Amnesty International Report Criticized

On May 25, Amnesty International (AI) released its annual report, taking aim, among other things, at the U.S.-led war on terror.

NGO-Monitor is criticizing AI’s report, saying it “reflects the absence of credible research, the abuse of the rhetoric of human rights, and an overriding political agenda.”

According to NGO-Monitor, AI has “failed to meet the objectives of its mission statement.” By disproportionately focusing on the U.S. and Israel, “where violations of human rights are the exception, not the norm”, AI has “exploit[ed] human rights rhetoric in the service of narrow political objectives.”

Acknowledging “modest improvements, such as marginally increased attention to Palestinian violations of human rights,” NGO-Monitor points to three fundamental weaknesses in AI’s work:

  • The absence of credibility in its research and allegations;
  • The use of such terms as “war crimes” and “violation of international law” in an entirely arbitrary and inconsistent manner; and
  • The pervasive impact of ideological and political agendas that favor closed totalitarian regimes over democracies, and replace universal human rights norms.

NGO-Monitor addresses AI’s criticism of Israel, quoting former Amnesty International Chair Michael Erlich who discounts the report’s lengthy entry on Israel as displaying “a very low level of research” and who maintains that “in the Israeli case, the core issue for [Amnesty International] is not human rights, but rather the political conflict itself.”

As for AI’s focus on the U.S., NGO-Monitor quotes from op-eds which criticize the organization as saving “its most vitriolic condemnations not for the world’s dictators but for the United States” and as “a highly politicized pressure group” which “can’t be taken seriously.”

To read NGO-Monitor’s critique, click here

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