Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Gita Sahgal on ‘Today’

The head of Amnesty International's Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, was on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning talking about her suspension. Details and audio here. An excerpt:
Justin Webb: What is the substance of your concern about Moazzam Begg? 
Gita Sahgal: [pause] You know, I’ve been concerned about what Moazzam Begg and his organisation stand for for a long time but I think the issue that I have is with my employer because we are a human rights organisation, we make very careful decisions about how and where we partner with people, we have long discussions around these things, and when I spoke to people in my office, who are experts on these matters, who investigate on group violations, who are regional experts, who work on counter terror policy and so on – all of them, they had recommended against this relationship. I then asked where the decision had been made to have such a close relationship, or whether we just drifted into it and, you know, whether we had any form of paper work which would explain what we were doing and why we were doing it. And none of that has ever been answered.
Via Martin. Transcript via Flesh is Grass, who has more.

Bob has a post up on his favourite Guardianistas, not all of whom still write for the paper. The story of Gita Sahgal and Amnesty International is exactly the sort of thing I would have expected to learn about via The Guardian back in the days when I spent money on it, but from what I can tell, the paper has not yet published anything on this in its pages. There has been one blog post on the Comment is Free site. And one former Guardianista has written about Gita Sahgal in print, but in The Times.

More at, ModernityBlog, and HP.

Update: A statement from Southall Black Sisters.

My earlier post here.


Roland Dodds said...

The Sahgal incident is a disturbing one, especially since I am still an Amnesty donor and occasional supporter here in Edinburgh. Probably have to stop sending them a check.

kellie said...

From what she said on the radio, she's not alone in her concerns within Amnesty, but someone in the leadership seems to be acting without properly consulting the knowledge base of the organisation.

Flesh said...

I transcribed the Sahgal interview:

kellie said...

Thanks, I just swiped a bit. Now off to bed!