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There has been widespread condemnation of three bomb attacks


in India's main commercial city, Mumbai. At least 21 people were


killed and many more injured. One exploded in the heart of the city


and two others in the south, all during rush hours. Indian officials


say it appeared to be a co- ordinated terrorist attack.


News Corporation has withdrawn its controversial bid for a full


takeover of BSkyB Youth stop-off -- BSkyB. The company said it was too


difficult to progress with the bid in the current climate.


The Egyptian government says more than 600 senior police officers


have been removed from their jobs. Their dismissal has been a key


demand of protesters, who criticised officers of the killing


-- for the killing of hundreds of protesters during their Hutu


uprising against Holzinger Barak. - - during February's uprising


against Hosni Mubarak. This year, Amnesty International


passes a milestone. 50 years of campaigning against prisoners of


conscious. This 50th birthday is marked less by collective


satisfaction than soul-searching. The group's strategy has come under


Welcome to HARDtalk. 50 years - congratulations on that. Would you


except Amnesty International is now a campaigning juggernaut that has


moved an awful long way from the founding ideas of 1961?


Not in its values and its basic premise because that has not


changed. Currently, Amnesty International is about ordinary


people coming together to do extraordinary things and when we


started, it was about political prisoners. Then we realised many of


the theme -- many of them were being tortured. Dictators are


getting much smarter so they started making people disappear.


Then you have to deal with the dictators themselves, international


justice. I would say Amnesty has evolved over 50 years, but always


adapting to changing circumstances. As you described it, always working


towards the idea of political freedom and baffling political


oppression, it will look at what Amnesty International is involved


in today it is a sort of capsule against fighting and -- fighting


against a grab-bag of different abuses.


I recently came back from North Africa. When you look at what is


happening on the streets of many cities, especially in North Africa,


you can see the classic problem of political freedom, and people's


writes for food and water, that is something we can talk about sitting


in the studio. There was a Tunisian who set himself on fire, which


triggered the Tunisian Revolution, which triggered the rest of the


Arab world's revolution. No-one campaigning organisation can


represent all of those different issues. Wars and the beauty of


Amnesty in early days was that the focus was clear, thein all about


representing those people who were locked up because of their thoughts


and speech. We a fighting for the rights of


people whose rights are violated. - we are fighting. You cannot


separate economic rights from political rights. It is not for us


to say, "We are only doing this thing." Where is the clarity of


Amnesty getting involved in the abortion debate?


Saying it will champion the rights of women who have been raped or


forcibly coerced into sex and then have become pregnant. I do not see


how that fits with the original ideas.


Half of the populations in the countries we working are women. The


women we are working with, when we started looking beyond prison,


there was a bit strong proportion of the population saying that


women's rights were very Central. We do not take a generic position


on the right to life all right to health. It is a human rights


framework. My knee devoutly religious people,


not least Catholics, like your founder, took the view that life


began at conception. By outlining and championing the rights of women


to have an abortion if they have been forcibly, basically, made to


have sex, are you not pursuing the logic that right to life does not


start at conception. We all know amnesty is fully committed to


respect for life and against the death penalty.


Him Indonesia, Amnesty has been working for many years against


oppression and political dictatorship. Today, if you take


the number of women dying because of bad health practices, it is


20,000 women who died. Indonesia traditionally has one million


abortions taking place. Most of them are in the shadow because no-


one wants to legalise abortion. You can say that it does not matter


that 20,000 women are dying because that is not your concern. What


we're doing in the case of Indonesia is explaining to the


people of Indonesia and talking to the Governor of Indonesia about how


there is a direct relationship between rising abortion and the


whole maternal mortality rate. It is very central. I think it is


difficult to separate these things. We made British bishop, Michael


Evans, after you adopted the stance, quit your organisation, saying,


"Amnesty seems to have forgotten the paramount human right, the


right to life," You do not focus on that?


We are focused on making sure women do not have unsafe pregnancies. We


need to make sure women have access to information, that they feel


empowered to use contraception, whether they are rich or poor,


single or married. That is our focused. We're not focused on what


people do when they get married and get pregnant.


Let's bring it back to politics and repression and the fight for


freedom. You recently back from Cairo, in the midst of the Arab


spring. Isn't the message of the Arabs bring in some ways that there


is now less need for outside analysis and the intervention from


groups such as yours because, in a very real sense, people are doing


it for themselves. We are not outside. We may be


sitting in a studio in the UK, but we have an organisation of 3


million members across the globe. I was in so where's a few days ago


and local people came to me and talk about their local Amnesty


Group. We are spread across 100 countries with 3 million local


members. What is a snake that you're dishing in Egypt? In the


midst of all this crisis, the tarry a Square killings, Amnesty has been


documented -- documenting all the human rights violations. I was


mentioning to the Minister of the interior that we have records of


all the violations that had been committed under Holzinger Barak


over the last 30 years. -- under Hosni Mubarak.


People now have mobile phones, they are on social networks, they're


sending each other pictures and video of what is happening in real


time. You then many months later sending researchers and right along


reports about this and that. You were in danger of being overtaken


by events -- you are. I got a message from Aung San Suji.


She said she wanted to express her gratitude to Amnesty. Her message


was interesting, saying that she hoped that in the next 50 years we


would not need and Mr International. I would share that hope. Let me


assure you that at this point back in time, with the Sudans, the


Chinas, everywhere I travel, people respect what we say.


You said a few weeks ago that the Arabs bring marks a watershed where


activists used new technology to speak truth to power. Are you over


estimating what has changed in the last 12 months?


No. What we have been saying in relation to the Middle East and not


Africa in general, the Middle East is a good example, is that the


dictator has gone but the systems of dictatorship have not gone. That


will take a long time to change, meaning we need truth, justice and


reparations. I was meeting with mothers of the first two martyrs


who gave their lives and there are security officials who conducted


killings and violations. Unless there is truth, justice and


compensation, we need -- we have a long way to go.


The people have lost loved ones, were winded themselves or


imprisoned. Where is the justice for any of these people? -- were


wounded. That is exactly what our same to


the general of the armed forces. By wonder whether you said you were


worried about the fact that they were rushing headlong into


parliamentary elections in September, when the basic


groundwork for democracy and civil society were not in place.


The first thing I talked about were the mid- Barak laws. They are still


in place, the emergency laws. -- been. The media is much more free.


They have started trials against the Interior Minister and Holzinger


Barak himself -- Hosni Mubarak. Up one of the facets we see more in


Syria is that the government also make Ten News the new technology.


They can use mobile and satellite technology to track protesters,


undertake surveillance in New Inn sophisticated ways. Are you worried


about that? We are very worried. We're talking


to the companies, technology companies, about this question.


We're developing our own strategies for the future on how we, on the


one hand, digital can be a massive enabling technology to organise


anonymously, but it is true companies Kent misuse it and there


are smart governments already doing that. -- can misuse it. In a sense,


this is a new area for Amnesty International and the human rights


community. A I talked about the warp speed at


which information can now flow, not least information about allegations


of human rights abuse. That is sometimes very dangerous. Let's


turn to Libya. Not long ago we had stories coming of mass rapes,


systematic rapes by Gaddafi's forces, coming through the new


media. I wonder if Amnesty International, after looking at


those reports, now believe most of them not to be true?


Research and interviewing people is some of the most important work


that Amnesty conducts. We have not had any direct evidence of rape


being used as a weapon of war. Rape been used as a weapon of war is a


serious human rights violation. If the UN and ICC have evidence, we


need to see that. We're not saying it didn't happen. We're just saying


we do not have direct evidence of that.


We now get to a very sensitive line that Amnesty has had to tread for


many years now. The war in Iraq, Afghanistan and maybe in Libya as


well. You have people on both sides of the conflict who want to


marshall facts. In Libya, one of the Western... The arguments used


by Western intervention powers was that had they not intervened there


would have been "A massacre" of tens of thousands of innocent


civilians in Benghazi. Does Amnesty International believe that to be


true? It is a kind of counterfactual


question. I can ask you if you believe it to


be credible. A Amnesty International is not an


organisation that pronounces its views with force. We work within


the human-rights framework. The important issue now is that all


parties have to observe the rules of war and the rules of conflict


and international humanitarian law and that is not happening. All


parties are violating that as we speak. That is why we have an


International Criminal Court. That is one of the pins Amnesty


International campaigned for four years. We're happy that arrest


warrants have come out now and we need to allow for a full


investigation to take place. Just sticking with the notion of


Amnesty's integrity and the enormous pressures it faces, I


talked about the enormity -- enormous conflicts we have been


through. Let's now talk about the war on terror, as it was


characterised by George W. Bush. Do you think it fits with Amnesty's


values to associate with, for example, former Guantanamo


prisoners, in your campaign on the issue of detainees in Wantirna Road.


-- in Guantanamo. In our view, in many cases, the


West has it wrong. We think, in Guantanamo Bay itself, 2.5 years


after President Obama said he would close Guantanamo Bay, we still have


200 detainees in there. We know this is not in line with most


international human rights standards and they are committed to


taking several of them to civil trial and they have now reversed


In that campaign you have run, you have worked closely with other


organisations. You used to work with the Guantanamo Bay prisoners.


Do you regret that association? There was a whole debate about that.


Did you get it right or wrong? was before my time. It was


independently done by two well respected people. They said there


could have been some minor changes we could have made. There was no


disagreement. We made the right choices. Was it the right choice to


work with a self acknowledged jihadi fighter in Bosnia who had


been to training camps in Afghanistan, who continues to talk


about political campaign and conflict in America. Was it right


to have him as an associate? work with a wide range of partners.


It was just not on that issue alone. His group was described as a


leading human rights group which says more of them just working with


you on this specific issue. issue was about whether the


comments he had made, which were kind of derogatory towards women's


rights. Amnesty International, for us, women's rights is paramount.


