Tag Archives: AI

Amnesty International has been pleased with positive moves on the part of the Turkish government to foster human rights. Irene Khan, speaking for AI, said the decision not to close down political parties, to initiate an investigation of military attempts to subvert the rule of law, and an apparent desire to open new possibilities of respecting the rights of Kurdish citizens are signs there is a willingness to foster the rule of law. Ms. Kahn supported the Erdogan government’s attempt to allow women to wear a headscarf while attending university classes. According to Ms. Kahn, Amnesty International regards the decision to wear or not wear a headscarf relates to “freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”

The controversy over the headscarf in Turkey relates to fears on the part of secular leaders that once women wear them in school it might lead to pressure being exerted on all students to wear one. The question is whether banning headscarves is simply another example of the state imposing its will on women as in Saudi Arabia or in Iran where women have to wear certain garments.

The major concern of AI is the presence of laws which restrict what people can say concerning certain topics like the Armenian genocide. Turkey no longer has need for such outdated laws.

Amnesty International Charges Israel With War Crimes

Amnesty International(AI) charged that Israel military forces during their invasion of Gaza destroyed thousands of homes in attacks that border on any definition of war crimes. AI urged the Israel government to pledge its military forces will not use artillery, white phosphorous and other imprecise weapons in densely populated areas. On the other hand, AI urged Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel and attacking innocent civilians. The Amnesty International report raises many questions such as why high precision weapons like tank shells and air delivered bombs and missiles “killed so many children and other civilians.” It is apparent the death of at least 900 civilians in what was supposed to be an offense to destroy enemy military forces should not have also resulted in the death of so many civilians.

Israel military authorities rejected the report’s conclusion and argued it did not reflect “the unbearable reality of nine years of incessant and indiscriminate rocket fire on the citizens of Israel.” This is a valid point, but it ignores that the nine years of rocket attacks did not result in other than a handful of deaths. The issue is not whether Israel had a right to defend itself. The issue is the disproportionate number of Gaza civilian deaths in what was supposed to be a military operation.

Hamas Involved In Murder Campaign In Gaza

Amnesty International(AI) has uncovered evidence that Hamas forces and militias were involved in a campaign “of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of ‘collaborating’ with Israel as well as opponents and critics” of their regime. The report says at least two dozen men have been shot by Hamas since the conclusion of the Israel invasion and that many others have been “knee-capped” which consists of crippling men by shooting them in the knees. Amnesty International insists it has “incontrovertible evidence” to support its accusations. Hamas has admitted it was searching for “collaborators” but denies the human rights charges of Amnesty International.

A study conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights supports claims by AI and believes about 32 men have been killed, and that dozens more were shot or tortured. After Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it has harassed the Human Rights Center.

Those who justifiably protested against Israel human rights abuses are remarkably silent when it comes to human rights violations by Hamas. One can only conclude from the silence and lack of protests that if Jews commit human rights violations the world is upset, but when millions are killed in the Congo or thousands in Darfur and Uganda, the silence is deafening.