Editorial: Local Human Rights Abuses Largely Absent at Amnesty Conference

April 23, 2004

Source: The Weekly Thikana


On April 23, 2004 The Weekly Thikana reported, "Although Amnesty International U.S. Chapter’s annual conference held this month focused on upholding human rights, no mention was made of the current repression of Muslim immigrants in the United States, save for three immigrants – an Arab American, and Indian American and an Afghani American – who described the dangerous harassment that has persisted in the aftermath of the 9/11 in the name of security. There was also little discussion on Iraq and no one protested or showed any sympathy when news of the killing of Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantisi reached the conference. 'Vigilant Justice – Securing Human Rights in Today’s World,' a three-day conference held at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel on April 16 to 18, brought together 1,100 human rights organizers, lawyers, volunteer organizations, community leaders, writers, journalists, artists and intellectuals from 10 different countries. An international exhibition of posters on human rights violations was set up in the hotel lobby. The opening plenary held on April 17 included: Mary Robinson, executive director of Ethical Globalization Initiative and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; John Shattuck, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation; Jessica Stern, from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, an expert on security and terrorism; and controversial feminist writer Taslima Nasrin, also from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government."