On August 5, the British The Times published an article The Times view on Amnesty International Ukraine report: Putin’s Propagandists, which rightly criticized the recent Amnesty International report. As an example, The Times cited the famous pacifist writer Vera Britten, who, on news about the death camps of 1945, said that the nightmares of occupied Europe are made public "partly, at least, in order to divert attention from the havoc produced in German cities by allied obliteration bombing ".
"Campaigners who declare their humanitarian concerns can sometimes fail to grasp the basic moral distinction between a just cause and an evil one. A case of comparable obtuseness is provided by Amnesty International, the human rights charity," comments The Times and draws parallels between the campaigners of World War II and this one.
The Times said the team convened to cover the cases of prisoners of conscience "this week determinedly set about shredding its credibility by serving as a megaphone for the propaganda of the Putin regime." After spending a couple of weeks in the occupied Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Donetsk regions, and without consulting the Ukrainian office, Amnesty International wrote in writing to accuse Ukraine of "violating international humanitarian law and endangering civilians by turning civilian objects into military targets."
"There is a legal obligation, codified in the Geneva Conventions, to protect noncombatants in war, and the monitoring activities of such organizations as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent can help enforce it by bringing violations to light. That is altogether different from blaming and defaming the victims of aggression, which is what Amnesty is doing here," puts forward the fair counterarguments of The Times.
The British newspaper also mentioned that basing its troops in civilian quarters is a classic tactic of the Russian army. They did this in Syria, in Chechnya, and now in Ukraine. And that is why the Ukrainian army is in residential areas: to protect Ukrainians from Russia. In addition, Amnesty forgot to mention that Ukraine is evacuating civilians from the occupied areas to other cities and countries day and night.
"Amnesty’s report pays no attention to the realities of military operations and misunderstands the content of positive international law," The Times.
After a flurry of angry and just criticism, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, went into hysterics, "as if it were somehow a wronged party and that its frivolous feuilleton on Ukraine had the status of holy writ." According to The Times, the head of any non-governmental organization after such a failure would have to resign. However, neither this nor anything else will save AI's tarnished reputation.
"Members of the public who generously donate money and time to it in the belief that they are aiding victims of persecution should stop. 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," concludes The Times.