The Times decries Amnesty International’s Ukraine report

7 August 2022, 12:52 PM
Logo Amnesty International (Photo:Amnesty International Ukraine/Facebook)

Logo Amnesty International (Photo:Amnesty International Ukraine/Facebook)

A new leading article in the UK newspaper The Times, published on Aug. 5, has sharply criticized a scandalous Amnesty International report on the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The article, whose byline reads simply ‘The Times’, called Amnesty International “Putin's propagandists”, stressing that the organization decided to shred its credibility in the service of Kremlin disinformation.

The Times notes that Amnesty’s use of international humanitarian law, such as Ukraine’s obligations under the Geneva Convention, which the Amnesty report refers to, "is altogether different from blaming and defaming the victims of aggression, which is what Amnesty is doing here."

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"It is little wonder the group’s Ukraine office, which was not consulted, condemned these purported findings, while the Russian embassy in London eagerly reproduced them," writes The Times.

The article also points out that the Russian army constantly attacks civilian objects even during the war in Chechnya and Syria.

"Ukrainian forces are valiantly resisting these depredations while striving to help civilians leave the endangered areas," the journalists write.

The Times notes that the organization already has a "previous form in abasing itself before the Kremlin" by refusing to recognize Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as a prisoner of conscience.

"Amnesty evidently learnt nothing from that fiasco,” The Times writes.

“Agnès Callamard, its secretary-general, today ululated that the group had received rebukes on social media, as if it were somehow a wronged party and that its frivolous feuilleton on Ukraine had the status of holy writ.”

The newspaper called for Callamard to resign immediately, though they note that even that would not be able to save Amnesty’s tattered reputation among Ukraine and its supporters.

"A once-respected humanitarian campaign, Amnesty now evinces a deplorable indifference to oppression. Having shown itself soft on crime and soft on fascism, it should have the decency to depart the stage," The Times opines.

International human rights organization Amnesty International has accused Ukraine of "violating the laws of war" due to the alleged placement of military bases in residential areas, schools, and hospitals.

Amnesty Ukraine, the organization’s local branch, stated that it had not recorded evidence of these claims itself, and that a separate team from the Crisis Response department of Amnesty International was engaged in the preparation of the report. The director of the Ukrainian office of Amnesty International, Oksana Pokalchuk, announced on Aug. 5 that she was resigning as a result of her disagreements with the head office.

The Office of the President has said that Amnesty International is participating in a Russian disinformation campaign. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed that Amnesty International creates a "false balance between the criminal and the victim," and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov called the report "out of touch with reality and a way to destroy the authority" of the organization.

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