But if Amnesty had listened to Gita Sahgal instead of firing her…they would have avoided this appalling mistake.
Last week Cage revealed it had extensive contact with the 26-year-old between 2009 and 2012 because [of] his allegations against the security services. In an extraordinary press conference, its research director Asim Qureshi described the now-radical Islamist as a “kind, gentle, beautiful young man”.
So maybe it wasn’t MI5 “harassment” that turned him into a horrific sadistic murderer, but rather, Cage itself. Correlation ≠ causation, so why not pin the blame on Cage rather than MI5?
Steve Crawshaw said his personal view was that he could not foresee Amnesty collaborating with Cage again by signing joint campaign letters as it has done in the past.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it highly unlikely in the current circumstances of seeing the kind of public statements that are being made.”
However he denied Amnesty was complicit in helping to propagate a “narrative of innocence” around terror suspects – a charge levelled at Cage – adding: “I don’t think we played to anybody’s myth. I can’t condemn strongly enough anybody in any context who seeks to find some justification somehow for why they can kill civilians.”
Gita Sahgal led Amnesty’s women’s gender unit before she was forced out in 2010 after criticising the charity’s links to Cage.
Today she claimed Amnesty had taken research from Cage, shared logos with them, produced briefing papers together and signed letters to the government with them, all of which was hugely damaging to Amnesty and its human rights efforts around the world.
Amnesty has been working hard for Raif Badawi, and props to them for that, but the collaboration with Cage combined with the firing of Gita Sahgal is a fucking disgrace.