Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Human Rights for All – Sign the Petition

Since mid February a petition on Amnesty International’s suspension on Gita Saghal, head of AI’s gender unit, circulates on the internet. It has been signed by internationally known feminists like Charlotte Bunch, Mallika Dutt, Sonia Corea, Yakin Ertuk, Ros Petchesky, Virginia Vargas. Salman Rushdie also signed. It is supported by various organisations including AWID, the Urgent Action Fund, Women living under Muslim Laws. So far not that many organisations and individuals based in the Netherlands did sign. High time to change that.

What is it all about? Gita Saghal, Head of the Gender Unit at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London, is suspended for questioning Amnesty International’s partnership with individuals whose politics towards the Taliban are ambiguous. She raised a fundamental point of principle which is about the importance of human rights movements maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination, this time of women and minorities.
The petition calls upon Amnesty International to clearly and publicly affirm its commitment to all human rights and to demonstrate its obligation to make itself publicly accountable, as it so often has demand of others.
The petition also extends solidarity and support to Gita Saghal.

Please go to the website for more information and to sign the petition.

Leontine Bijleveld

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