What were you doing associating with him? When you have people in


prisons, we do not interview them for their views. This was after he


left prison. The reason this is important is because people inside


the organisation and outside it are worried about the degree to which


Amnesty is prepared to work with people who do not share the


universal values that Amnesty claims it represents. People are


worried that Amnesty International has tended to align themselves with


extremists. The nice thing is that we get criticised from all sides.


It is a reminder that we have to remain objective. In the Middle


East, North Africa, many people came up to say how we are so anti-


Islamist. I think Amnesty, without question, maintains its objectivity


through all the processes that we carry out. That is why we are so


valued. Before you toore you too another official said that Amnesty


has become rather famous - thinking about the role of jihad in self-


defence. Aren't such views not right? He said no. Do you believe


notions of jihad are antithetical to human rights? We were the first


to criticise the Taliban for killing innocent civilians at the


Intercontinental Hotel. Any kind of killing of civilians, using any


kind of jihad or whatever is unacceptable. But he believes jihad


is not antithetical to human rights? I am not going to go there.


I am saying if there is any evidence that civilians have been


killed, it is not acceptable. you cut your ties to caged


prisoners? He was associated with an alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind.


Have you cut or your ties with them? We have a specific campaign


with them on Guantanamo Bay. I worked with Caged Prisoners. What


about Israel? In the last few years, Amnesty spent too much time on


Israel and Palestine and not at what was actually going on in the


Arab world? If you look at Tunisia, Egypt, these were major investments


On Israel, Palestine, if you are talking about how we make sure of


objectivity and balance, we work with that criticism. After the 2008


and 2009 conflicts, we said their research conducted into human


rights was inadequate. The head of Amnesty International's Finland


branch described Israel as a scum state. Have you removed him?


stand for freedom of expression. Someone might say something that is


not representative. So he still speaks as the chief Amnesty person


in Finland? We have been cleared that is not Amnesty International's


view. We have dealt with that. I do not know the specifics of the


circumstances but that is not Amnesty International's view.


wrote it in a blog and it caused a great deal of upset in Israel. Some


believe there is an in-built bias. It is not about what one staff in


Amnesty said. The important thing is that the blockade is not


acceptable. People are suffering. We have done some very detailed


studies on water sanitation so that has been lifted. We have one of the


settlements there that has been destroyed 20 times. They are all


the things that we need to stop. just want to talk about the future.


You are the boss. Does it worry you that the most powerful emerging


nations in the world, and I am thinking of China, maybe the BRIC


countries, Russia, India, Brazil as well. These countries do not all


sign on to your views of what human rights really are. You cannot lump


all these countries together. It is a very big mix. They need to do a


lot more. I was in Brazil not so long ago and there was some big


challenges there. We were very worried that they are still


evicting a lot of people. And then you think about China. What did the


Chinese premier say in London the other day? He said stop lecturing


us. Stop lecturing us about human rights. Treat us as equals, don't


engage in finger-pointing and respect others on the basis of


equality. That may be a message that he is also delivering to you


as well. China had the Nobel Peace Prize going to a Chinese citizen


not so long ago. 10 years ago they would not worry about it but now


they are worrying about their international image. They are


concerned about their image more and more. They have to be held to


international standards. As we see Beijing rise and Delhi as well, the


power countries in the world, what you are doing may be even more


difficult to deliver. Brazilians and the Indians and the


Africans need to become part of the movement and raise their voices as


well. They need to have pressure coming from their own countries. I


think the idea that human rights is a Western concept has been exploded


recently. We have to leave it there. The weekend is approaching and the


weather looks like turning pretty nasty by Friday with wind and rain


expected. Before that happens, a reasonable weather today with


sunshine prevailing. Many places will be dry and the one exception


is the east of England with an active weather system bringing a


wet start to the day. Further west, a cool start but a lovely day with


sunshine. Things will warm up quite nicely. I've been to the mid-teens


by mid-morning. A touch of frost in the northern Highlands and things


warming up after that. No real problems weather-wise in the


Midlands. It is the east of England that will have the cloud and wet


weather. Fringing in two parts of Kent, and further west a lot of


sunshine. As we go through the day not much changing - wet weather in


the east of England, blustery wind. Further west - dry, bright and of


lighter wind. Temperatures in the low 20s but chilly. The Open, a lot


of cloud and blustery wind back. Challenging conditions and coverage


will be all over the BBC. Toward the evening, the wind will move


east. Things will dry out. A largely dry start to Friday. Much


warmer for parts of East Anglia, the south-east. Weather fronts are


With motor insurance premiums up nearly 40 percent this year Panorama investigates the car insurance industry from top to bottom.

We go undercover to infiltrate a criminal gang faking accidents for fraudulent insurance claims and we look at who's benefitting from some of those text claim messages we're all getting. Declan Lawn investigates what's gone wrong with the industry and discovers how we're all paying for it.

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