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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Amnesty International or the International Criminal's Friend?

The Canadian Branch of Amnesty International has published an Open Letter to the Canadian Government expressing its concern over the decision to deport "war criminals" who have tried to take refuge in that country, rather than put them on trial in Canada according to "international human rights obligations." It is precisely this sort of activity and the abuse of facts, the misapplication of UN Resolutions (which are not binding on anyone unless a national government specifically adopts them) and re-interpretation of Treaty provisions that is bringing this organisation into disrepute.

It was founded with the very laudable purpose of campaigning for the recognition of human rights and the stopping of the use of torture and oppression among the world's many draconian dictatorships. That has obviously proved too hard for the well paid campaign managers based in the western countries whose ideals of freedom and justice accessible to all they are supposed to espouse. Now they resort to the dirty tricks of propaganda and misrepresentation of facts, even applying double standards in pursuit of their campaigns against the very countries whose cash supports their work. The response by the relevant Minister in Canada is informative in itself.

As the Minister identifies, Amnesty wants, from the Canadian government, the "protection" of the identities of the "accused" deportees and, in contravention of Canada's Privacy Act, that the details of the "accusations" be made public. As the Minister says, you can't have it both ways, but it seems that Amnesty's heirarchy thinks they can.

Both the Amnesty letter and the Minister's response are very well worth the time and effort to read. The first convinces me that Amnesty International has now reached a point where I can no longer be comfortable supporting their campaigns. It is time to call a halt to the complete nonsense that criminals should not be deported or extradited to the country in which they committed their crimes because "they MIGHT face torture or a death penalty." International Agreements are NOT national Law unless the national government chooses to enter it onto the Statute Book as an Act of their Parliament. Most nations honour such "agreements" as long as they do not impinge on matters of national security or, as the Canadian Minister points out, threaten the security or safety of any of that nation's citizens.

As a result of some of the more zany decisions forced through courts in the UK by Amnesty over the last few years, there are some very dangerous criminals living in the UK. And Amnesty is more concerned about protecting them than they are about the safety of the citizens they put at risk by their activities.

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