Amnesty faces outburst after suspending official over link with ex-Gitmo detainee

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London, Feb. 12 (ANI): Amnesty International has come under fire for suspending a senior official who openly accused the organisation of double standards over its links with the former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg.

Gita Sahgal, the head of the gender unit at the human rights group, said that she was suspended "within hours" of the publication of an article based on an e-mail she had sent to her bosses criticising links with Begg.

In an email sent to Amnesty's top bosses, she suggested the charity has mistakenly allied itself with Begg who is "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban".

Sahgal, who has researched religious fundamentalism for 20 years, has decided to go public because she feels Amnesty has ignored her warnings for the past two years about the involvement of Begg in the charity's Counter Terror With Justice campaign.

"I believe the campaign fundamentally damages Amnesty International's integrity and, more importantly, constitutes a threat to human rights," Sahgal wrote in an email to the organisation's leaders on January 30.

"To be appearing on platforms with Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment," she added.

On Thursday, Amnesty denied suspending Sahgal for raising her objections internally but refused to say if the action was taken because she went to the press.

Amnesty defended its work with Cageprisoners and said that it would not stop working with Begg.

"He speaks about his own views and experiences, not Amnesty International's," its statement noted. "And Moazzam Begg has never used a platform he shared with Amnesty to speak against the rights of others."

Begg supported Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged spiritual mentor of the Christmas Day Detroit plane bomber. (ANI)

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