World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Amnesty Urged To Withdraw Invite To Jean Ziegler

Amnesty International Urged to Withdraw Invitation to Qaddafi Supporter

Geneva, April 16, 2008 -- Amnesty International should reconsider its speaking invitation to Jean Ziegler, a UN official who co-founded the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize and has supported the regimes of Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro and other major human rights violators, said UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization.

At its annual Swiss conference to be held this Saturday in Bern, Amnesty International plans to feature Mr. Ziegler together with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. In a letter sent today to Amnesty Secretary-General Irene Khan, who will be appearing on the same panel, UN Watch said it was "unconscionable that Amnesty, a leading human rights organization, would invite Mr. Ziegler, and we urge you to reconsider."

As was reported in Time Magazine and elsewhere, Mr. Ziegler co-founded the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize in 1989, seen by many as a propaganda vehicle of the Libyan regime. Past recipients include Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The letter to Amnesty accused Mr. Ziegler of "supporting regimes that, according to your own reports, rank among the world's worst violators of human rights, such as Zimbabwe, which Mr. Ziegler defended, saying, 'Mugabe has history and morality with him.'"

UN Watch noted that Mr. Ziegler was recently elected to be an expert advisor to the UN Human Rights Council "by the same countries that decided to ignore the killings in Tibet and then to eviscerate protection of free speech." Ziegler's election drew strong protests from human rights groups and dissidents, parliamentarians in Europe and Canada, and editorialists in The Guardian, The Times of London and Investor's Business Daily.

"The career of Mr. Ziegler symbolizes the cynical subversion of human rights that has so harmed the United Nations and its Human Rights Council... By granting Mr. Ziegler a podium at your conference, Amnesty International will harm its own reputation, and, worse, undermine the principles of the international human rights movement--and the cause of the millions of victims we are sworn to protect," said UN Watch.

"This sends the wrong message at the wrong time," said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC