10th December is the day on which, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. It is therefore commemorated as the “World Human Rights Day”. In the days and weeks preceding it, you will frequently meet information stands run by “Amnesty International” (AI), where you can buy candles or similar gimmicks with the organization’s logo (a lit candle with barbed wire around it), or you will be approached by activists asking you for donations. Some of these activists might be idealists who do this in their free time, whereas others are students or low-wage employees who do this for a small salary.
My advice to you is: do not buy their candles, do not give them one cent. Instead, if you are not in a hurry, tell them – politely but clearly – why you think that “Amnesty International” is not worthy of support.
The reason why Amnesty International should not be supported is that it no longer is the organization it used to be.
True, in its outward communication the organization still uses the imagery of its earlier days: political dissidents and prisoners of conscience sitting behind barbed wire, exposed to torture, humiliation, forced labour, starvation, the death penalty, etc., all of them unknown to, or forgotten by, the free world. By donating to Amnesty International, you are led to believe, you could help drawing worldwide attention to the fate of these prisoners of conscience, thus exerting political pressure on their thugs and torturers, and, ultimately, contribute to saving their lives and getting them released.
Well, this is what Amnesty may have done in the past, but it is not what they are doing today. The images of “prisoners of conscience” behind barbed wire are nothing but a smoke screen, helping to convince people like you to donate and – more important – to preserve the organization’s positive public image and credibility. In a certain sense, one might say that Amnesty is nowadays trying to take a free-ride, exploiting the credibility of true human rights heroes such as Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Andrey Sakharov, and others.
It is true that decades ago, Amnesty did a lot to help these dissidents, and this is why the organization is today still believed to be a leading human rights NGO. But in reality, the Amnesty’s focus has shifted. It has given up its initial focus on prisoners of conscience; instead it is now promoting a so-called “holistic” view of human rights that squares well with the controversial social agenda of the UN and its specialized agencies. The cornerstone of this new agenda are so-called “sexual and reproductive rights”, which in the UN newspeak is a code word for promoting abortion, artificial conception, homosexuality, homosexual “parenting”, etc.
In other words, Amnesty is now part of the abortionist/homosexualist lobby, and occasional campaigns in favour of political prisoners only serve the purpose of polishing the organization’s nimbus.
What is the reason for this change of focus? This is difficult to answer. It is well documented that the shift was silently prepared and then suddenly pushed through by the organization’s management -against the will of many (if not most) of the organization’s members. And I guess that the explanation is that so-called “sexual and reproductive rights” is the field of action where an NGO like Amnesty can make big money (which enables it to pay big salaries). Promoting abortion as a “human right” makes Amnesty eligible for donations not only from the usual self-styled “philanthropes” such as George Soros or Bill Gates, but also from the abortion industry itself, or for political institutions such as the EU (is it by chance that Amnesty was allowed to have its desks even within the European Commission’s own premises, despite the fact that the EU is obliged to remain neutral on issues such as abortion??). All are keen to exploit the well-known trademark “Amnesty International”, which was, however, acquired with activities that are very different from what the organization is doing nowadays.
The latest evidence for Amnesty’s moral abdication is a letter sent by a representative of the organization to several Members of the European Parliament, begging them to vote in favour of the controversial “Estrela-Report”, on which we already reported already on several occasions. The report, which provokes outrage and disgust among many citizens, is due to be voted at the Parliament’s plenary session next week.
Here are some excerpts from Amnesty’s letter:
This is interesting for three reasons.
First, it shows that the “Estrela-Report” has not the purpose of promoting the health of women and girls in Europe. Instead, it is part of a much larger strategy to hijack the “ICPD+20″ agenda at the UN in a renewed effort to transform “sexual health” into a concept that encompasses “access to abortion”, “gay rights”, surrogate motherhood, etc. – although this was clearly not part of the consensus found at Cairo in 1994.
Second, it is strange to see how in certain quarters people can get upset about citizens writing complaint letters to their MEPs (which, according to them, is “religious harassment”), while at the same time they find it normal and acceptable that a multi-million business like “Amnesty” does the same. But whom does Amnesty represent – except the vested interest of its senior management and some major donors? Does this not show that some of our politicians have a somewhat distorted perception of “civil society”, attaching disproportionate importance to the opinions of such groups as Amnesty, while at the same time ignoring the concerns of real citizens?
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Third, it evidences how Amnesty is in fact advocating the exact opposite of what one might expect it to be advocating. Instead of protecting human rights, Amnesty negates – and indeed seeks to undermine – the most fundamental human right of the most vulnerable members of society, i.e. the right to life of the unborn child. And instead of providing support to “prisoners of conscience”, it now advocates that tens of thousands of doctors and nurses should be forced to act against their consciences. The new “prisoners of conscience” are the conscientious objectors against abortion – but Amnesty, instead of defending them, has joint in with their persecutors.
Amnesty International is no more credible as a human rights organization. It has become part of the abortion industry. It should be re-baptized into “Abortion International”.
LifeNews Note: J.C. von Krempach, J.D writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Turtle Bay and Beyond blog and is used with permission.