Thursday, March 30, 2006

On Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an international organization that truly lives up to its thrust to be:
“…independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.” (AI, 2005)

AI has consistently been at the forefront for the defense of international human rights as stipulated in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has released sharp criticisms of human rights conditions of a broad range of countries such as the United States, China, Middle Eastern states such as Iran and Iraq, Palestine and Israel, and many more countries. These different governments espouse wide-ranging ideologies from both sides of the political spectrum – be it capitalist democracy, socialist democracy or Islamic democracy, Christian, Jewish or Islamic extremism, military authoritarianism and many other political forms and systems which these nation-states pursue, be it for its own national interest or otherwise.

Nonetheless, Amnesty International has stood clear that regardless of political ideology, the demarcation for the respect of universally recognized human rights must be respected at all times. It deplores the torture, arbitrary arrests and detention of political prisoners and suspected terrorists in US-controlled prisons such as Guantanamo in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq but is as resolute in its opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown of political dissent by rural Chinese peasants and workers in state-run factories threatened with dislocation and unemployment, respectively. It has rebuked the Palestinian militant group Hamas for its toleration of religious violence against Israel yet has seriously castigated Israeli authorities for the bombing of Palestinian prisons and settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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