By KABS KANU :
Amnesty international’s credibility and integrity have been bitterly attacked during the past years by sovereign nations frustrated and disappointed with the organization’s penchant to empower the chicanery of opposition and dissident forces in Third World sovereign nations, thereby undermining peace and human life in these countries .
The organization’s recent public release on Sierra Leone did nothing to remove the slur on its character as an organization that does not only distort reality in its quest to be the mouth piece of opposition forces in other countries but its beliefs are dangerous to the enforcement of the law and the protection of the state from troublemakers and anarchists .
An organization that tends to have no regard for the safety and security of the nations it picks on, Amnesty International this time is criticizing the Sierra Leone Government of curtailing freedom of expression and assembly and is calling on the government to “stop using emergency regulations brought in to combat Ebola as a pretext to restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.” Amnesty International ‘s claim of pretext by the government to violate civil liberties is shamelessly and shamefully dishonest, unconscionable and it depicts an organization that does not place itself in the position of the countries it tries to discredit. Does this organization care more for political correctness than the lives of our people ? Who constitute the polity ? Is it not the people ? If Ebola goes out of control and begins to kill our people like flies, will they be able to conduct politics ?
Why would a government that is reputed for having the freest media in West Africa and one of the most vibrant and biting civil society, youth, women’s and children’s groups in the content ( Which won it the distinction of being a model of postwar political tolerance and reconstruction by the UN ) use emergency regulations to curtail civil liberties ?
Let us look at the civil and human rights records of the APC Government since it came to power to see whether the Amnesty International’s attack on Sierra Leone is justified . How many newspapers have the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government banned since it was elected to power in 2007 ? NONE. How many newspaper editors have this government sent to jail since it was elected to power ? NONE . How many civil society activities have this government ever arrested ? NONE. How many prisoners of conscience does this government have ? NONE. How many political prisoners have ever been executed by this government ? NONE . Instead of commending the government for human and civil rights records that even beat those of the first world countries , Amnesty International has sought to capitalize on the health emergency in the country to find unnecessary fault with the government’s measures to protect the lives of its people. Considering the avowed goals of Amnesty International, is this not shameful hypocrisy ?
Despite its contempt for some sovereign third world countries, Amnesty International should realize that the government of Sierra Leone is a government of laws . The government was constitutionally elected to seek , promote and sustain the welfare of the people as well as protect and defend the security of the citizens. Not even the U.S and the UK, believed to be the bastions of respect for human and civil rights in the world would allow its people to flout health emergency laws when there is an Ebola outbreak , of all scourges .
The world has not forgotten the hysteria , pandemonium and alarm that swept the U.S. and the U.K. when ebola was imported to these countries during the peak of the outbreak in West Africa last year. If ebola had wreaked in America and Britain half the havoc it created in West Africa and killed half the number of the thousands of people who died in Sierra Leone due to the outbreak, the U.S. and UK would have enforced emergency regulations perhaps more stringently than Sierra Leone. The National Guard would have been deployed in the U.S and no sane person would have blamed America. Ebola is too deadly a disease ! ! That an organization that claims to defend the welfare of people does not have the integrity to acknowledge the dire straits our ebola-affected nations face in employing every legitimate means to stop the spread of the killer disease is a shame to Amnesty International.
Amnesty International has bungled its own credibility in recent years. The organization’s shortsightedness , its bias against general security issues and its penchant to pander to the whims of opposition and dissident forces , or project an agenda that “tends to fit nicely with the political needs of ” its Western paymasters have all undermined the organization’s integrity . ( Read “Dennis Bernstein and Dr. Francis Boyle discuss the politics of Human Rights” : CovertAction Quarterly , Number 73, Summer 2002, pp.9-12,27 ).
Amnesty International’s selective emphasis on third world countries and its role in covering up the massacre at the Jenin Camp in 2002 is well documented , which prompted Bernstein to deliver the following scathing indictment of the organization : ” Without question, Amnesty does a great deal of crucial work, which is relied on by journalists and activists around the world. However, Amnesty has made huge mistakes in the Middle East and these cannot be overlooked in any fair and balanced assessment of Amnesty’s role in international politics.”
By picking a row with the Sierra Leone Government for enforcing measures to protect the lives of the people of Sierra Leoneans, Amnesty International has once again shamelessly exhibited a depraved indifference to human lives . Despite its posturing all over the world, even Americans do not think highly of Amnesty International in the area of protecting human life . A USA TODAY report, “Furor over Amnesty’s abortion stance”, on 7/26/2007, indicted the organization that it “betrayed its principles by abandoning a previously neutral stance on abortion and affirming a new policy supporting greater access to abortion. Critics damned AI that its stance on abortion “undermines Amnesty’s long-standing moral credibility, diverts its mission, divides its own members … and jeopardizes Amnesty’s support by people in many nations, cultures and religions,” according to Bishop William Skylstad, president of U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference. The newspaper reported that “a Vatican official, Cardinal Renato Martino, said Catholics should no longer contribute to Amnesty because of the policy. ”
If even in its own corner, Amnesty International is held to such derision for insane indifference to human life, why would any Sierra Leonean be surprised that the organization is asking the government to allow lawless and reckless behavior that would increase Ebola infection and put the lives of the entire citizenry in jeopardy ? If Amnesty International does not care for the lives of poor, innocent unborn babies , why would it care for the lives of the Sierra Leonean people ?
MORE EXPOSURE OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IN PART 2