NRI accuses Amnesty of favouring 'pro-Taliban activists' | india | Hindustan Times
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NRI accuses Amnesty of favouring 'pro-Taliban activists'

An NRI working for Amnesty International on Sunday accused the global human rights body of putting the rights of al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2010 18:49 IST

An NRI working for Amnesty International on Sunday accused the global human rights body of putting the rights of al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims.

Gita Sahgal, the head of the gender unit of Amnesty's International secretariat, alleged that putting the human rights of al-Qaeda terror suspects above those of their victims had "damaged"' the organisation.

She believes that collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former British inmate at Guantanamo Bay, "fundamentally damages" the organisation's reputation.

Sahgal describes Begg as "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban". He has championed the rights of jailed al-Qaeda members and hate preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged spiritual mentor of the Christmas Day Detroit plane bomber.

Amnesty this weekend said it had launched an internal inquiry after Sahgal raised her concerns with bosses, including Allen and Chaudio Cordone, the interim secretary-general.

In an email sent to Amnesty's top bosses, Sahgal suggested the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his "jihadi" group, Cageprisoners, out of fear of being branded racist and Islamophobic.

Anne Fitzgerald, policy director of Amnesty's international secretariat, said the charity had formed a relationship with Begg because he was a "compelling speaker" on detention. She said he had been paid expenses for his attendance at its events.