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[casi] The sun, reportedly, stopped shining.

Dear 'List',

As a long-time campaigner against sanctions/bombings of Iraq, also as an
A.I. member, I have been thoroughly apalled by the virulent attacks on
Amnesty, on this site. A.I. works to promote human rights everywhere, not
exclusively for Iraq. The sanctions issue, although not entirely
ignored (esp. by A.I. of U.S.A.), many would agree, has not had the
attention it deserves. But, therefore, to gloss over governmental
injustices, pretending they don't exist, is blatant dishonesty, perhaps even
to oneself. I must admit that the reports I have read, about wrongful
imprisonments, torture, branding, amputations, executions etc.,
in Iraq, were all harrowing and sickening. Such wicked practices, nor
sanctions & bombings, can never be justified.

About 6 months or so ago, Ghazwan queried A.I.'s record re. sanctions.
He confessed to his ignorance, re. A.I., admitted to never having read
any reports. I tried my best to clarify some of the issues. Then the
director of New Zealand Amnesty stepped in with an excellent account, which
rendered anything I might have had to say superfluous.

If "human rights", nowadays, a familiar phrase, means anything at all,
then people must work together to achieve them, locally, nationally &
internationally. Regrettably, mistakes have been made, on rare occasions
serious ones. But A.I. works in some 150 countries, often under extremely
difficult circumstances, at times in great danger from those with few
scruples. Frequently, the causes are unpopular, where the world seems to
care little, or not at all. It is easy enough, for someone like Ghazwan, to
hurl irresponsible abuse & accusations, despite his shallow knowledge. The
agenda is crude anti-Amnesty propaganda. - I have no problem with Ghazwan
being a Ba'athist, if he is, but - if so - at least he should have the
decency to declare it.

I have forwarded Ghazwan's letter to A.I. in London. They may consider him a
time-waster. On the other hand, they may, having passed by the insults &
crudities, seriously consider some of the points he is making. - "People
...ignore and/or use A.I. reports to further their
political agenda." Make your mind up, Ghazwan!


Bert Gedin (Birmingham, U.K.).

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