer is not easy. For example, should we not work against the death penalty with an influential actor like the Catholic Church because we disagree with their stand on women’s reproductive right and homosexuality? There are valid arguments for and against. We chose to work with the Catholic Church against the death penalty.
Hat tip: NGO Monitor