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Re: Amnesty International


I'm new to this list, so I apologize if I'm repeating things already 

Amnesty International (AI) is not a pacifist organization, they are 
neutral on war. Their founding motivation was, and the great 
majority of their work has been, devoted to freeing political 
prisoners and opposing capitol punishment. While AI's mandate 
does begin with support for the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights, they have tended to focus on political rights rather than 
economic ones. They are neutral on sanctions.

But, AI is a democratic organization, and last year five member 
countries all passed resolutions asking (at least implicitly) that AI 
advocate an end to sanctions on Iraq. The International Committee 
has been directed to study the issue and come up with a policy by 

I know that isn't very satisfying. We should be able to make the 
case to AI that the issue here isn't sanctions, per se, but their 
application in Iraq; which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of 
non-combatant deaths. This is clearly something that AI should 
strongly oppose. However, absent significant pressure on this 
issue (from us, as well as from other NGOs & IGOs), I think the 
petition is the best we can hope for right now. 

Pierre Sane is Secretary General of AI, and I believe that Don Giles 
heads up the Mid-East group. You can write them at:

Amnesty International
1 Easton Street
London, WC1X 8DJ, UK

If anyone would like more information about Amnesty and how to 
lobby them on sanctions, please get in touch with me through my 
personal e-mail.

Ramsey Kysia
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