Amnesty International accused by Kurdish activists of hypocrisy

Are Amnesty human rights defenders, or are they human rights abusers? asked Kurdish activists when the organisation called the police to remove their peaceful action.

Kurdish activists accused Amnesty International of hypocrisy after the organisation called the police to clear its London HQ that had been occupied by Kurds.

Security guards had previously prevented Kurdish hunger strikers occupying its London HQ from using its toilets or opening windows for fresh air.

The group of activists were on their third day of action in the charity’s office when the organisation called the police. They were demanding that the human rights organisation “breaks its silence” over Turkey’s abuses of prisoners.

More than 7,000 Kurds worldwide — the majority political prisoners in Turkey — are on an indefinite hunger strike over the solitary confinement of Kurdistan Workers’ Party founder Abdullah Ocalan.

A statement from the protesters says Amnesty is “deliberately ignoring the demands of millions of Kurds in their continued refusal to stand up for human rights and international law over the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan.”

They highlighted that the NGO had previously “infamously refused to campaign for South African leader Nelson Mandela” adding that managers are now “abusing our human rights by denying us water, fresh air and even to use the toilet.”

In the statement the activists added: "If Amnesty’s claims to support human rights are to be believed, then they need to listen to our demands and take urgent action without delay. It begs the question: Are Amnesty human rights defenders, or are they human rights abusers?"

The activists were demanding Amnesty International to:

"Call on the Turkish Government to respect the human rights of their citizens, especially prisoners, over 7000 of whom are now on hunger strike.

Call for an end to the isolation and solitary confinement of political prisoners including Abdullah Öcalan, which amounts to torture and a human rights violation under international law.

Make an urgent global appeal for action against the Turkish government regarding these matters."