Since the assassination attempt on Salman Rushdie Friday, August 12, the absence of conviction of Amnesty International was denounced on the social networks. Journalist Clément Weill-Raynal saw it on Sunday August 14 as proof of “the Islamist drift” of the NGO. The British writer of Indian origin was attacked with a knife on Friday while attending a conference in New York State in the United States. He had been threatened with death since a fatwa had been issued in Iran in 1989, a year after the publication of the satanic verses.
“Not a statement, not a line, not a word of condemnation of the attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie who is the subject of a fatwa from a totalitarian state because of his writings. Why this silence ? “, asked the journalist in a tweet shared more than 1,140 times, in particular by elected officials from the National Rally. “It’s more like Amnesia International” replied Steeve Briois, mayor of Hénin-Beaumont and vice-president of the RN.
On August 15, Hillel Neuer, executive director of UNwatch, an NGO that wants to uphold the UN Charter and presents itself as combating “double standards”, pointed out that Amnesty was still “silent” about the attack. To support his point, Hillel Neuer posted, in a viral tweet, a screenshot “no results” after a search on the social network from the @Amnesty account with the keyword “Salman Rushdie”.
If there is no reaction on the general Twitter account of Amnesty International, the British section of the NGO nevertheless condemned the attack on Monday August 15, at the start of the afternoon. A Press release was posted and shared on social media. In it, Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty International UK, says the “violent attack” on Salman Rushdie is a reminder “of the importance of freedom of expression, but also of the ongoing fragility of that right if we let us not unite to defend it”.
Asked by 20 minutes, Jean-Claude Samouiller, president of Amnesty International France, explains “absolutely support Salman Rushdie, his family and those close to him”. “There really is no ambiguity,” he adds. The attack on Salman Rushdie is atrocious. It is an attack on himself and on the freedom of expression he represents. »
“Freedom of expression is essential”
“Amnesty International considers freedom of expression essential because it is on it that all the others depend,” he further defends. What use are fundamental freedoms if you can’t claim them? The London-based NGO has chapters in more than 70 countries. Each uses the reports, the press releases “as it sees fit”, emphasizes Jean-Claude Samouiller.
In France, the weekend of August 15 was “consecrated” to the first anniversary of the capture of Kabul by the taliban, he says. The association denounced a regime of “terror”, which has “reduced to nothing the meager progress made in favor of women’s rights and drastically restricted the rights to freedom of assembly and expression”.