Jm-airbus320 From Jamaica, joined Aug 2000, 304 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 714 times:
AI, in my country they are very much hated right now. It seems that they jump to the defense of criminals and gangs as soon as they are caught or killed. This organization only takes "second hand" news and makes elaborate and unfair statements about nations such as mine.It seems that in their eagerness to be in the limelight at all times their mouths seem to function quicker than their brains.
eg. Seven guys ask a policeman at a staion for a drink of water, when he complies, they shoot him several times killing him, shoot a retired old man also killing him and shoot a mother using a telephone booth by the station.They then chase a teacher shooting him in the back, even when he was dead they still shot him and eventually were killed in a 30minute gun battle with police.
Of course AI found it necessary to say these were god fearing "choir boys" who were slaughtered by police and the families were christian people. My question is, how can AI stay all the way in England, know the character of these boys (who also raped women in the community) and then say to the world that Jamaican security forces murdered innocent school boys.
Amnesty International's light of justice seems to be quite broken when it shines on certain nations.
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 687 times:
While I don't know the facts of what happened in Jamaica, I do usually tend to agree with Amnesty International. From my experience, their emphasis is not on defending the right of the criminal to commit crimes or terrorize the citizenry, rather, AI encourages authorities not to indulge in extra-judicial executions, but to ensure that those suspected of crimes are convicted through due process and a fair trial in accordance with the law. And quite frankly, I cannot find fault with this view.
Trust me, we do not want to go back to those days when officials executed people at will, no matter how terrible the crime, without a public trial. This would invariable lead to the arbitrary detainment of innocent civilians, whose only crime was being grudged by someone in power.
For my part, I believe the rights of everyone has to be respected until it can be proven in a public trial that they offended the law. Only then should their rights be taken away by incarceration. But as I said, I'm not aware of what happened in Jamaica, so I can't comment on that case. It does sound like those seven guys were killed in a cross fire shootout with the police, in which case I don't believe the situation could have been helped. If they did show signs of surrender however, then I don't believe the police should have gone ahead and shot them, but perhaps only wounding them in the arm or leg before arresting them and charging them with murder.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 666 times:
AI is a bunch of loonies. Their ideals are nice, but the way they go about it is completely wrong.
I always distrusted them, which turned to actively reversing all their statements when they accused my country of torturing prison inmates.
Their report stated that conditions in our prisons are inhumane and inmates are subjected to constant mental torture.
The reason: celldoors are locked at night (oh my!) and cells have only 20 stations on the cable TV (yes, each cell has its own colour TV here. They complained about the inavailability of certain channels and call that inhumane conditions).
At the time, my parents had only 6 stations at home, because the cable company refused to connect them....
EmiratesLover From Malta, joined Dec 2000, 341 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 659 times:
My views on Amnesty International are ambivalent.
Much of what AI says is true and makes sense, and I applaud the way in which they have exposed and opposed human rights violations around the world.
On the other hand, they some times give the impression that they are anti-everybody.For example, they seem to find fault with the human rights situation in almost every country.This gives the impression that if you agree with what they have to say then every government in the word is currupt, oppressive, and vicious.I do not agree with this image.
What I would like is for the AI to expose the positive AND the negative aspects of the human rights situation in a country..... for instance giving governments credit for running the country on a day-to-day basis, making progress in certain areas while at the same time opposing those policies which are unfair.AI stands for a lot of wonderful ideas, but I do wish for a more balanced attitude towards different countries and governments and I do not agree the way in which AI negative reports on a particular country is sometimes used by the enemies of that country to ``lash out'' at it in a less than fiar manner.
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 651 times:
Seems like a lot of us here hate AI because we are offended with what they had to say about our individual countries. The fact is, it's the human rights abuses that deserve attention, not those rights that go protected. As a matter of fact, a government respecting the rights of its citizens SHOULD BE the norm, and therefore not even need reporting.
Additionally, I think most of us are clueless as to what actually goes on in prisons. It might seem trivial to you about a lack of cable channels in a prison system, but is that really what their report was based on? I suspect not. AI actually investigates abuses by sending doctors and other experts to the area. In many countries, simple procedures like autopsies are not carried out, which conveniently masks the true nature of a death.
It's very embarassing to hear horrible accounts of human rights abuses in your own country, but instead of acting defensively, one should acknowledge the fact that they actually occur, and find a solution to prevent them from happening again. Of course, no country is perfect, we are all a work in progress. When you look at the U.S. with all its civil rights enshrined in the highest laws, even we have blatant civil rights abuses which no one wants to admit to. But someone has to point this out. Sometimes victims need a strong, loud, and often annoying voice speaking out for them.
So far I've never found a fault with what AI has done or had to say. I think it's time we stop being so defensive and start acknowledging areas of our system that need improvement.
Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 650 times:
AI is an organization born of a noble ideal in the 70's - to fight against the wrongful imprisonment, mistreatment, torture, and killing of people who's only crime was being in disagreement with their government. AI's work mainly dealt with dictatorships, like Chile under Pinochet, where political opponents and even people who took part in demonstrations or signed petitions, and even their families, would be rounded up and "disappeared" by military death squads.
But the number of such countries is not that great anymore. There are still a few like Iraq and China, but they don't get press attention complaining about them, and in any case, nobody can or will do anything about those countries. So, like the ACLU, they have expanded their horizons in order to keep busy.
One of their favorites is the death penalty in the U.S. OK, I can understand that. But they are already starting to venture far away from their original mandate - the protection of political prisoners and prisoners of concience.
