From The Sunday Times:
The Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie has accused Amnesty International of “moral bankruptcy” for working with a former terror suspect from Britain.
Rushdie, whose plight was championed by Amnesty when he was placed under a fatwa by the Iranian regime for his novel The Satanic Verses, said the charity had done “incalculable damage” to its reputation by collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, and his organisation Cageprisoners.
His accusation follows the suspension this month of Gita Sahgal, a senior Amnesty official, who raised concerns about the organisation’s links to Begg and Islamists. More:
And below, from The Times, London:
The conscience stifled by Amnesty
When Gita Sahgal questioned the human rights group’s links to Islamic radicals, it suspended her. Now she fears for her safety
Amnesty International has made its name as a champion of free speech, campaigning on behalf of prisoners who have spoken out against oppressive regimes around the world. But when it comes to speaking up about the organisation itself … well, that seems to be a different story.
Last week Gita Sahgal, a highly respected lifelong human rights activist and head of Amnesty’s gender unit, told The Sunday Times of her concerns about Amnesty’s relationship with Cageprisoners, an organisation headed by Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo internee.
Since his release in 2005, Begg has spoken alongside Amnesty at a number of events and accompanied the organisation to a meeting at Downing Street last month. Sahgal felt the closeness of the relationship between Amnesty and Cageprisoners — which appears to give succour to those who believe in global jihad — was a threat to Amnesty’s integrity. “To be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment,” she wrote to Amnesty’s leaders following the Downing Street visit. More: