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[casi] Re: Amnesty International and Iraq

Once again, thanks for your prompt response. However, I feel that the reply
sidesteps what I am trying to ask (or I am not asking particularly well!).
My confusion is over why AI would have to change its mandate to lobby
against sanctions. As I understand it, sanctions have resulted in the deaths
of civilian people and would certainly constitute a 'cruel and inhuman
punishment'. The evidence that would seem to suggest that the civilian
deaths were intentional would open the way for AI to criticise sanctions and
demand an end to them in the same way that it criticises armed groups such
as ETA and demands an end to their actions.

To be as succinct as I can, my understanding of the AI mandate is that it
would provide no obstacle to working actively against the sanctions imposed
on the Iraqi people. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to why this cannot be
done. I am well aware that it may be a case of me not being able to see the
wood for the trees.

With best wishes

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "Diarmuid" <>
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: Amnesty International and Iraq

> Dear Diarmuid,
> Thank you for your email.  The scope of our mandate, and therefore the
> cases and issues that we take action on, is decided democratically by our
> membership.  Initially launched in 1961 Amnesty International's original
> focus was concerned solely with prisoners of conscience. However, the
> movement's mandate has continuously evolved to address changing patterns
> human right abuses. Today we work not only on behalf of prisoners, but
> on the behalf of those that have suffered other human rights abuses.
> As Amnesty International is a democratic organisation all changes to the
> mandate have to be proposed by our members. The process for proposing
> changes to the mandate involves members submitting a motion to the their
> country Sections Annual General Meeting (AGM), in the United Kingdom this
> is held in April of each year. If the motion were passed at the AGM, it
> would then need to go to the movement's governing body, the International
> Council Meeting (ICM), which is held every two years. Of course, all
> changes are only agreed after careful consideration by the ICM to ensure
> that Amnesty International's focus and aims remain clear and practical.
> I hope that you find this information useful.
> Yours sincerely
> Information and Publicity Office
> Amnesty International UK

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