Now they are getting involved in lawsuits protecting the rights of maximum security prisoners having access to TV, Gyms, Cell phones, and other luxuries.
Cases such as these destroy the respect that people once had for such institutions. 15 years ago, I was a dues-paying member of AI, but I wouldn't give them a cent now. Same with the ACLU - until they remember what their purpose is - the betterment of society through human rights - not the destruction of society through "human rights".
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 645 times:
Have we forgotten what human rights mean? This means rights for HUMANS, good, bad, wrongfully or rightfully imprisoned. Groups like AI and the ACLU have to defend those whose rights have been violated, whether these figures be popular in the public's imagination or not. For example, the ACLU regularly defends the freedom of speech for white supremists. Now, while I don't agree with what these groups have to say, I will defend to my dying breath their right to say it. For when a government starts denying white supremists their rights, how much longer will it be until they start denying citizens like you and me our rights to free speech?
Yes, AI and the ACLU are doing the right thing by making sure the rights of each and every one of us are respected as laid down by law.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7887 posts, RR: 13 Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 637 times:
... and have to say that I often feel bewildered on how less people know about Amnesty International. I have trained new members on mandatory questions and worked together with a couple of groups - so I guess I know what I'm talking 'bout.
First let me say that we are all as shitty as other people are. We make mistakes but compared to other sources of information such as media we operate extra carefully.
Some replies to your statements above:
(Not only) Iwenting wrote: (...)The reason: celldoors are locked at night (oh my!) and cells have only 20 stations on the cable TV (yes, each cell has its own colour TV here. They complained about the inavailability of certain channels and call that inhumane conditions).
TV and locked doors at night never felt within amnesties mandate. Period.
Jm-airbus320 wrote: This organization only takes "second hand" news and makes elaborate and unfair statements about nations such as mine.
Wrong. Maybe you make use of 2nd hand information? Amnesty uses information from newspapers additionally to their own resarch work.
B747ca wrote: Were they not also defending the Taliban who had been captured?
(Not only) Amnesty urges for an investigation of the killing of a large number of prisoners of war and is concerned for the safety of 80 others. Amnesty does not feel sympathy for the Taliban's idea of politics.
Yyz717 wrote: They seem to be just another left-lib do-good organization that sees the world in black & white terms.
Partially you are right. There are lefties thinking in black - white terms but they are not the majority. I.e. Amnesty is not a pacifistic organisation.
EmiratesLover: This gives the impression that if you agree with what they have to say then every government in the word is currupt, oppressive, and vicious.I do not agree with this image.
I see it. However this is not ai's point of view. Violations of human rights occure everywhere but ai avoids to call a government "corrupt". Actually, I can't remember a single case. If Amnesty woud stop - let's say: calling for an abolishment of the death penalty in the US, "3rd world" countries would easily claim that amnesty was "unfair".
What I would like is for the AI to expose the positive AND the negative aspects of the human rights situation in a country..... for instance giving governments credit for running the country on a day-to-day basis, making progress in certain areas while at the same time opposing those policies which are unfair.
We do mention improvements concerning the situation of human rights. However, media often don't mention this. AI monitors the human rights situation in more than 180 countries and lacks capacities to publish credits on a day-to-day basis.
Cfalk: So, like the ACLU, they have expanded their horizons in order to keep busy.
Amnesty expanded horizons because the situation of human rights changed AND because lots of members come from "3rd world" countries; and those people have partially different point of views than we have. Amnesties recent mandatory changes have been discussed over and over and many of us don't feel comfy with the changes. But we have to understand that this is a result of our internal democracy. Personally, I would not felt bored if Amnesty would run out of work.
One thing that is obviously hard to understand for those like N400QX is that in most cases Amnesty urges to bring people to justice - people responsible for arbitrary killings, torture and other cruels. Wouldn't we all love to see Saddam and his helping hands of terror elsewhere but in a governmental position?
EmiratesLover From Malta, joined Dec 2000, 341 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 626 times:
``Seems like a lot of us here hate AI because we are offended with what they had to say about our individual countries.''
I think that this is VERY true.
I myself confess that for a while I disliked AI because of the fact that some of the countries it criticizes are countries that I like a lot.This pains me, especially when the enemies of those countries are keen to use the issue of human rights as a convenient whip against the countries in mention.
Then again, I believe that it is important that human rights violations around the world be adequately exposed and opposed in order to increase the value of human dignity.I just don't agree with the issue of human rights violations in a particular nation being cynically manipulated to undermine the interests of that country.
Stratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1038 posts, RR: 6 Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 619 times:
AI is about HUMAN RIGHTS.
Some dismiss them as "left-libs" and else, that is politics. Human rights should not be a matter of political views. Many of you here lashing out at AI would be the first to call on them if you were mistreated.
Aio86 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 928 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 611 times:
Ok, I'm a member of AI, and I don't necesarily agree with everything they do. For example, I am totally against their strong support of the PLO, so I don't sign any resolutions having anything to do with that. However, I take part in writing urgent action letters. One example was two environmental workers in Mexico who were beat up and thrown in jail by the police last year because of some "unlawfull action" they took. So I, along with my chapter wrote and signed letters last year to the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox. This year, they were given a fair trial and set free.
These urgent actions and their successes are what keeps me in the organization. Just because you disagree with a couple of issues doesn't mean you should not support Amnesty's fight against human rights violations.