As stated by their homepage: "Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights." Founded in the UK in 1961, the organization works to highlight reported deviations from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. It attempts to garner public support, most notably in the form of letter writing campaigns, in the belief that this can exert political pressure.
It was the winner of the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize.
At the 27th International Council meeting, 2005, it was decided that:
"Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights."
This manifests itself as Amnesty's goals:
- Abolish capital punishment
- Put an end to extrajudicial executions and "disappearances"
- Put an end to torture and ill-treatment
- Put an end to unlawful killings in armed conflict
- Ensure conditions in prisons meet international standards of human rights
- Ensure rapid and fair trials for all prisoners of conscience
- Ensure free education to all children worldwide
- Put an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers
- Promote economic, social and cultural rights for marginalized communities
- Protect human rights defenders
- Protect the rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers
One topic of particular controversy is the organization's stance on abortion, as both pro-abortion and pro-life members belong to Amnesty. In August 2007, Amnesty International changed its position to pro-abortion.
Accusations of bias
Amnesty International has disproportionately criticized free democratic nations over authoritarian nations with grave human rights abuses, such as Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. This exposes an anti-American standpoint increasingly common in liberal groups. Peter Phelps, a writer for Australia’s leading free market think tank, The Institute for Public Affairs, wrote that Amnesty International has deviated from its founding goals,
“In the midst of the Cold War, Amnesty was a beacon to prisoners of conscience languishing in the Gulags of the Soviet empire and the work camps of CommunistChina. It was an institution whose time had come. Today, its time has passed. Rather than attack real abuses of human rights, it has lost sight of its original objectives. It has become, like Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society and ACOSS, yet another self-perpetuating bureaucracy. More effort is directed into recruiting new members, whose subscription fees pay for this entrenched class of apparatchiks, than in exposing real violations of human rights.
The decline in standards has become especially apparent over the last five years. The collapse of the Soviet empire has deprived Amnesty of most of its raison d’être. In its place is an active campaign against free, democratic nations. For example, in Amnesty’s 1999 Annual Report on the Internet, 165 lines of text were devoted to criticism of Australia’s human rights. In contrast, the Communist dictatorship of North Korea had only 83 lines of critical text. Yet there is simply no comparison between the human rights records of Australia and North Korea.”
One of the main reasons for the disproportionate criticism has been Amnesty International's flawed methodology which relies heavily on the press inside of nations. This leads to a nation that is free and open, but had minor infractions, receiving much more criticism then a closed nation.
Conversely, some critics have asserted that Amnesty International is biased in favour of the interests of America and other wealthy nations. For example, Amnesty International did not condemn South Africa's apartheid regime, widely regarded as an abuse of human rights. This has been interpreted as being due to South Africa's political and economic links with the British and American governments of the time.
For all the talk of Amnesty being an organization protecting human rights, human rights does not include those children in the womb. Amnesty Intl. is coming out against the Dominican Republic's proposed protections for unborn life in its draft constitution and in the country's penal law.
There is a growing trend among so-called "human rights" bodies that seek to impose obligations on countries based on social policy rather than principles. Amnesty has criticized the government of Poland for "Denial of access to abortion for eligible women." 
An Apr 2021 report showed that Amnesty International has a culture of white privilege and workers allege systemic bias and racist language by senior staff including N-word and P-word.
Just about everything Israel does to defend itself is 'illegal' in the eyes of Amnesty International. During the Israel Lebanese conflict of 2006, Amnesty was accusing Israel of war crimes. According to the Jerusalem Post's Alan Dershowitz, through restraint, Israel was able to minimize the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, but Amnesty criticized nevertheless. Yet on Hezbollah's best efforts to embed itself in population centers and to use civilians as human shields, Amnesty said nothing. "Bigotry, pure and simple.", said Dershowitz.
In February 2018 Amnesty International demanded to release Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested for slapping Israeli soldiers. Tamimi's family is known for openly declaring its ambition to be the start of a Third Intifada. Ahed's uncle Nizar Tamimi was involved in the stabbing and burning of an Israeli while his wife Ahlam Tamimi planed a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem Sbarro restaurant. Ahed and her family never condemned these attacks and even attented the wedding of Nizar and Ahlam in 2012.
Support for same-sex rights
In Uganda in 2005, the government passed laws saying that "marriage is lawful only if entered into between a man and a woman" and that it was "unlawful for same-sex couples to marry". Amnesty called on the Ugandan government "to end discrimination against people on grounds of their sexual orientation" which they claimed was "a violation of international human rights law."
Gun control and death penalty
- Amnesty International Becomes a Pro-Choice Organization. NewsMax Aug. 21, 2007
- Amnesty International takes on divided world "Amnesty International committed itself to strengthening the organization's work on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and other factors contributing to women's recourse to abortion and affirmed the organization’s policy on selected aspects on abortion (to support the decriminalisation of abortion, to ensure women have access to health care when complications arise from abortion and to defend women's access to abortion, within reasonable gestational limits, when their health or human rights are in danger), emphasizing that women and men must exercise their sexual and reproductive rights free from coercion, discrimination and violence." Amnesty International 17th August 2007
- Amnesty International defends access to abortion for women at risk Amnesty International 14th June 2007
- Amnesty's Agnes Callamard = Shill for dictator fascist dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; propagandist for pro terror Qatar; against killing Soleimani, DP, Feb 2, 2022
- Phelps, Peter, Amnesty Infomercial, Review, (Intitute of Public Affairs), September 1999, p.13.
- "Is Amnesty International Biased?", 2002.
- No Amnesty For the Unborn NCRegister, June 12, 2007
- Amnesty International Twists Intl Law in Dominican Republic Abortion Debate Lifenews.com, May 7, 2009
- Amnesty International drubs Poland on abortion Spero News, June 25, 2009
- Nazia Parveen, "Amnesty International has culture of white privilege, report finds," The Guardian, 20 Apr 2021.
Exclusive: Workers allege systemic bias and racist language by senior staff including N-word and P-word.
- Amnesty International (AI), NGO Monitor,
February 01, 2022.
Claims to be “Independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion… it does not support or oppose any government or political system.”
Disproportionately singles out Israel for condemnation, focusing solely on the conflict with the Palestinians, misrepresenting the complexity of the conflict, and ignoring more severe human rights violations in the region.Amnesty International operates an office in Jerusalem under the leadership of Saleh Hijazi, former Public Relations officer for the Palestinian Authority’s Office of the Ministry of Planning in Ramallah.
- Questions For Amnesty, Feb 2022.
Basic Questions For Amnesty
Can I be honest with you?
Perhaps you can help?
For a start, you could explain why - given your claim that Israel is an 'apartheid' state - the following happens there:
1 - if what you claim is true, why do all citizens have equal rights?
There are no inferior or second-class citizens, unlike non-whites in South Africa or minorities in Islamic or Arab countries. Arabs occupy senior positions on the Israeli police force, in the parliament and in the Israeli judiciary.
For example, Salim Joubran, who currently serves on the Israeli Supreme Court, is a Christian Arab.
Ishmael Khaldi, an Islamic Bedouin, is a diplomat in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Majalli Wahabi (Druze) was the acting president of Israel in 2007.
These are just a few examples out of the many minority groups holding key positions in Israeli society.
Oh, and let's not forget that it was an Arab judge, , George Karra, who sentenced an ex-Israeli president Moshe Katsav to prison for seven years.
When an Arab judge sentences a former Israeli president to jail -- well, bit of a strange 'apartheid', I think you'd have to agree.
2 - if what you claim is true, why in Israel, is incitement to racial hatred a criminal offence....?
This is the exact opposite to apartheid in South Africa - where the government actually introduced and passed racist legislation!
3 - If what you claim is true, why do Arabs and Israelis receive the same treatment, and are together in the same hospitals?
The Hadassah Medical Organisation operates two hospitals in Jerusalem. It was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize due to its push for peace in the Middle East and its equal treatment of Palestinians, Arab and Israelis.
Arab and Israeli children are born amongst each other in the same hospitals.
Even during Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, Palestinians receive top-of-the-line treatment in Israeli hospitals.
Now contrast this with South Africa, where Black people were given limited access to health care.
4 - If what you claim is true, why do Israeli Arabs have their own political parties in the Knesset?
The Joint List is an example of this. They received 13 seats in the 2015 Israeli election. Arabs have equal voting rights.)
In South Africa, Black people during apartheid were not allowed to participate in the political process.
5 - If what you claim is true, why can Arab citizens seek redress through the courts and government if they feel they have been treated unfairly?
Arab citizens also receive trial based on the facts, not ethnicity.
In apartheid South Africa, discrimination was authorized from the highest position in the government.
6 - If what you claim is true, why do Arabs in Israel have more fundamental rights than other Islamic and Arab countries in the Middle East?
Israeli Arabs have more rights than they do in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, controlled by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority respectively.
7 - If what you claim is true, why are there 1.6 million Arab citizens fully integrated within Israeli society?
They make up 20 per cent of Israel's population. There was no such integration in South Africa.
Furthermore, according to a poll done by Harvard University, 77 per cent of Arab citizens living in Israel would rather live there than any other country in the world.
If these citizens were experiencing "apartheid," why are so many of them so supportive of Israel...?
Arabs have the right to move freely, vote, obtain an education, work in prominent positions, receive world-class health care, own land and speak freely. Black people in South Africa had none of these rights.
8 - If what you claim is true, why have numerous Israeli Arabs now posted on twitter, condemning your report as nonsense?
Here are the names of just two: Mohammad Kabiya and Lorena Khateeb,
9 - Finally, if as you claim hings are so terrible in Israel. WHY do millions of non Jews STAY?
Why do all the Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Druze, and B'hais choose to live there?
Why don't these millions of Arabs - whom you claim are suffering apartheid - move to one of the nearby Arab states......?
They all have passports.
Why do they choose to stay in Israel?
We look forward to your response.
- Amnesty Int'l redefines 'war crimes' The Jerusalem Post, Aug 30, 2006
- AHEAD OF TRIAL, AMNESTY SAYS ISRAEL MUST RELEASE AHED TAMIMI. Jerusalem Post. February 13, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Ahed Tamimi and the normalization of terrorism. Times of Israel. February 13, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Uganda: Gay and lesbian rights activists intimidated, and same sex marriage criminalised Amnesty UK, August 3, 2005